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2020 International Laksa Festival Food Tour Begins

Office of the Chief Minister

The Top End will experience everything laksa for the next four weeks with the month long Laksa trail kicking off today.

After a successful inaugural festival in 2019, the 2020 Darwin International Laksa Festival will begin on 26th October and run until 29th November. 

It will once again celebrate our multicultural community, our awesome weather and one of our favourite pastimes – eating amazing laksas.

49 restaurants, food vans and eateries are participating in this year’s Food Tour, an additional 14 businesses compared to last year’s event.

A total of 61 dishes have been entered, with 30 of the dishes being traditional laksas, and 31 submissions being inspired dishes.

It will culminate in a final festival day on Sunday 29 November in Darwin city – where the winners of the People’s Choice laksa and laksa-inspired dishes, and the Judges’ Choice Best Laksa will all be announced.

The tour encourages people to use the Laksa Festival App to try as many dishes as possible throughout the month, before voting for their favourite dish.

For the overall Golden Bowl winner, top secret ‘Laksa Ninjas’ will be visiting registered eateries throughout the month and shortlisting the best of the best.

Each venue will be visited by multiple secret Ninjas at different times, and scores tallied to determine the top 10 laksa venues that go onto the shortlist. 

The top 10 venues will then participate in a blind tasting by an expert panel of judges, to decide on the ultimate 2020 Golden Bowl winner.

The 2019 Laksa Festival was a huge success, increasing foot traffic and laksa sales at participating venues by 40 per cent compared to the same period in 2018. The inaugural event delivered more than $1 million worth of earned media coverage for the Territory – a huge tourism and jobs boost.

All Territorians can help make the second Laksa Festival even better than the first.

This year’s App will include functionality to be able to ‘level up’. Once the App is downloaded and the user has signed in, they will be able to keep track of the laksa they’ve tasted using the spoon button. With each dish tasted, their laksa profile will increase, starting at Laksa Learner before finishing at Laksa Legend status.

To achieve Laksa Legend status, 20 or more laksa or inspired-by dishes must be tasted during the Festival period.

A real-time ‘Top Tasted’ board is also included the App so people can keep track of the Top End’s most eaten laksa dishes.


Quotes from Chief Minister, Michael Gunner:

“The Territory is the safest place in Australia, which means we are back in business, back to work, and back to enjoying the great Territory lifestyle – and that means smashing a laksa for brekky, lunch or dinner.

“We aren’t just Australia’s comeback capital, we are also the laksa capital.

“But this isn’t just about laksas, this is about jobs. The Laksa Festival puts us on the map, boosts tourism and supports local jobs – so buy more laksas to save more jobs.

“It is my priority to support Territory businesses by boosting the number of visitors coming into town and creating more local jobs for Territorians.”


Quotes from the Member for Port Darwin, Paul Kirby:

“Attracting people back to the CBD, to discover new eateries and visit our retail businesses is one way we are helping to keep Territory business doors open.

“Protecting jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic is the main aim of the Territory Labor Government.

“The Laksa Festival is another way we are activating our CBD including through our street art festivals creating world-class murals, and our historic overhaul of our State Square by making it cooler and greener.”


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