Hoppers KL @ Pudu

August 24, 2016

Here's something we don't see everyday: Contemporary hoppers - pancakes inspired by South Indian & Sri Lankan traditions, infused with Malaysian flavours - representing a family passion of sisters Sugania & Nishalni Naidu, who grew up relishing their mom's appams & hope to spread the love for these crepe-like creations made with fermented rice batter & coconut milk.

Hoppers is a bit off the beaten path, occupying a former lawyers' office in Pudu - you'll still see remnants of that legal legacy, with constitutional textbooks artfully scattered across this two-storey premises by POW Ideas, the creative architects who've worked on design-savvy KL eateries like Merchant's Lane. Hoppers will be yet another social media magnet, with nifty touches like retro Bollywood posters raised over the entrance & a colour palette that exudes freshness, buoyed by lush tropical leaves.

A bar upstairs, H by Hoppers, is set to open in September; it was still a work in progress when we visited, but this looks to be a lovely lounge, where customers can find a comfortable corner to sink back on cushy rattan chairs & sip on summery cocktails.

Batter up: The stars of this show remain the hoppers - start with the savoury interpretations, available as plain pancakes or with an egg baked at the base, complete with elaborate toppings. The combination of slow-roasted chicken rendang, sambal ikan bilis, groundnuts & cucumbers is an unmistakable homage to the nuances of nasi lemak (RM13), while the cauliflower fritters with cashew nuts, garlic, curry leaves & mint yoghurt evoke a gently spiced Indian recipe (RM13). These tasty bowl-shaped hoppers come with a thick, fluffy-moist centre, surrounded by a wispy-thin, crisp edge. The toppings prove enjoyably well-balanced, flavourful & satisfyingly textured. More hoppers will be available by next month - expect ensembles like chilli-&-lime-dressed crab with pea shoots, radish & beetroot yoghurt, with an emphasis on locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

Sweet hoppers hit the mark too, with distinctive medleys like perfectly ripe mangoes with toasted black sesame seeds & coconut milk (RM9), desiccated coconut with Gula Melaka poached in coconut milk (RM8) & Milo ganache with peanut crumbs & Horlicks condensed milk (RM11), each a treat for our inner child. Most customers will easily polish off a plate on their own, since the hoppers taste surprisingly light & wholesome. Wash down with mint-infused water, Cameron Highlands tea with Gula Melaka & milk, or MIK Kefir's entire range (we like the Sweet Basil Peach). You'll be hearing much more of Hoppers very soon.

Hoppers Kuala Lumpur
76 Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. Currently open Tues-Sun, 11am-530pm. Tel: 012-477-6604
A colonial-era shop-house by the road in between UTC Pudu Sentral & Hospital Tung Shin. 

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