Gambir Street’s iconic apam balik stall thrives with new generation at helm

Mizal Abdullah (right) and his cousin Samsul Wahid at their apam balik stall located at Gambir Street, Kuching Waterfront.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, July 3: The soft, fluffy, and deliciously sweet apam balik, also known as peanut turnover pancake, remains a beloved local snack, readily available at street corners and eateries throughout the city.

One of the most well-known makers of this treat is 24-year-old Mizal Abdullah, who continues to operate the family’s popular apam balik station at the bustling Gambir Street.


In an interview with DayakDaily, Mizal shared that he, along with his 34-year-old cousin Samsul Wahid, took over the business, which has been a staple in the area since the late 1980s.

They are the third generation to run the stall, following in the footsteps of Mizal’s father-in-law.

A demonstration of how Mizal’s apam balik is made.

“Interestingly, the original owner was also the father-in-law of my wife’s father. Their family is all women, and they didn’t make pancakes, except for me and my cousin, who is also married to my wife’s sister. My father-in-law, who is now in his 50s, makes the pancakes part-time at Metro City Matang to occupy his time, but he’s mostly retired,” Mizal explained.

Coming from Kampung Sungai Bedil, Mizal said he is dedicated to continuing the family tradition and providing a nostalgic taste for many loyal customers.

“If you can’t find the snacks in the city and have a craving, we’re always here to serve you. We’re available daily until the evening, and you can call us if you want to order in bulk,” he added.

Mizal, a father of three, emphasised the strategic location of their stall, which has been a significant source of livelihood for his family.

“Daily, we use about 36 kilograms of flour to prepare the mixture in a 100-litre container. We don’t use eggs because many people don’t consume them. We sell each piece for RM3, making them scrumptiously soft and moist with butter and filled with lots of blended roasted peanut granules.

“Instead of eggs, we use water, milk, and coconut milk to mix the flour,” he shared, keeping some of the family’s secret ingredients undisclosed.

Mizal’s apam balik stall is located at Chen Pung Hui Cafe.

The ingredients are prepared on the spot, and the pancakes are cooked using a traditional brass girdle, taking about two to three minutes to make each one.

“We usually finish the ingredients to make as many pancakes as possible, and there are typically two or three left that we take home.

“Our peak hours are between 3 to 5pm when people are rushing home from work or having a tea break. During events at the Kuching Waterfront, we can sell two 10-litre containers,” Mizal noted.

He expressed gratitude for being allowed to continue the family legacy at the same spot.

Soft and moist apam balik ready for customers at Mizal’s stall.

“Many young people don’t know that this apam balik stall has been here for so long. Some customers who return to buy from us think I’m the same person who served them all these years. It’s nostalgic for them. For my cousin and me, we’re glad to serve them and continue the legacy,” he said.

Mizal’s stall operates daily from 9am to 6pm. For more information, call 012 891 9530. — DayakDaily