Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hello Mister Donut

So I know everyone always says that NYC is terrific because we have our cupcake places, our small niche bakeries, and terrific doughnuts (thank you Doughnut Plant). While this is all good and true, what people don't realize is that, at some point it all becomes redundant. No matter how unique your cupcakes are, it doesn't matter when you charge friggin' $4+. See what I mean? Yeah, it might taste like heaven in your mouth, but do you get any satisfaction from being broke (okay, maybe it's because I'm a college student, but my point remains the same)? No... you don't. So in the never ending comparison between Taipei and NYC (or at least I run out of stuff that I have to post), it seems that it's another +1 to the Asia side. Krispy Kreme, a challenger appears! Enter Mister Donut, a small chain that is much more prevalent in Japan, but has been gaining steam in Taiwan... it's a store that lives off the unique characteristic of combining mochi into traditional yeast and cake based donuts. Their stores are located all over the metro Taipei area, and are popular enough that there is often a 20 minute wait (used to be around 1 hour when it first opened) just to place your order around lunchtime. So, how does this place stack up against US chain corporations like Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme...? Pretty favorably actually. From a taste standpoint, they live off their trademark 'Pon de Ring' donuts, which as previously mentioned are mochi and dough mixes, as well as their unique variety of filled crullers. As for value, priced around 25-35 NT each (75 cents to $1), they're certainly not cheap, but for what they do, they're very good.


On my trip, I chose the one seasonal flavor that I had never seen before... their mango creme cruller. I think I actually only paid 25 NT for this despite the price being 35 NT, I think it was because that branch was moving and they were having a promotion, but that's irrelevant, I would've bought it for 10 NT more anyway. With regards to taste... it was indeed excellent. Soft yielding dough is what you hit first. While you expect it to tear easily based on first contact, the mochi makes it fairly resilient, leaving you pulling away long 'fibers' of dough... kinda like pulled pork I guess (if that makes any sense). The dough is semi sweet, with only the hint of powdered sugar and rice flour adding to the flavor, so all in all, not overpowering. The filling was the star here, freshly made whipped cream was doused with mango syrup and infused with small chunks of fresh fruit, it was the perfect complement to the mild sweetness of the outer shell. Luckily, it was very sweet and mildly tart, or else you'd just be eating bread with a subtle sweetness. I'm not sure if it's still offered since the Summer is almost over, but if you have a chance, grab one!


I didn't get this, I just thought people not in Taiwan or Japan should know... they make a tofu donut. Think about that for a second. Haha, I'm not sure what it tastes like since I didn't have enough money (see a recurring theme here?) to buy more, but the guy at the counter told me they had 2 varieties, the traditional glaze and the maple syrup glaze. The tofu, as far as I can tell, is added simply to keep the dough moist. I guess in these, the mochi aspect is replaced with silken tofu. Color me puzzled, I'll try it next year if it's still around.

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oh snap. I can control the text here?