On my first day in Tokyo I went to Akihabara to visit my favourite sushi store, but sadly that branch has closed. To console myself, I picked up a snack from the delicious-smelling Jack in the Donuts store near the entrance to Yodabashi Camera. The doughnuts are baked fresh each day, and look gorgeous in the window too. There are plenty of flavour choices, including cronuts, but I couldn’t go past the simple Premium Strawberry donut (¥162), which was so perfectly iced it looked too good to eat! The doughnut was about the size of my hand, and was clearly a baked not fried style – there was no grease or oil, and the dough was nice and firm. The flavour wasn’t as rich as a fried doughnut, but certainly felt healthier at breakfast time. The strawberry icing had a sweet, familiar flavour without being overly artificial. Basically I just devoured this, and while the quality wasn’t on the same level as Dumbo, it was still a fresh, delicious doughnut snack. Yum.
Jack in the Donuts, Yodabashi Camra Akihabara, Chiyoda, Tokyo, http://www.jack-donuts.jp/#
I have been crushing on the Dumbo Instagram account for a while, so made a point of visiting when in Tokyo. The little store (seats about 6 people along the window) also offers takeaway, and is clearly a popular spot. I ordered a raspberry doughnut, (¥350), although there were a great range of flavours on offer, including passionfruit, almond caramel, maple vanilla and plain glazed (there were 11 options when I visted). The doughnut itself is huge! It was approximately the size of my hand, and there was plenty of glaze to ensure enough raspberry flavour to cover it (plus two raspberries on top). The doughnut was really soft and springy, the kind of treat you sink your teeth into and it just crumples into compressed layers of deliciousness. Mmm. This actually made it possible to eat a whole one by myself, given how light the texture was. The raspberry glaze was incredibly tasty, with just the right balance between the sugary glaze and the sharp, tart raspberry taste. There was literally nothing about this experience I didn’t love, including the cozy atmosphere and friendly staff. Highly recommended – I can’t wait to go back.
Dumbo Doughnuts and Coffee, 2-17-6 Azabujuban, Tokyo, Japan, http://www.dumbodc.com/
When I saw on Instagram that Doughnut Time, of the delightful Vegan Fox doughnuts, was offering a new flavour with an equally fun name, I couldn’t help but stop by. The Melon Degeneres (get it?) ($6) is exactly what it sounds like – a vibrant doughnut iced with a watermelon flavour and dotted with cacao nibs. We lined up at the cute Degraves Street shopfront, eyeing off all of the delicious, temption options – but no, we stuck to the mission. We actually carried this one around for a bit before eating, which may account for the oozy nature of the icing by the time we got around to eating it. The main feature of these doughnuts is that the doughnut itself is light, delicious, and not oily at all. This flavour was no exception to that rule, the icing hiding a perfect, tasty doughnut. Unfortunately, I found the watermelon icing a bit artificial, especially compared with the lovely vegan chocolate on the Vegan Fox. Yes, you can definitely identify the flavour as watermelon, but the sort of lolly ot candy watermelon that doesn’t quite do justice to the fruit. The cacao nibs added a nice touch, with a bit of textural contrast. I’d probably try something else next time, but I will be back.
Doughnut Time, 5 Degraves Street, Melbourne VIC, http://www.doughnuttime.com.au/#doughnut-time
How gorgeous are the doughnuts by Woah Nelly Bakes? I mean seriously, look at them! They taste just as good, I promise – every flavour delivered exactly what it says it will ($5 per doughnut). My favourite from the bunch had to be the PB&J – the combination of strawberry jam inside and peanut butter icing on top was to die for. I also loved the subtle sweetness of the Orange & Pistachio – the icing had a great citrus flavour without being at all artificial, and the pistachio added great crunch! I couldn’t help but order two of the Homer Simpson classic strawberry with sprinkles – utter doughnut perfection. All of the doughnuts themselves are lovely and dense, not greasy at all and had the perfect childhood-memory-inducing doughnut flavour. The Maple Bacon should get a special mention for being divine – the combination of sweet and salty plus doughnut ticked all the boxes for me (my fairy godmother, who I shared them with, agreed). I was slightly less wowed by the caramel rough – caramel icing with coconut and chocolate drizzle, but the flavours were still clear and went well together. Oh and the salted caramel with pretzel had just the right amount of sweet and salt, and the Nutella-filled one dusted in sugar took me right back to every European pastry I’ve ever had. Is that all of them? Phew. Yum. Woah!
Woah Nelly Bakes, http://woahnellybakes.com/
Donuts are something that I associate with my childhood – my brother was (actually, still is) a donut fiend and as such it was often the treat we would end up getting from the local shops. It has been many years since I’ve had a good iced donut, so when I visited The Hamlet and saw that Chasing Mr Morris (whose Instagram account I adore) had beautiful iced donuts, I was in. I picked the Earl Grey flavour for myself, and picked up a couple of Salted Caramel for my colleagues. On first bite, I was instantly transported back into childhood – that familiar donut flavour is right up front, with just the right hint of cinnamon and buttery richness. Mmm. I found that the Earl Grey flavour was quite subtle – I had expected stronger bergamot overtones – but that this didn’t stop me devouring every crumb. My colleague found the same with the Salted Caramel – the salty flavour only started to come through towards the end – but from all accounts it was equally delicious. Chasing Mr Morris has a fabulous food truck, full of succulents and granny blankets, and is doing an awesome job bringing donuts back!
Chasing Mr Morris, The Hamlet, 16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, no website