I remember my first visit to Australia: I had just discovered Krispy Kreme, and I was determined to try every flavour they had in the store. The result? An extra 10kgs in 10 days. Fun times. Well Krispy Kreme isn’t quite what it used to be, but don’t worry, there are many other places rushing in to fill that doughnut shaped hole in our hearts (geddit?). Like Brisbane’s Doughnut Time, for example.
Because it’s always time for doughnuts.
The Elvis, $6
Peanut Butter, Banana and Bacon filled with raspberry jam
The George Costanza, $6
Caramel and pink salt glaze, topped with salted pretzels
Veruca Salt, $7
Salted Caramel filled and dusted with Cinnamon Sugar
The Butternut, $6
Burnt butter glaze with crushed pistachios
The Cate Blancett, $6
Topped with Tim Tams
Melon DeGeneres, $6
Sour watermelon glaze
On the whole, the base doughnuts were soft and fluffy in texture, perfect for you to sink your teeth into (literally!).
The Melon DeGeneres (have I mentioned that I love a good pun?) was my first and favourite, with a sour watermelon glaze that was instantly recognisable but not overpowering. Utter perfection.
The next round gave me a taste of (clockwise from top left) The George Costanza, The Butternut, The Cate Blancett, and the Veruca Salt. These ones ranked a little lower for me (also because I have an unhealthy obsession with anything watermelon), mostly because the flavours weren’t as uniquely wacky as I wanted them to be. No, the George Costanza didn’t make me thirsty, and the Cate Blancett wasn’t quite Galadriel, but The Butternut, though, was a standout – with a burnt butter glaze and chopped pistachios, it was so simple that every bite just made sense. The Veruca salt also hit up my love for a filled doughnut, but although it’s well made, I feel like there’s only so much you can do with a salted caramel doughnut, no matter how funky the name is.
And on my latest visit, the King: The Elvis. Elvis is an inspiration to many, not just because of his hip-grinding music, but also because of his hip-expanding eating habits. Apparently he’s got a real love of deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and at Doughnut Time, they’ve taken that idea, added bacon and banana, and put it in a doughnut. It did very much feel like a heart attack in a bite that I was expecting, but it wasn’t quite hitting the spot for me to keep going beyond the first bite. Maybe I needed hot bacon, or maybe I just needed more salt? Great concept, needs work on the execution, I think.
So this is really a review of three places, compiled into one blog post. I’d gone to the popup in Top Shop at QVB first, because I’d seen very well dressed women carrying around teal boxes of doughnuts and I just had to follow. It was near the end of the day, and judging by the paltry number of doughnuts left, it had been busy, and yet the lady behind the counter looked so happy to be there still. She was happy to have a chat about the flavours (though the signs were pretty clear), and told me all about the new stores that we’re opening. She knew her stuff, and I trusted her.
The second visit was to the popup in Chatswood (also in Top Shop), and this time, buying two doughnuts got me two thrown in for free! Perhaps it was slow moving stock, or perhaps they were going to close for the day. Or maybe they were just being nice. Either way, I was grateful for the generous gesture, and again the service with a smile put a smile on my face, too.
The third visit was to the stand-alone store in The Living Mall (Central Park), and again the service was impeccable. Either I’d been having some awesome luck, or they just hired some really perky people to match the perky doughnuts.
I think it might be the latter.
Value for money:
In some places in Sydney, $7 could buy you lunch. Not a particularly generous lunch, but a lunch nonetheless. Or at least, a hearty Vietnamese pork roll. So to pay $7 for a doughnut might sound a little steep. But the way I look at it, I would totally pay $7 for a full dessert, and this is exactly that, just in doughnut form. They are quite large by doughnut standards, and there is clearly care put into the making of them. Worth it.
Value for money: 1/1
When Simon and I went, we were joking about the fact that Doughnut Time pop ups were set up in a fashion store like Top Shop. I mean, it’s something for everyone right? If you can fit into the clothes, good for you. For everyone else, there are doughnuts.
Doughnut Time has clearly put a lot of effort into their retro-chic branding, which just adds to the experience of the quirky doughnuts. This is especially clear in the fun space outside the standalone store – where you can while away the time with building blocks. You might have to fight off a toddler or two, though – and the young, hip vibe of Top Shop only complements that. Makes you feel young and carefree just going there.
Just try to ignore the possibly impending heart disease if you go too often.
It’s nice to see a doughnut shop that clearly takes pride in their work, that is also easily accessible. It means that I can get my doughnut fix whenever I want, and so far it hasn’t failed to brighten my day. Sure not every doughnut is a standout, but there usually is a little something for everyone, and I haven’t felt like I’ve gotten a bad doughnut there yet.
Oh and I finally found the secret to enjoying these without putting on the weight. Eat them with some friends, because the calories don’t count if it’s shared. ?
Bonus points: 0.5/1