While char kuih teow, laksa, and cendol gets all the attention in Penang, one of the must-eats for me is actually the humble old apong. Specifically, the stalls offering these tiny apong that have been operating at Jalan Burma right outside Union Primary School for decades.
Apong Guan, Penang
There are only two of such stalls on the island as far as I know, both offering very mini sized apong made with plenty of eggs, flour, ripe banana, corn, and some other secret ingredients (I think the guy will sell you the recipe for a handsome fee).
I’ve wrote about Apong Chooi back in 2011, so now let’s look at Apong Guan, arguably the more “famous” of the two.
Each Apong now goes for RM 0.60, up from RM 0.35 8 years back, and seven for RM 1.00 maybe two and a half decades back when I first got my motorbike license.
Apong Guan will usually have a small crowd surrounding the stall on weekends, an exercise in patient in these hot climate to be sure. The reward though is definitely worth it. The apong is sweet from the ripe banana & corn, savory from its egg, and perfect in every way. I suggest you order enough to lasts the afternoon, and eat them while hot!
RM 0.60 each for this goodness, must-eat if you’re in Penang
Apong Guan has been in operation for some 50 years, with no heir apparent in sight, so if you’re longing for something uniquely Penang, this is a stall not to be missed.
Sometimes, all you need is a quick breakfast that doesn’t take more than 5-10 minutes before heading to work in the morning. These are two choices at Imbi market that will satisfy morning hunger in a jiffy, both are cheap, and you can tapao them as fast as you can eat them on location.
Both of these products are of the same family, cooked with a frying pan of sort, with the major ingredient being flour. Of course, they are apom & ban chang kuih.
apom stall at Imbi Market, crispy and crunchy
The apom stall at imbi market is operated by a relatively young guy (for this trade I guess) just right across from Ah Weng Koh Hainanese Tea stall.
I ordered 5 apom (RM 3) for breakfast, and had a portion of pohpiah to go with as well. The apoms were thin, crispy, but not overly sweet. They are thinner than those usually served in Penang, and quite a mess to eat as the crispy part tends to break just outside your mouth. That being said, they’re quite delicious.
ban chang kuih, it’s vegetarian too (no eggs)
Ban Chang Kuih is another pretty popular food in Penang that aren’t common in Klang Valley outside pasar malam areas.
While I generally prefer the single serving version, this bigger type is usually the default around KL area. A portion goes for RM 1.20, and two is about the right size for breakfast (especially with a couple half boiled eggs).
This dish is good for those who are on one of those lunar calendar vegetarian diet too. By the way, if you like more of the crispy parts, there’s an option to choose the side slices instead.
Address: Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang) Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.14340, 101.71664 Hours: breakfast and brunch
This is another one of my go-to curry mee places whenever I’m back to Penang visiting mom. If you love unadulterated Penang curry mee, you would enjoy this one.
kedai kopi new cathay has a pretty good curry mee stall
The kopitiam is located by the intersection of Jalan Burma and Lorong Kucing, offering many of your usual suspects when it comes to hawker foods from Penang – laksa, curry mee, char kuih teow, chicken rice and so forth. Parking isn’t usually a huge hassle thanks to the commercial centers right next door, but the shop can be quite a bit busy during breakfast/brunch hours.
yum yum, coagulated blood, loved by my niece too 😀
For only RM 3.50 per bowl, the curry mee comes with cockles, one prawn, tofu pok, coagulated blood (my favorite, of course), a fish ball, and cuttle fish. You get to choose your favorite mee/meehun combination, and have as much of those fragrant and spicy sambal as you want.
I enjoy their almost mee-goreng style cuttle fish as well, brings a slightly different taste to the normal cuttle fish preparation. The prawn’s a bit smallish but hey, it’s RM 3.50.
Overall taste is superb and I’d have it any day. The only thing missing is a couple mint leaves, but I guess you can’t have it all every time.
good old fashion apom, get them fresh and warm here
And since hawker dishes in Penang are usually only 70% of what you get in KL in terms of portions, it make perfect sense to add some apom to the meal while you’re at it. The stall claims to be offering the best apom manis in town and will happily trade 6 steamy hot apom for RM 3.00. These too are yummy especially when consumed piping hot, slightly crispy on the outer layer, and sweet, creamy inside. Try it!
Oh, the steamed otak otak here is not too shabby either. If you’re in Penang, this kopitiam sure is a pretty decent place to visit for breakfast or lunch.
Address: Kedai Kopi New Cathay Lorong Kucing off Jalan Burma 10350, Pulau Tikus, Penang GPS: 5.432376, 100.309504
I always thought that Mini Apom is only found in but two stalls in Penang situated right outside Union Primary School at Jalan Burma, and every time I went back to the island of good eats, getting my stomach stuffed with these was always in the list of things to do.
Well, now I can do that right here at PJ’s Ming Tien food court.
Update: Ming Tien has since moved to Bandar Utama
Penang apom, comes in two flavors
The Penang Apom stall is situated on the far right of the food court, manned by an operator from Penang who moved down to KL some 7-8 years ago (and speaks perfect Penang Hokkien, of course).
The mini apom comes either with sweet corns or banana slice in them and you get 5 pieces for RM 3. The taste is as good as those found in Penang, and definitely worth the money paid for. The only downside is that if the apom’s been sitting on the shelves for a while they tend to get cold and wouldn’t taste quite as good. Then again, 15-20 seconds in a microwave would fix that, or you could perhaps insist on freshly made ones.
The stall operates from about 5 pm till late, they also offer regular apom.
chicken porridge – simple comfort food
The chicken porridge stall at Ming Tien food court now has a pair of new operators that is familiar to anyone who frequents SS 2 mamak square. The kids that used to help out at the chicken rice stall at SS 2 are now running the show.
I’ve always loved their silky smooth steamed chicken, so it was my dinner choice the other night as I was looking for some comfort food to fill my stomach.
chicken porridge at Ming Tien, originally from SS2 mamak
The chicken was identical to those offered at their parents’ stall, and the porridge too were quite flavorful in itself, with the dash of sesame oil, white pepper, and soya sauce. Bean sprouts is also offered as a separate dish, and on top of that, there’s chicken liver and gizzards as well.
It’s a shame that they don’t serve chicken rice here (most likely due to presence of other chicken rice stalls at the food court), but if you’re looking for some good chicken porridge, this is definitely one of them.
Address: Ming Tien Hawker Center
Jalan SS24/8, Taman Megah,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS:3.114334, 101.611658
Sure, Penang is famous for it’s char kueh teow, laksa, and curry mee, but for those of you who wants to still have something to chew during those pesky couple hours in between meals, here’s something you definitely should not miss – mini apom!
one of the mini apom stalls – Apom Chooi
I’ve had these mini apoms for as long as I can remember, some 20 odd years ago, it was 7 apoms for RM 1.00, now they are RM 0.35 a piece, but they guy will happily sell 3 for RM 1.00 too. Inflation is a bitch isn’t it?
So far as I can tell, there are only two stalls selling these mini apoms in Penang, and I haven’t managed to find an equivalent anywhere else either. These guys aren’t young either, so you might be looking at the last line of mini apom sellers. Rumor had it that the two sellers are related, and aren’t talking to each other, something that owners of Bernard’s and Champs can related too, I’m sure.
addictive mini apom with sweet corn and banana slices
As for the apom itself, it’s sweet with a hint of savory. The two standard ingredients inside the apom are banana slices and sweet corn. The feeling of sweet corns bursting in your mouth while chewing the apom can be very… rewarding.
Try it before stalls like these go away for good. If you know where I can find this at Klang Valley please do share ya!