A typical Chinese breakfast, best taken with a cup of black coffee, the Yau Char Kwai or Cakoi or youtiao is loved by most Malaysians. The most popular type is the twin-stick and the horseshoe cakoi. The latter are usually stuffed with red bean paste.
The name Yau Char Kwai which means “oil fried ghost”, originated in the Song dynasty as a protest by the people against an evil minister Qin Hui and his wife who caused their favourite patriot, general Yu Fei to be executed. In protest a cook devised this bread which symbolises an intertwined couple and condemned them to eternal hell, being fried in oil and eaten by the people.
Hence the name Happy Ghost 2.0, is a literal translation for the product they sell and is a cakoi outlet that has been operating for over 30 years. Presently managed by the third generation, Happy Ghost 2.0 is the second shop to be opened in Ipoh. The first stall was opened in New Hollywood Cafe, Ipoh’s famous food court and the second has plenty to offer its legion of fans.
According to its owner, Kelly, 28, her aim is to create a “modern” cakoi.
“The traditional cakoi goes well with coffee. I’m trying to improvise by adding in new ingredients. I’ve introduced the following: cheese cakoi, chocolate cakoi, marshmallow cakoi and the curry fish ball. Little did I know but they’re well received by my customers.
“Cakoi is like bread. It goes well with almost everything,” she added.
When asked about ingredients used, Kelly told this scribe that she only used fresh products with no preservatives and MSG.
“The recipe came from my grandmother and was passed down to my mother and now me. I just try to make it better, speaking of which, I’m planning to introduce the ayam rendang cakoi as a Hari Raya special. So stay tuned.
“A good cakoi should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Although it gets cold, it should not be chewy. Our principle is to serve only good quality food to our customers,” Kelly enthused.
Their best-sellers are the Kaya Chakoi and the Golden Cakes (Nian Gao).
Happy Ghost 2.0 is located at No. 24, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, opens daily (except Mondays) between 11am and 4pm. If you crave for some good cakoi Happy Ghost 2.0 is a place to go.