With all the talk about town of Krispy Kreme finally making its way to our shores after such a long time, I got into some doughnut discussions with friends recently. Actually, it wasn’t anything much other than me stating my preference for another brand of doughnuts, Mister Donut, which I think hails originally from Japan. I think the first time I tried this brand of doughnuts was in Taipei, many years ago, but it was that particular type that I first tried and I think it is probably the only type that I have always bought and ate whenever I come across a Mister Donut.
So on this trip to Taipei last week, I made my way to one Mister Donut store I knew, located in the basement of the A11 building of Mitsukoshi Department store (or in Chinese, known as Xin Guang San Yue). Unfortunately, it being a Sunday, the limited seats in the store were fully occupied, so I had to takeaway and eat it along the way. I was totally frustrated at some point about finding seats in cafes because seats were so limited everywhere and people were just ubiquitous, that is a problem of solo travelling which I still have yet to find a solution to. Anyway, there are plenty of Mister Donut stores in Taipei, much more than I can ever recall seeing anywhere else, more so than even in Tokyo, so it shouldn’t be hard to get your doughnut craving satiated.
Back in 2006 when I was in Taipei, I took a picture of the display case, and while my friend also tried to snap some photos, we were told it wasn’t allowed due to some copyright issues, which kind of baffled us. What is it about a doughnut display case that can be copyrighted? Anyway, it made me cautious when I tried taking pictures this time round, so I ended up with just the signage of this store outside Hankyu Department store.
The only type of doughnut from this chain that I really love is the Pon De Ring, pictured below. These two were from a trip last year to Bangkok (yes, they have this in Bangkok too, but Singapore why aren’t you bringing in Mister Donut), and generally the one that I’d order would be the original version. I always feel that the best way to know if something tastes good would be to try the original, much like how a friend decides the goodness of ice-cream based on the taste of the vanilla-flavoured ice-cream. It’s quite fun to eat it when you have the luxury of a seat or if you don’t mind having bits of the icing sugar stuck to your hands while you walk and eat, because as you can see, you can break off the doughnut by the balls that make up the ring, and it is chewy dough, not like the usual doughnut that is more bread. This tends to be denser in texture so one doughnut is more than enough to fill you for a while but of course, I always want more after eating one.
And this is the other attempt at the Taipei store outside Hankyu (or Taipei City Hall station), where you get to see a bit of the display.
This is the picture of the display case that I took back in 2006 in Taipei. This shop was in the then-New York New York building, which no longer stands.
And this was what I had in Fukuoka sometime back in 2010!
I don’t think there is any Mister Donut in Hong Kong, not that I can remember coming across anyway, and even Krispy Kreme couldn’t survive there I think. Perhaps doughnuts are not so in favour with the Hong Kong people. But doughnuts, whether it’s Mister Donut, Krispy Kreme, or Dunkin Donuts, are widely-available in Seoul, though of course nothing beats the concentration and density of cafes there.