No, this is not necessarily a doughnut post nor does it involve treats like fritters or bichu-bicho (youtiao – fried dough sticks). However, it does involve certain treats that come close.
Admittedly, I’m not that big a fan of fried snacks in the afternoons, barring French fries or potato crisps. However, on days when the weather can’t seem to decide whether to blow hot or cold, I need the fat and calories to keep myself from getting annoyed with the drastic changes of temperature. So, yes, fried dough…
Shown above are deep-fried mantou – presented on the North Park menu as fried bread with cream dip. What you get are three mantou (yeasted white-flour buns) that are fried till golden and crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy within. They are sweet, but not too sweet for comfort. You’re supposed to dip them in the little dish of condensed milk that comes with every order. However, I am of the opinion that it is better to dip these crisp-tender-moreish babies into the complimentary bowl of chicken broth. I can’t explain why, but I find it a rather tasty combination.
If you’re in the mood for something sweeter but not necessarily as sweet as a doughnut (raised or cake, doesn’t matter…), you might want to try the tiger paw from Country Style. This is a bi-colored fried treat – plain and cocoa-flavored doughs kneaded together – cut in the shape of – well, what else! – a tiger paw. It’s quite good: the plain part just sweet enough, the cocoa part gives it a bittersweet, even smoky flavor counterpoint, and there are crunchy bits of pineapple scattered through the bun to add textural contrast to the pillowy softness.
With the deep-fried bread, I recommend a glass of milky tea. The tiger paw, on the other hand, demands to be eaten with a carton of chilled milk on the side. Either way, it’s all good. 😀