Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mister Donut Cafe: The Pon de Ring and the Do-ssant

Truth be told, I haven't been paying much attention to Mister Donut in the past, oh.. kajillion years. I was raised on Dunkin' Donuts, and little by little, we were introduced to new donuts on the scene like Gonuts Donuts and their addictive Pastillas de Leche donuts. Then came the ever-famous and ever-unhealthy Krispy Kreme, followed by Indonesia's innovative J. Co Donuts. What about Mister Donut, then? They've been around since before I was born! They are no stranger to changing things up, because what I associate with them are Michael V and the many, many bavarian donut evolutions they come up with. I actually tried one of the 2-in-1's or something before and didn't like it much. Understandable though, because they focused on lower-cost pastries.

mister donut cafe
The reborn Mister Donut Cafe.
We were invited to visit Mister Donut in Greenhills and of course, very flattered, we were looking forward to doing so. Honestly, I've only really liked the good chewy chocolate twists of Mister Donut and not much else, so my expectations weren't exactly through the roof, but I was excited to try new food just the same.

mister donut cafe
Real food?
After rushing around Greenhills only to find out that the Mister Donut Cafe is still at the nice corner it has always been, we were welcomed by a neat, lively interior. I was surprised to see that Mister Donut has.. real food? Pasta, sandwiches, turnovers, and lots of other interesting things. One thing in particular struck my fancy...

mister donut cafe
Donut Burger,  P120.00
Bacon, P20.00
Egg, P10.00
Behold the Donut Burger! (or Donger? No.. let's stick to Donut Burger.) I know they've had something like this in Mercato before and I never had the luxury of trying it, but Alvie has and she said that this one is so much better. Glad I didn't miss out, then! I was quite impressed with this burger. It doesn't just bank on the fact that it's special. The patty was really quite good and meaty, and I enjoyed the cucumber, cheese and lettuce. The donut isn't too sweet and the sugar just tickles the senses slightly. To make your burger experience more complete, I suggest taking it with bacon and egg, and as you can see in the picture, it is arranged quite well. The bacon was a bit "hammy" but there was a good amount of it and it still adds good variety.

mister donut cafe
Japanese Crab & Corn Snackwich, P90.00
Before the cronut, let us not forget that there was the croissant. Beyond all the hypedy-hype about the new flaky pastry, I'm still a croissant guy through and through. I can't wait to visit Paris and see croissants sold on the street like pan de sals are here. Haha. So when this was suggested for a light lunch, we were quick to agree. This was pretty much just Kani Salad in a croissant, so if you like both things like we do, you're in for a treat. Alvie did taste the wasabi but my spice-hardened tongue didn't. I would have preferred more wasabi, but that's just me. The croissant was good but could've used a tad bit more flakiness.

mister donut cafe
Brewed Coffee, P35.00 each
Remember the time our wallets didn't get noticeably lighter after grabbing a small cup of coffee? (I'm looking at you, Starbucks. and I'm looking at you more, Seattle's Best.) This is good brewed coffee for not a bad price at all. I'm no coffee connoisseur, but I quite liked it. I wish they had Splenda for more guilt-free caffeine replenishment. After our "main" meal, we were introduced to a totally new kind of pastry.

mister donut cafe
From top clock-wise:
White Almonds Pon de Ring, P39.00
Classic Glazed Pon de Ring, P29.00
Pistachio Pon de Ring, P39.00
Introducing the Pon de Ring! This is actually more than just a trend. It's a type of donut famous in Japan and other asian countries which Mister Donut is famous for, and they're bringing it over to the Philippines. Mister Donut has been so successfully assimilated in our local culture that a few years back, I was surprised to find out that it wasn't a homegrown brand at all! Well, the Pon de Ring has been out there for a while and now, we have the pleasure of getting to try it out for ourselves. Having tasted it, I can definitely say it was indeed a pleasure.

Mister Donut Japan's mascot for the Pon de Ring is the very funny-looking Pon de Lion. Image from here.
Also sometimes referred to as the "Mochi Donut", I really enjoyed its texture, which was delightfully chewy and addictive. They come in many different flavors, though I have found that I really enjoyed them all. You see, I'm more a fan of mochi than donuts, so this refreshing new texture is very welcome for me. Price-wise, it is also very fair since mochi can get really pricey, while this ring of 8 mochi-ish balls goes for 29-39 pesos only. Not bad at all! I also find the shape amusing since they remind me of those old red ammunition rings for toy guns (what do you call those again?? haha).

mister donut cafe
It's also very easy to share since it's basically eight uniformly-sized balls.
Not to be outdone by pretty much every big-time bakery and donut shop out there, they have their own version of the cronut, which they call the Do-ssant. It seems to be doing well already, because it was out of stock when we got there! Sometimes persistence pays off because we dropped by after some shopping around Greenhills and they had a batch ready for us! We took some to go, as well as some Pon de Rings to share at home.

We tried out them cronu.. I mean.. Do-ssants at home.

mister donut cafe
Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Glazed and Sugar-raised Do-ssants, P65.00 each
I was quite impressed with the Do-ssants. Before even tasting it, I knew they were both the cheapest and the largest cronuts around. This did concern me because maybe the quality was sacrificed?

Perfectly flaky and soft.
The Glazed Do-ssant surprised me. Biting into it was much more enjoyable than I expected. Despite it's size it was delightfully light and it was as flaky as a do-ssant should be. The glaze wasn't overpoweringly sweet. Usually, cronuts are like sandwiches with cream between slices but what sets their do-ssants apart is that there is Bavarian cream injected throughout the whole ring. This ain't no sandwich! I really enjoyed the cream in this do-ssant. I also tried the Dark Chocolate Do-ssants and it was even better. I prefer the dark chocolate topping instead of the plain glaze.

Texture wasn't as good, but I enjoyed the flavor.
We also got to try the Cinnamon and Sugar-raised Do-ssants. For these flavors in particular, there was a noticeable change in texture for me, so they might still be a work-in-progress. It wasn't nearly as flaky and light as the other flavors, but that doesn't mean we didn't enjoy eating these too. I would stick to the other flavors but 65 pesos isn't a bad price at all to take a chance on these ones. They've gotten it right already, so I'm guessing it should just be a matter of time for these to get up to speed.

Donut Burger with Bacon and Egg: Very Good
Japanese Crab & Corn Snackwich: Good
Brewed Coffee: Good
All Featured Pon de Rings: Very Good
Dark Chocolate and Glazed Do-ssants: Very Good
Cinnamon and Sugar-raised Do-ssants: Okay

I was never an avid Mister Donut fan, but the food was so much better than I expected. I am really happy with Mister Donut's new direction with their reimagined Cafes that have great food and great new pastries. The 24-hour Mister Donut Cafe was launched in Greenhills last March 15 (too bad I'm hardly ever there) and new branches will be opened in Megamall (next month!), Trinoma (November!), and Ermita this year. I'm hoping they bring one to the Fort too for fun, affordable, quality food.

Love Mister Donut Cafe? Hate it? Let me know by commenting below, or just tweet me!

P.S. For this post I was pon de ring about using some puns but I decided otherwise because it just seems too easy, do-ssant it?

Other Cronuts:
Wildflour's Cronut: The Doughnut and Croissant's Love Child
Dunkin' Donuts: Crunkin' Cronuts

G/F, Shoppesville, N. Western St. cor. Service Rd.,
Greenhills Shopping Center,
San Juan City, Metro Manila
(02) 570-9773
Operating Hours: 24 Hours
Facebook: Mister Donut
Twitter: @MisterDonut_PH

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