Apom Guan vs Apom Chooi PENANG – Review

It is an inevitable thing, to compare both.
I grew up eating both, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve never had a preference of one over the other.

It was a matter of who has a shorter queue at my time of arrival, though I tend to head to Apom Guan more often. It was merely habit, and also because it is nearer to the Loh Han Guo drink stall that I always patronized.

Apom Guan vs Apom Chooi PENANG - Review-007

Fast forward a decade later, and armed with a more discerning palate from my travels and perhaps a bit too many food reviews, I returned to try both at the same time on the same day.

I surprised myself when I realized the differences in texture and taste; for it has not bothered me before.

I’m not sure if it makes a difference; for a young guy mans the shiny new van for Apom Chooi.
Previously Apom Chooi also sells his apom from an old, rickety motorbike stall like Apom Guan’s.
The old man Chooi himself is still present at the van, taking orders and packing them for customers so I’m guessing that he does ensure the consistency of the apoms.

Apom Chooi:

Apom Guan vs Apom Chooi PENANG - Review-002

Apom Guan vs Apom Chooi PENANG - Review-003

Apom Guan:

Apom Guan vs Apom Chooi PENANG - Review
I personally prefer Apom Guan over Apom Chooi, for the former has a lighter texture and a more pronounced coconut flavour.

I’m guessing that Apom Chooi’s version has a higher ratio of flour, resulting thicker, spongier and plainer apom by comparison.

BELOW: Apom Chooi on the left, Apom Guan on the right.

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BELOW: Apom Chooi on the left, Apom Guan on the right.

Apom Guan vs Apom Chooi PENANG - Review-007

BELOW: Apom Guan apom; thin and rich with a nice crunch from the corn, a delicate sweetness from the bananas and a slightly gritty texture from the freshly grated coconut in the batter.

Apom Guan vs Apom Chooi PENANG - Review-009

Uncle Chooi could be on the verge of retirement, for when I wanted to take a picture of him, he asked me to take a picture of his “apprentice” instead.
He wasn’t very chatty, and I gave up trying to find out more about his business after a while.

Apom Guan on the other hand, was his usual cheeky, sharp-tongued self. He can be gruff at times, but if you sweet-talk to him a bit, he warms up quick.
He doesn’t have an apprentice at the moment, but he’s willing to part with his knowledge and recipe for RM10,000. The duration of the apprenticeship is “as long as it take for you to pick up the skill of cooking the pancakes, for the control of heat is important“, he had said.
“So far I have students from Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and Shanghai. But none from Malaysia!” he claimed.

Well, RM10,000 for those earning SGD, AUD, TWD and RMB may not be much, but our weakening ringgit doesn’t make the rest of us earning RM any richer so RM10K is still a lot for some!

That said, I won’t mind learning the recipe and the technique though. Hmmm.. maybe I will.
Then I’ll open a “Apom Becky” business in Klang Valley.
Errrr…ok that doesn’t sound right…

Anyhow, both stalls are located at the front of the primary school, SJK(C) Union along Burmah Road. It is on WAZE as well so it is straightforward to find.

While waiting under the scorching sun, you can pack a drink to go with your apom, either from the stall selling sugar cane juice (beside Apom Chooi) or the Loh Han Guo stall a bit further down from Apom Guan.

PS: Check out my Penang Halal/Pork free food guide~ https://www.rebeccasaw.com/list-of-halal-or-pork-free-outlets-in-penang-by-rebecca-saw-rebeccapenanghalalguide/

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