There are a variety of snacks one can choose to consume, ranging from those that come in packets e.g. potato chips to those that are baked/made such as kuih-muih, curry puffs and similar items. In Malaysia, we also have a snack called apom balik, which is a pancake dessert snack shaped like a half moon containing various fillings, such as peanut and corn. If you’re in Penang, check out Apom Chooi to get your fix of apom balik, all freshly made!
About Apom Chooi
Apom Chooi is a family-run business, having launched about 30 or 40 years ago. When it first started out, the founder sold fried bananas, but halfway through, he decided to switch to apom balik instead, and the business has continue to run till today. Currently, the founder’s son Max is helming the business, though his parents still continue to help out. Prior to taking over the business 8 or 9 years ago, Max was a clerical worker, and he decided to take over the business as his father aged. It was not an easy decision to make, but now Max is very proud of his job, and he has discovered his goal in life.
Small But Passionate
Apom Chooi is a small business and rather inconspicuous, but Max and his parents run it together as a family, doing what they do best. There are many daily tasks that Max has to attend to, and he is grateful for his parents’ help. He is considering a team of his own, as well as an expansion of branches in the future, but it all depends on many variables, since the investment in terms of both time and money could be demanding. Right at the beginning, Max’s father only provided the original/traditional flavours, then Max developed new flavours when he took over. Now, on top of the traditional flavours, Apom Chooi also has panda flavour, sunflower seeds flavour and rice cake flavour just to name a few. He has a mind to develop even more flavours, but some raw materials require to be refrigerated to avoid deterioration, so he is still working on that.
Quick, Easy, Tasty
Apom Chooi’s apom balik is suitable for all age ranges. Children love them as they are sweet and delicious, while it’s also soft enough for the elderly, even for those with sparse teeth or difficulties in chewing. As for everyone else in between, there are a wide variety of flavours to choose from, and some prefer the apom balik to have a stronger egg scent. Only those who are sensitive, allergic, or unable to consume eggs may find the apom balik not suitable. The stall also operates around a fast, drive-through concept. A large portion of Apom Chooi’s customers are workers and students. With their busy schedule, Apom Chooi has become one of their go-tos for a quick bite, which is delicious yet affordable! However, since food is prepared readily, the heat of the food is sometimes sacrificed. For hot apom balik, there has to be a waiting time instead, and Max is still trying to figure out a way to balance it.
Looking To Expand
There were a few times Max’s father almost got into accidents as he was rushing around helping Max out. Max hopes to employ an assistant and let his father enjoy life, but a good assistant is hard to find, and the rapport even harder to build. Apom Chooi was also interviewed by Hokchia in 2019, which led to more exposure locally. Max has also done some interviews with newspapers before, as well as a TV food show: Taste of Malaysia. In the next five years, he hopes to be able to finally set up his first branch of Apom Chooi.
“Dare to venture when you are young, because the cost is not high, and even if you fail, it’s not a big deal to make a comeback.” – Apom Chooi
For some apom balik goodness and where to locate them, check out Apom Chooi!