April 10 2016
Cronuts are so last year. Cupcakes? So 2013. Right here, right now we are in the age of rainbow you-name-its, crazy milkshakes and donuts. Yes, that’s right donuts have made a stunning comeback into mainstream food fads. From humble origins the donut is often associated with fast food giants such as Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and the like. But here in New York? Donuts are far from that. Here, donuts are ‘hand-crafted’ and ‘artisanal.’ They extend beyond the real of sugar-glazed or powdered jelly basicness.
Enter the newest player in the game: the Ube Donut.
Say what? Ube? Well, also known as a purple yam – ube originates from the Asian tropics and is familiar ingredient used in Filipino cuisine. And the Ube Donut? Well it incorporates this subtly sweet and fragrant yam into the donut batter and is hand-piped, glazed, and made to order at the Manila Social Club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The Manila Social Club is a great restaurant to go to for a nice dinner, but even better for brunch – if you don’t mind the line, that is. But we’re here to talk about donuts. Firstly, these donuts are exclusive because they’re not actually on the menu and you can only order them for a Friday pickup a week in advance. An order of a dozen costs about 40 USD not including tax.
Was it worth the hefty price tag? Well considering each donut costs around three bucks, it’s pretty much the same price of an individual donut at any other ‘craft’ donut shop in the city. But you can’t buy just one. You have to order the whole dozen.
Upon arrival for my 12pm pick up – I was greeted by Toki and her brother Romeo who I assume run the establishment. Toki explains that each donut is hand piped and decorated by Romeo and his team – so there you have it: ‘artisanal.’ But what’s even more impressive was the wonderfully sweet fragrant that exuded from the boxes of donuts on the counter. It was very, very enticing.
Okay so the donut itself: they were quite light – they didn’t seem to hold it’s shape like a cake donut should so I am assuming it was possible rice flour based but this is simply an observation. They were glazed in a deep purple hue and decorated with specks of sugar crystals on the top. Aesthetically – this donut wins big time.
Taste wise – this donut was not too sweet in terms of the dough, but the glaze was phenomenal. There was a subtle ube flavor (think sweet potato-ish but more fragrant), and it was over all a very comforting bite. The donut was a bit chewy but light – and definitely not too dense which made it a very satisfying yet indulgent treat.
I’d say give these donuts a try if you’re an aficionado. They’re quite delicious and you can see that each donut is made with care. Perhaps what made the donut itself most interesting was the ube flavor. So ube x donuts, it works guys. Trust me, it works.