While reading the book of Ya Kun, The Top Toast, I paid a visit to a Ya Kun store inside Hotel Santika compound in Kelapa Gading Sport Mall. It is such a coincidence that the founder’s Chinese name is similar to my dad’s Chinese nickname. My dad is usually called Ah Loi, and my dad was born in Pontianak (坤甸 Kūn diàn). The Chinese character of Pontianak, the capital city of West Kalimantan, appears in Ya Kun’s logo.
The logo of Ya Kun has changed into white font on maroon background, whereas before it was red font on white background. I wonder why the year written underneath the logo is 1944, because according to the book, the founder, Mr. Loi Ah Koon, started the coffeestall business with his wife in 1936. The wife invented the recipe of homemade kaya and use it to spread on toast. The kaya toast became a bestseller snack companion for drinking coffee in the morning. At the same time, Mr. Loi added a secret ingredient to his own roasted coffee – Planta margarine, which is known as Blue Band in Indonesia. The husband-wife made a perfect combo, and the business soon became a booming success. Their hardwork paid off, and they were able to raise their eight children. I really treasure their experience in fighting together at their early marriage stage to build a happy family. This touching story somehow affected how I see Ya Kun Kaya today. I ordered the Traditional Kaya Toast Set Meal, which consists of 8 thinly sliced toasts, a cup of black coffee, and two soft boiled eggs.
I really like how the toasts are very crunchy, almost feel like eating crackers. The kaya jam was not too sweet, and the butter wasn’t overwhelming. I cannot wait to try their other menu: Crackers with Kaya, to taste how crunchy the crackers are.
However, I was a little bit disappointed at the quality of the eggs. The eggs were probably not at very fresh condition, so they had a little bit of unpleasant smell. The interior of the shop is modern minimalist. I should install this kind of grill in my future house, so that I can pack good toasts every morning for my husband to bring to office and for my kids to bring to school.
I’d definitely come back again next time, although the pricing is a little bit high for traditional breakfast. Actually, my parents’ hometown, Pontianak, serves similar style of traditional breakfast in much cheaper price. However, the history of Ya Kun has captured my heart.