Three years ago I had the fortune of having breakfast at Giant Breakfast Restaurant in Taichung. At that time I wasn’t very sure if I even liked Youtiao. Over the years I developed a passionate love affair with this fried dough Since I came back to Taiwan a few days ago I made it a point to try Youtiao in almost every different area I’ve had breakfast. So far Taipei and Yilan are far from Taichung. Bear in mind, I have not had every piece of fried dough in these cities neither is this a scientific nor wide spread researched study. This is just my narrow opinion from first hand experience.
From the side walk you have to pass through or around where they make Youtiao from scratch. This sight and smell heightens your senses for the main event. You order at the counter and hopefully find a table. Then they deliver your order.
Shaobein Youtiao is served in a plastic bag. My host advised to squish the bag making it easier to fit the whole thing in my mouth. It was crunchy, flaky and fresh. There was almost no trace of oil,even though this was deep fried. Hands down the best I’ve had this far. Sweet soymilk was fresh and tasty, salty soymilk was full flavored. Egg pancake was chewy.
The crowd here ranges from old men with walking sticks, young ladies in business suits, young men sporting the current Jeremy Lin hairdo and everyone in between. When this wide cross section of the dining public embrace an establishment that is the sign of something special. The feeling I had three years ago is still the same. This is really the best Youtiao I’ve ever had.