[Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia] Sri Lankan appams and more at "Love Mom"

Love Mom serves perhaps the BEST appams I’d ever had in living memory. We drove 60km out here in Klang just for these spongey little pancakes of pure deliciousness. The bowl-shaped spongey-moist-centred pancakes with crisp golden edges are of Keralan and Sri Lankan origin. The ones made here are simply the best in the country!

The restaurant, with its odd-sounding name, was started 8 years ago by proprietor-chef, Madam Paramaswari Nadasan, to remember her son who died tragically young at the time. Madam Paramaswari was already well-known among Klang folks for her Klang Curry House, which she started 33 years ago, as a single mother with 3 young children to support. Her son’s untimely death had struck this strong woman hard, and she turned to a new religion, China-based Bai Shi for solace. It also shaped her personality and she set-up her new restaurant called Love Mom because that was what her late son would always quip to her. Her restaurant crew included a former gang member, an abused wife who ran away from her husband, and juvenile delinquents - because Madam Paramaswari, who preferred to be called just “Mom”, wanted to give every downtrodden person a chance, and the opportunity to do something better with their lives.

Mom was a larger-than-life tour de force who runs her restaurant with clockwork precision. As we sat there watching, we noticed that almost every customer who walked in and out of her restaurant would wave at her, or stop for a quick chat, and Mom would inevitably know not just their names, but something about them. And quite a few of them (on this Sunday morning) were actually chefs and owners of other restaurants eating there on their day-off. BTW, I could hardly believe that this vivacious, energetic woman was 70-years-old!

Besides the appams, Mom also offers Sri Lankan pottu, steamed cylindrical-shaped cakes to eat with a wide range of curries and well-spiced dishes offered:

My favourite dish there, besides the appams, was the chicken-and-potato curry. Mom offered at least 20 different curried dishes each meal-time, and all of them were cooked with spice blends which were made from scratch, ensuring home-cooked flavours.

Mom and her octogenarian chief cook who churned out a paraphernalia of tasty Sri Lankan dishes which “only a Grandma” could produce! :grin:

The appam chef, who deftly turned out perfectly-cooked appams, either plain ones, or those with an egg gently coddled in the centre, served with molten yolk centres. These ones go perfectly with curried chicken or fish.

There was also a dedicated roti canai man, “roti canai” being Malaysia-speak for paratha.

Thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast at Love Mom, an amazing eatery run by an extraordinary woman, dedicated to memory of the son she loved and lost. Running that place was truly a labour of love.

Love Mom Restaurant
12, Lorong Menalu, Taman Chi Liung
41200 Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: +603-3381 2053
Opening hours: 7am to 9pm Tue-Sun. Closed on Mondays.


Peter - in your last photo, there’s a couple of “doughnuts” on the thali platter. Were they medu vada?

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Wonderful post, Peter. Your handling of the back stories of these restaurants, and their founders are always enlightening and interesting.

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I’ve eaten Cape Malay food in South Africa where the “roti” has become “rooti”. As you say, I’d better know it as a paratha.

In fact, I’ve made rooti in Cape Town - we went on a food tour of the Cape Malay area of town which included making lunch. By the by, the cuisine may rank as the most uninteresting “foreign” food I’ve ever eaten. It lacked vibrancy, heat and just about everything else you might wish for from a curry.

By the by, we’re back in SA later in the year and will be spending a couple of days in the Durban area. I intend to do some research and see if I can find a “bunny chow” which is the very local curry served in a hollowed out loaf.

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Yes, ordered by my friend - it was pretty average. It’s one of the staple Tamil-Indian breakfast/snack items, so widely available and a must-have in any Indian restaurant here.

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Thanks, Jim. I always liked to delve a bit deeper into these restaurateurs, chefs or hawkers, and give them a “face”. Always interesting when one opened up and share her or his motivation for doing what they did.


Wasn’t too impressed with bunny chow in Durban or CT or even expat places in London. It’s gotten a lot of mileage from the name but it’s mostly boring mince-slop on/in white bread.

Overall, SA food is pretty yawn. Except for the seafood and wine down in the Cape. That is truly excellent.

