Sweet or savoury, delicate yet filling, appam (or hoppers) is a breakfast, tea, or dinner staple in Sri Lankan cuisine. This childhood favourite is made with fermented rice batter in a deep mini pan, making it doughy in the middle and crispy on its edges – you can also customise it to become a sweet treat or a protein-packed meal!
Appams are no strangers to Malaysians as they are often enjoyed and favoured by many of us (especially this author, who grew up snacking on egg appam as an after-school treat). A quick guide to two distinct cooking styles for appams: the first cooking style (plain appam) prefers a well-cooked centre, and if the middle jiggles, it’s known as paal appam – made by adding coconut milk into the centre.
With our honed tastebuds, we searched for the best appams you can find in the Klang Valley, which you can review in the list below.
1. Om Shakti Chelo’s Sweet Appam, Kuala Lumpur
Known by many as Chelo’s Sweet Appam, this no-frills eatery offers up to 12 flavours of delicious paal appam alongside Indian snacks (think curry puffs, samosas, and medu vada). Although their budget-friendly menu focuses on paal appam, you can also get vegetarian-friendly pre-packed nasi lemak (served with sambal tofu) and thosai here too.
Chelo’s Sweet Appam has recently relocated to unit number 6 at the newly-renovated hawker centre nearby their previous location. For a more thorough look at their menu, you can click here.
We recommend: Appam with banana and brown sugar.
Address: No 8, Lorong Ara Kiri 3, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 9pm
2. Yarl, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Yarl serves up delicious Ceylonese cuisine. Their Brickfields branch is a popular lunch spot frequented by office workers and shoppers and is just a 12-minute walk from KL Sentral. Yarl prefers their appam on the firmer end of the appam-doneness spectrum, which is excellent for mopping up your plate with the variety of curries and sauces available on the menu.
We recommend: Egg appam.
Address: 50, Jalan Padang Belia, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Daily, 7am to 10pm
3. Mohan Appam Poomy’s Kitchen, Bangsar
Poomy’s Kitchen serves up to 16 types of paal appam flavours at their Lucky Garden outlet, which is just a three-minute walk from Bangsar Village II. Kids will love the appams with toppings such as Milo, banana, and chocolate, while adults may fancy unique toppings such as coconut sambal, chutney, and even peanuts.
Another thing about Poomy’s Kitchen is that it’s easily affordable – their appams start from just RM1.80 per piece! Appam mukbang, anyone? You can check out their menu here.
We recommend: Milo appam.
Address: 45-1 Lorong Ara Kiri 1, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:30am to 8:30pm; Sunday, 8:30am to 10:30pm
4. Lankan Cafe, Petaling Jaya
This hidden gem in Jalan Gasing is the perfect place for an authentic Sri Lankan teatime experience! Lankan Cafe is located above an Indian restaurant, so you might need to keep your eyes peeled for their small stairway when you visit.
Teatime is favoured by many of its customers. They also serve Sukku Malli tea or coffee – a hearty infusion of staple Indian spices mixed into your drink for that extra oomph and aid digestion.
We recommend: Brown sugar paal appam paired with Sukku Malli coffee.
Address: Petaling Gardens, Jalan 5/59, Bukit Gasing, 46000 Petaling Jaya
Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30am to 10pm
5. The Lankan Crabs, Kuala Lumpur
Of course, there’s no escaping from appams at the best Sri Lankan crab restaurant, The Lankan Crabs! Each appam is lovingly handmade by Amma Lalli, and when enjoyed with their exquisite crab curries, each bite of your fluffy appam magically transforms into a savoury burst of flavours – spicy, tangy, and all things crabby. Reader, be warned: one piece is definitely not enough!
We recommend: Egg appam paired with Negembo crab curry.
Address: 4 Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Daily, 12pm to 3pm & 5pm to 10pm