Not the same anymore…


…are Chinese crullers or what we call yew char koi but some people call them yew tiao (油条) while the Malays call them cakoi.

I had the opportunity to watch them frying these at the pavement outside their shop at Market Road a long time ago and I was amazed to see the short three-inch strip of dough, pressed down the middle lengthwise with a thin piece of wood or whatever to make a dent, rising to the occasion the instant it was thrown into the hot oil. It expanded till at least 12 inches long and it could be torn into two along that aforementioned dent…

For a very long time now, we could not get any good ones here in Sibu. If there are any, they are not the same anymore and I would not bother buying, not at all.

Yes, we have a lot of Malay stalls selling these cakoi but no, theirs are not the same at all, very dense and doughy, not cushiony soft, not even a little bit crusty on the outside and filled with air holes…

…like the ones we grew up eating and enjoying.

I came across an old couple making and selling theirs outside a coffee shop in the vicinity of the Permai shops and tamu (native jungle produce market) but that was in 2019, before the pandemic. I don’t know if they are still there or not. For one thing, the old man did not use the cutter to make a dent in the strip of dough. Instead, he placed two strips together and dropped them into the hot oil to fry. Despite the difference, it tasted great, almost like the ones in our growing up years and yes, I did buy from them a few times.

I have not been to those part of the woods since so I do not know if the old couple are still around making their yew char koi for sale or not. In the meantime, my sister was delighted to stumble upon these very good ones at this coffee shop…

Photo from Google Maps

…next to the Sarawak Energy/SESCO customer care office among the shops in the vicinity of the Dewan Suarah here.

I had the kampua mee there…

…once and I thought it was very nice but some people grumbled that the serving was kind of small. Yes, I remember there was a stall on the pavement in front of the shops selling all kinds of kuihs.

My sister said that they sell or koi (deep fried steamed yam cake), ham chim beng (Chinese cinnamon rolls) and so on but they only sell yew char koi, fried on the spot on Saturdays and Sundays. She gave us two to try and yes, everyone agreed that they were good, just like those before. I certainly would want to go over there one of these days to buy some more and perhaps, I may pick a few of whatever else they have for sale to try.

KIM CHUO FOOD CENTRE (2.310950, 111.830541) is located among the area of shops in the vicinity of the Dewan Suarah, Sibu and the Civic Centre market beside the Sarawak Energy/SESCO customer care office (to the right), opposite the ShareTea outlet there.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

12 thoughts on “Not the same anymore…”

  1. Those things you miss growing up, I can relate. Luckily for us we have a found a good shop here that sells those, really love them

    Sad that the young ones would prefer those more glamorous and lucrative professions – their old folks would want them to go for those too and all the old skills and trades would eventually die away, go extinct.

  2. If I am not wrong, some people call this yew tiao as husband and wife kuih. Two in one.. 😊😊I have come across very nice one at a stall on the pavement infront of a kopitiam near my area selling yew tiao, banana and sweet potato fritters. Everytime long queue. Used to be RM3 but now it is RM1 per pc and shrink in size. Having said that, I really don’t mind the increase cos I think it is still worth to have it.

    That is the problem. Any good one, there will be long queues and sold out in no time at all. Same thing with this one here – my sis said fried on the spot but once sold out,, they will not fry anymore for that morning.

  3. I mean used to be RM2 for 3pcs. and longer but now RM1 per pc. and shrink in size 😊😊

    The sign of the times. They say things will go shooting up some more after Chinese New Year. Only my pension remains the same, 2% increment every year. Sobssssss!!!!

  4. The best long, big cakoi O have so far is from the shop next to Sungai Maong market. Used to tapau whenever I went to the wet market but no more. Been a long while since I go to that area. RM1 per piece. Wonder it has increased in price or decrease in size?? Yes, I also love watching the lady doing the yue tiaw. Freshly made and fried on the spot.

    I’ll have to drop by this one on a Saturday or Sunday. Hopefully, I can take photographs of the lady frying. I did snap a few shots of the old guy at Permai and blogged about it that time.

  5. We have nice yew char koi in one of our regular coffee shop. But the length is shorter. Used to sell at RM1 per piece, then it went up to RM1.10 and now it has gone up to RM1.20.

    Guess we’ll just have to get used to it, the prices going up and up. They say will be worse after Chinese New Year.

  6. Oh yes, I used to love to have yew char kuih with coffee when I was little.
    Sometimes have it in tau suan, but these days it’s hard to come by.
    We have yew char kuih in bah kut teh too.

    Have you tried bah kut teh in Singapore?
    It’s horrible! Ha ha… Malaysia version is so much better. Strong and herbal, the way I like it.
    Don’t know what sorta bah kut teh you guys have over there.

    1. I guess ours would be the same as those in KL – I had it a few times over there, not that I am really crazy about it, just something different for a change. Never had it in Singapore.
      I love let tao suan – yes, they give yew char koi with it. Will surely go for it whenever I go to Kuching. They have it there.

  7. Smaller servings mean you can order more of those eu char kuih or other dishes 😀

    That was long ago, no yew char koi at the time. Post on this coming soon, got to know of the latest development when I dropped by that day!!!

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