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“Roti” is the more all-encompassing term to refer to all forms of bread on the Indian subcontinent. In Malaysia & Singapore, where the Malay language derives many terms from Sanskrit and also the main Indian languages used here (Tamil, Malayalee, Telugu, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali), “roti” has been absorbed into the Malay vocabulary, and also into local Chinese usage, hence one will hear “loti” being used among Hokkien/Fujianese, Cantonese and other Chinese dialect speakers here - but which we’ll remember to omit when we speak these Chinese dialects in China or Taiwan, since the Chinese there wouldn’t have a clue what “loti” is. :joy::joy::joy:

In Singapore, our term for the “paratha” is actually “roti prata”, since we’ll also use “roti” to refer to sliced white bread.

“Roti” (usually pronouced “roe-tee”) is also called “ruti” in some parts of the Indian subcontinent, hence the pronunciation “roo-ti” which you encountered in South Africa.

Sounds wonderful. I’ve only had “bunny chow” in (blush, blush) Soho, London. I’d heard so much about the dish and was so excited to come across Bunnychow, the chain-eatery back in 2014. But, like you, I was really underwhelmed by lack of spices and assertive flavours which I’d normally associate with Indian cuisine in their South African counterpart.

I’d only been to South Africa twice, but never had the opportunity to really explore the country, or its food culture. My first time was a business trip to Johannesburg in 1993 when I was an accountant with Singapore Airlines. It was a 2-week trip during the last days of apartheid when security was very tight. We spent most of our time inside the Singapore Airlines office where, for lunch, we were shown at least 10 different menu cards from different restaurants in the area which will deliver our lunches to the door of our office. One evening, on our second week, the three of us Singaporean visitors decided to eat out and called the local Chinese restaurant and make a dinner reservation. We wanted to take a cab there but the restaurant said, “No, we will come fetch you”. They turned up in what looked more like an armoured van with an armed security guard sitting upfront next to a pistol-toting driver!! It was an experience we never forgot. Needless to say, our South African colleagues were aghast the next day when they found out that we ventured out of our hotel after dark “on our own”.

My second time back in South Africa was in 1996 - I had just changed jobs and was working for Singapore’s largest property development company then, and they organised a year-end company trip to bring our staff to Cape Town for a 5-day holiday. 350 of us, all staying at the Disney-esque Lost City at Sun City where lavish buffets were the order of the day. We had an arranged trip to the Victoria and Alfred waterfront, but we were very much constrained, chaperoned and forced to eat in large groups. I was itching to get out on my own but never had the chance.

I’d always wanted to try Cape Malay food - of course, it bore no resemblance whatsoever to local Malay food in Malaysia and Singapore. I’d only tasted renditions of the cuisine at Out of Africa, a South African-owned eatery in Kuala Lumpur, and a favourite meeting place for the South African community in KL, with its braai on weekends.

I had exposure to home-cooked South African food from an early age - as a teenaged college student in Australia back in the early 80s, I had a South African flatmate from Cape Town, but her parentage were from Southampton, so her cooking was more “British” than anything else. Her dad was an engineer in SA’s lucrative diamond industry, but the whole family migrated to Perth so her younger brother could escape from being drafted into the South African reservist army - he may not come out alive, so her dad thought. I told her that Singapore has a similar reservist army programme but our young men only dug ditches and didn’t get sent into the bush to face a guerilla army.

The other South African I knew from college was an Afrikaner girl from Johannesburg - we were in the same German language class - I introduced her to my flatmate, and they got on famously. Which was why I got to enjoy a lot of South African meals on weekends back then: potjiekos, bobotie, boerewors, frikkadelle, etc.

I hope to read more on your South African food adventures when you’re there later this year.


I’m afraid there won’t be too many. For much of the trip, we’re staying at “full board” lodges (safari, Zulu War, etc), so absolutely no expectations of any halfway decent food. But we do end with three days at a coastal resort area near Durban where, hopefully, we can find some good things to eat.

Last trip (2011), for part of the time, we were in Cape Town and did eat quite well. I was a bit surprised how “British” the food often was throughout the trip - although “British” from the 70/80s. Best meal was at a place in the small town of Oudtshorn. And, yes, fellow travellers were impressed with our “courage” that we had actually walked the half mile there and back, without getting murdered, mugged, whatever.

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On another recent thread, I mentioned in passing an ex-colleague and friend who was an Anglo-Aussie. His family had emigrated from the UK and I think also lived in Perth. In due course, Pete “escaped” back to the UK to avoid being drafted into the Australian army for service in Vietnam. Needless to say, he could never go back.

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I know exactly what you mean. :joy: