So, today I decided to try something new. Some place you do not see being raved about in various blogs. Just a place that is below the radar, but different.
Did my research and this is when I stumbled upon Hoppers. What’s different about them? – APPAM. Yup, the malay/indian fusion kind of appam. The one that is soft and thick in the middle, think and crisp on the outside. Oooooo man, YUM!! So just like that, the fate of my lunch today was sealed – Hoppers it is.
How to get there?
Hoppers is located along Jalan Pudu. For those of you familiar with this part of KL – Get to Central Market, go straight through Petaling Street, past the Plaza, till you see the Jalan Pudu indian temple at the end of the street, the row of shops next to the temple, Hoppers is located among them. For those of you not so familiar with the roads, Hoppers is on WAZE yawww!
Worry not about parking, cause at the end of those row of shops, there happen to be an open car park, with a surcharge of RM 3.50 per hour, which is pretty decent I suppose.
** Hoppers is located at Wisma AV. Its pretty easy to miss if you are driving by, unless you happen to drive at a slow pace, which is rather unlikely, since the road is almost always busy. Do not bother looking for “Hoppers” logo/symbol, as it is unlikely that you will see the round one, as depicted in the image above, which works for people who are walking by, not as much for drivers. For driver – just look out for Wisma AV. They also have a huge “HOPPERS” at the top of the building, which I missed, cause i am driving, and its kind of hard to look up when you are suppose to look straight ahead on a busy road. Get what i mean?? So yea – Wisma AV!!
Environment / Ambiance?
As soon as you get to the entrance of the cafe, you get this old-school vibe. They got an array of old posters hanging from the ceiling of decades old tamil movies – ie of Kamal Hassan, Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth. Super creative! It certainly invoke all those memories from back in the day, when you were a kid – young and free , the joy you get from watching them ol’ movies.
As we picked our seats and table, we were immediately attended to. The menus were given and we were advised to place our order and pay at the counter. This, if i may mention – is something i like. They attend to you fast, tell you how they run shop, and leave you to make your choice.
The decor is simple yet welcoming, clean and vibrant. The fact that they have super friendly customer service only adds to Hoppers charm.
We decided on the Gula Melaka (brown sugar) desiccated coconut poached in coconut milk and the slow roasted chicken rending, sambal, crispy anchovies, nuts and cucumber, which was basically nasi lemak with a twist. The twist here being instead of rice, appam was used. However, being the Malaysians that we are, having nasi lemak without rice is nearly unheard of, so we ordered a side of coconut rice and chicken rendang. The prices were very decent. Overall, it cost us 34 ringgit:
- The Gula Melaka Appam – RM 8.48
- The Nasi Lemak Appam – RM 13. 78
- Coconut Rice (side) – RM 6.36
- Chicken Rendang (side) – RM 7.42
Food arrived supper quick.The first to arrive was the Gula Melaka Appam.
Ooooo man, I think I just died. It was soo delicious. Okay, get this – the middle is soft and gooey, with Gula Melaka, coconut milk with a sprinkle of coconut bits. When you bite into it, yumm!! The kind of yum you get when the minute the first spoon enters your mouth, you don’t utter a single work but immediately look into your partners eyes knowing he feels the exact YUM you feel? Yup, that’s the one. This has to be a MUST TRY at Hoppers, be it for dessert or starters – its a MUST. Each mouthful was decadent, rich and moist. I was in blissland.
Next came our Nasi Lemak Appam and our sides.
Initially, I had reservations about having a Nasi lemak appam, but decided to give it a go anyways and boy, am I glad I did.
Besides smelling so good, visually, lets just say both my eyes and mouth were watering. As soon as i started indulging , i must say – its really good, delicious. The combination works – nasi lemak and appam. Who would have thought, ey?
The sides were exceptional too. The coconut rice was healthy, fragrant and didn’t have the overly starchy vibe you get from the usual white rice. Chicken rendang was soft and easily falls off the bone, with a combination of thick, creamy and subtle spices.
UPDATES – 2nd Visit
Since the first visit was absolutely delightful, naturally I will visit it again. A month later, I did and this time, I brought my family with me. I figured it would be a place mum and dad would love, so why not?, and I was right – they loved it.
First thing I noticed, Hoppers was picking up in momentum. Gone was the cafe that was quiet and under the radar. It was packed, almost all tables were occupied – good for em !
and guess what? They even updated their menu, by updating I meant added a few more items that equally left my tongue wagging!
This time, besides ordering the Gula Melaka Appam and the Nasi Lemak Appam (which is a MUST order), we ordered 2 items from the new menu.
Butter Prawn Appam – 15 Ringgit
The Prawn in Butter Sauce with Chilli Garlic and Curry Leaves was yummy. I usually do not like the middle part of the appam wetter than its suppose to be, there is wet and then there is soggy. I like it wet just enough that its still able to be moist and thick as oppose to being really dense and breaking away easily. This appam had a soggy mid part, filled with the butter sauce, and for this appam – it worked. The prawns were cooked nicely, soft yet crunchy. The chef was even nice enough remove the prawn’s body from the head to prevent us to go all ninja on it, making it easier for us to eat it. I know the picture above shows the head clearly attached to the prawns body, but its just for presentation sake. The whole prawn + butter sauce + chilli + curry leaves cobination worked very well and complimented the appam perfectly. If you love prawns , give this dish a go.
The Mutton Appam – 17 ringgit
The Peppered Goat served with Yogurt, Coriander, Pomegranate Seeds and a dash of Pickled Garlic was okay, I most probably would not reorder this dish anytime soon. Dont get me wrong, it was not horrible – NO. It was nice, but its me. I never really was a fan of goats. I tried for the sake of trying, and its still a no for me. Notice how I mentioned that the dish was nice as oppose to no or no good or yuck ? Yea, cause it really was nice. The goat was cooked nicely, the Indians would refer to this dish as ‘mutton varuval’, yup – that was exactly what it was. It was cooked to perfection, soft yet not too chewy. Most importantly, it didnt leave those weird aftertaste you usually get from ingesting mutton. I just wish they added more gravy, because the appam came with very little gravy and the yogurt could only do so much. The dry appam + a little wetness from the yogurt/mutton gravy didnt really work for me. It might have if the dish as a whole was a little more wetter. The combination though, worked well. Who would have thought to mix mutton varuval, yogurt and pomegranate seed? I sure would not. Its a weird combination, but it did good. I would not go for this dish again, but for mutton lovers, do give it a try.
Would I head to Hoppers again? YESSSS!! I most definitely will ! The experience was so pleasant that I am willing to travel to the other side of town to get there. Its a must try, especially for those who crave for a different dining experience.
Address : 76, Jalan Pudu, City Centre, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Hoppers Opening hours:
Mondays, Closed. Tuesdays – Sundays, 12 pm – 9 pm.
Signing out now, Ciao.