Zhi Zhe Lai (知者来) @ Toa Payoh

We were seated right in front of 知者来 (or Zhi Zhe Lai) as we were having breakfast at the Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre. This stall is located a few units away from Teochew Handmade Pau so if you’re seated in the same section, you shouldn’t miss this.

Saw many customers leaving with bags of you tiao (fried dough fritters) and we just couldn’t resist buying a few of those lovely fried snacks to share. ?

Zhi Zhe Lai (知者来) @ Toa Payoh

The stall owner is Mr Yew, third-generation boss of the family business. Apparently, their recipe hails from Putian in Fujian, China.

I was observing him from the side as he skilfully and meticulously worked his fingers through the dough. From the rolling to the frying, he really ensured every you tiao would turn out perfect.

I also like the name of the shop, 知者来. It seems to imply that ‘if you know it, you’ll come’. So for those who truly know how to appreciate authentic you tiao like theirs, yes, this is definitely the place to come.

For info, Mr Yew also supplies his you tiao to other hawkers and food establishments particularly those serving up rojak, porridge, dessert soups, bak kut teh and tze char. No wonder they call themselves the ‘you tiao experts’ as printed on their aprons.

Zhi Zhe Lai (知者来) @ Toa Payoh

A decent selection of traditional fried snacks with less common sweet flavours of ‘hum chim peng’ like durian and banana.

Zhi Zhe Lai (知者来) @ Toa Payoh

Each item cost $0.80.

What I really liked about them was that they were quite big and puffy in size unlike other hum chim peng I bought before from elsewhere that were just limp and flat.

This you tiao was exactly the kind I like. Very crispy on the outside and stretchy on the inside. Though it was a little greasy, it was fresh-tasting, light and airy. Salty-flavoured too. Really nice. I had to buy myself a cup of kopi-o and then dipped the you tiao in. My goodness, that was just incredible!

The butterfly bun had the same delicious texture. Mildly sweet with a lovely aroma of sesame seeds. Again, another winner for me.

Zhi Zhe Lai (知者来) @ Toa Payoh

The yam bun which was a sweet version of hum chim peng was another lovely surprise. It had real mashed yam in it. Also, it wasn’t overly sweetened and I could still taste the natural flavour of good old yam.

As you can see from the cross-section, the inside of the bun was hollow and airy. That was why it looked so plump and puffy on the outside. Definitely not overly bready or heavy.

The frying was so perfect. Nothing actually oozed oil when bitten into.

I’m definitely coming back again. Planning to cook porridge and tau suan at home soon. Have to get more of these awesome you tiao to go with both dishes. Two thumbs up!! ????

Zhi Zhe Lai (知者来)
Zhi Zhe Lai (知者来)
127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre
Singapore 310127
6.00am to 2.00pm daily

+65 8189 3639 (Mr Yew)

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