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Tea time snack? Apom Balik Penang at Anson Road hits the spot!

There are few things better during a hot afternoon in Penang than enjoying traditional snacks of various types. It is an excellent way to beat off an afternoon slump and it’s also an excuse to enjoy life’s little pleasures, as Zac Teo explores...

Fresh batch of Apom Balik. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Malaysians have always taken to enjoying snacks of various types throughout the day, and none would describe this better than Apom. The Chinese community has taken the Apom to a whole new level by evolving it into Apom Balik. There is a particular stall in Anson Road that prepares excellent Apom Balik, or more affectionately known as Ban Chang Kueh to locals. This version is relatively a thicker and slightly chewy fold over pancake with crispy sides.

Preparing a new batch of Apom Balik. Photograph: Zac Teo/

There have been plenty of variations and synonyms to the peanut pancake, even with different races having their very own version of the snack. However, this Apom Balik is unique as it is covered with the delightful sugar crumbs and crushed roasted peanuts! The batter is made from flour, eggs, sugar, water and yeast - this would create a texture thicker than crepe but not as fluffy as a western pancake.

This pancake stall is located along the bustling Anson Road. Photograph: Zac Teo/

Watching the proprietor cook up the apom balik is like watching art unfolds, with deft quick moves spreading out the batter, and sprinkling the sugar and crushed peanuts yet ensuring the pancakes do not get burnt. Lastly, he will fold it in half and cook it off like an omelet before serving it to his customers.

This stall is located right outside the Xin He Coffee Shop (72-H, Anson Road, 10400, Georgetown, Penang). It is opened from 10am till late afternoon, with its off days not known. Anson Road is a major main road in Penang accessible by most buses from KOMTAR, with parking lots freely available along the service road.
Zac Teo

Zac Teo

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