A new bakery focused on offering healthier versions of classic Chinese sweets and other Asian desserts and pastries is coming to Kearny Mesa. Owner Yuan Yuan Zhang is aiming to open Yiko Yiko on Friday, March 31; the store’s name means “one bite, one bite,” a Chinese phrase that roughly translates as “just one more bite because you can’t stop eating it.”
Zhang started cooking out of her own kitchen after acting as a translator for her best friend who owns a bakery in their hometown of Xian, China. Taken aback by the amount of sugar used at the bakery, she was spurred to develop lighter alternatives to the pastries that she grew up eating. After experimenting with different recipes, she started sharing her baked goods with friends and neighbors and before long, she had a thriving home business.
In late 2019, she signed a lease on the Clairemont Mesa Boulevard storefront, converting the space into a bakery and cafe whose opening is finally nearing after being delayed several years by the pandemic. “I never gave up. That is my dream,” said Zhang.
One of her specialties is a fluffy chiffon cake in flavors like original, green tea, and chocolate that is lightened with egg whites instead of baking powder; another version of the chiffon cake will feature a salted egg yolk center and a coating of pork floss.
Zhang eschews artificial ingredients, using organic dairy and eggs and incorporating fresh fruit into her recipes to lower the sugar content. She also wants to ensure that all items are made and sold within a day to maintain freshness.
Other desserts will include a cake sweetened with jujubes, or Chinese red dates, along with taro puff pastry, mochi filled with fruit and cream, crepe cakes, and butter cookies. Yiko Yiko will also offer custom cakes, special occasion mooncakes, and a variety of coffee drinks and fruit teas.