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/
Ok, so this isn’t the first place you think of when you think South America, but my flight to Buenos Aires left from a nearby gate, and a girl’s gotta eat. Just like at icecream stores, here you pay for your order first, and then move over to make your flavour selection. I opted for a traditional strawberry iced doughnut, complete with sprinkles on top. Yes, the doughnut grease oozed through the paper bag a bit as I took it onto the flight. Yes, there are probably more calories in that thing than in the other three meals of my day. But oh man, sometimes a doughnut is actually the best thing. The icing was very sweet, with a not-overly artificial, but not-overly authentic, strawberry flavour, and the sprinkles were a fun addition on top. The doughnut itself was delicious, with a springy dough that was beautifully aerated inside and had that perfect doughnut flavour. I don’t want to overcomplicate this – it was what you would expect from a chain-store doughnut, and it was delicious (and kept me awake on my flight). Job done.
Dunkin Donuts, Aeropuerto Internacional Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez, Av. Armando Cortínez Norte, Santiago
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
Doughnuts have definitely become the trendy dessert of 2016, and I’m not complaining one bit. Mum and I stopped by the Doughnut Time pop up in Topshop Emporium to see what all the fuss was about. Their doughnuts have fun, creative names, and after much consideration, we tried the Vegan Fox ($6), topped with vegan chocolate, freeze-dried strawberry and pistachios. I was pleasantly surprised to see the doughnuts served in a paper box, rather than a bag, which preserved the topping and was easy to carry in a shopping bag. Both of us were impressed by the quality of the actual doughnut – it was surprisingly light, spongy and, most notably, not oily at all. We both really enjoyed the flavour and texture of the doughnut, before saying anything at all about the topping. The vegan chocolate is actually one of the best doughnut toppings I’ve ever had. It wasn’t sickly sweet, but definitely brought through a great chocolate flavour that was only enhanced by the pops of berry (could have used a bit more) and crunches of pistachio. But the doughnut itself was the real hero. Well done guys, definitely on point.
Doughnut Time, Emporium Shopping Centre, 287 Lonsdale Street, CBD, Melbourne, 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/
Canberra is so great at getting beghind new businesses, as evidenced by the huge success Bombolini Doughnuts enjoyed in their first weekend. Selling fresh (and I mean fresh, the team stay up late baking the night before) Italian-style doughnuts ($5 each) packed with delicious fillings, Bombolini sold out at both he Epic and Southside farmers’ markets, but don’t worry, they’ll be back. We tried two of the many flavours on offer (check their Instagram for the latest flavour combinations). Dad grabbed the Salted Caramel and Golden Syrup Cornflake flavour, which had an awesome amount of caramel filling and was nicely balanced (not too salty). I chowed down on a Starwberry Jam and Basil doughnut. The homemade jam is lovely, and I adored the unique combination with the single basil leaf to bite into, but people, let’s talk about the doughnut. Crusted in an indulgent smattering of sugar and not overly greasy, the pillowy layers of soft fluffy doughnut are probably what I would order as a last supper. These are a must for all Canberra sweet-tooths, and I will definitely be stopping by again soon. Or every weekend. You know, whatever.
Bombolini Doughnuts, Canberra Northside and Southside farmers’ markets, Saturday and Sunday respectively, no website.