appam is a type of food originated from india. the name basically means ‘bread’, but it looks like a bowl-shaped pancake. hihi. it’s made of fermented rice batter. they taste bland, usually served with a spicy condiment.
i’ve never had this appam, but it’s said that the best appam in dubai can be found in this restaurant; ‘appa kadai’. if i’m not mistaken, appa kadai means wok or kuali. it’s situated in a new shop lot area in discovery gardens.
i was surprised when i entered because it didn’t look like a typical indian restaurant. for starters, the seats were red leather, and abstract paintings adorned the walls. usually it’s elaborate pattern on the cushion, and indian-themed pictures on the wall like indian palace with marble archers.
this indian restaurant is bright, modern and youthful. more like a diner than an indian restaurant. if you want the indian ambiance, only the songs playing on air will give you that. however, the interior is pretty modern.
the toilet is also clean!
there is an already popular branch in karama, and this one just opened in discovery garden. i think there’s another newly opened at dubai marina.
* * *
like i mentioned earlier, ‘aappa kadai’ is famous for its appam. in fact, the list of appam greeted you as soon as you look at the menu. front page!
there’s plain appam, appam with egg, appam with cheese and few more. i was sceptical at first looking at the appam, but mr, khairul assured me that i’d probably turn from roti canai to appam after trying one!
we ordered roti canai nonetheless. here they call it parotha.
you have to know that all this while we’ve been going to ‘green city’ for our roti canai fix, and that restaurant is all the way in deira – 30 to 40mins away from our place! just for roti canai! now we can just travel less than 10 minutes for a good roti canai that tastes just like the ones in malaysia (perhaps even better, as this is an authentic parotha made by the keralites from india!).
we also ordered garlic nan. crispy on the outside, soft on the inside! it’s alright, but i’m just not a nan person. i’m not even a chapatti or tose person. i’m strictly roti canai. hihi.
we ordered chicken curry and fried mutton to go along with our parotha and garlic nan. the chicken curry is thick and spicy; while the deliciously black-peppery fried mutton tears up easily – excellent!
finally we come to the star of the day – the appam.
the best thing about this appam is not so much the taste – but the texture! so amazingly soft, but with little hints of crispiness on the outer layer. both texture complements each other to create a wonderful eating experience, especially for me trying appam for the first time!
unlike parotha which is thick and compact, the appam has a fluffy feel to it – soft but not fragile. dip in chicken curry – heavenly!
see how the shape looks like a bowl? it takes the shape because of how the dish is prepared. in fact, part of the experience eating at appa kadai is watching the staff make appam at the LIVE cooking station placed near the patrons.
i took khaleef to have a look, and saw a line of wok, with a big, tall pot of appam batter on the side. one of the staff in apron turned on the fire, and add oil. when hot enough, he poured the appam batter just enough to cover the entire surface of the wok – hence, the shape.
he covered the wok, and waited for just a couple of minutes before the appam is ready. cepat dan enak dimakan!
* * *
want to try a REALLY good appam? try appa kadai!