Making apom for the last 50 years
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GEORGE TOWN, March 11 — Driving on busy Burmah Road you will be sure to notice some hawker stalls still parked by the roadside selling drinks and apom.
These stalls have been around for decades and one of them, Apom Chooi, has in recent years upgraded to a food truck.
Uan Cheng Chooi started the stall with a three-wheeled cart back in the 1960s.
“I wanted to start my own business so I learnt how to make apom from another hawker in Perak Road back then,” he said.
After learning how to make the traditional pancakes using small pans over charcoal, Uan set up his own stall along Burmah Road.
“I live in the Perak Road area so I cycled my cart all the way here every day for the past 50 years,” he said.
The making of the apom is simple enough as it only has a few basic ingredients — flour, coconut milk, eggs, sliced bananas and creamed corn.
When Uan turned 70 five years ago, he decided it was time for him to retire as it took him an hour to cycle to Burmah Road in the morning and another hour to go back in the evening.
“Making the apom is simple but it was the daily travel that I couldn’t take... my legs are not as strong as previously,” he said.
Fortunately, his son Max decided to take over the stall.
The first thing the 32-year-old did was to get rid of the three-wheeled cart and replace it with a food truck so they could drive to Burmah Road easily.
He also modernised the cooking pans and added a counter to display the apoms.
He also introduced new flavours periodically so customers can try something other than the traditional ones with banana and corn fillings.
“I introduced the pandan flavour previously and now we have the melon seed flavour,” he said.
He said this is so that customers don’t get bored. Max was previously a salesman before he decided to take over his father’s stall.
Today, father and son manage the Apom Chooi food truck together.
“I only started learning to make apom when I took over the business five years ago so my father will come along to help and teach me,” Max said.
He hopes that he will be able to extend the hawker licence and transfer it to his name in future as the business is still operating under his father’s name.
“We have been here for over 50 years so it would be ideal if I am allowed to continue on with the business here even after my father is no longer around,” he said.
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