Thursday, November 8, 2012

doughnut plant

since we were on the subjects of donuts, i thought this would be an apt follow up entry -- one that i was most excited to share with others :D

i can never have enough of donuts... especially when it's done in the way i love. (we've established i'm gonna be spell donuts as such -- as mentioned here in this past entry) the only reason i don't stuff myself silly with donuts is because i can't afford that much calories all the time >.<

however, i think i may have found the best donut place i've ever had (yet!) and a top favorite of mine. if you've watched "throwdown with bobby flay" where iron chef flay challenges the best in the country; mark isreal who is renowned as the best donut maker in the country was challenged a donut throwdown. i suppose the outcome is expected :: that was in favor of the owner of this donut empire, doughnut plant!


funny story - although doughnut plant was born in new york city in 1994, that wasn't where i had my first doughnut plant experience even though i was in nyc a few weeks before i left united states.

would you like to venture a guess where i had these donuts? (yes, you read it right - donuts)

it was during my second visit to seoul, south korea when i was heading to kona beans for my daily caffeine dose. i was walking in apgujeong {압구정} district when i thought i imagined seeing the name doughnut plant hanging over a petite shop on the main street.

man, you have no idea how ecstatic i was, that i had a constant smile on my face and vowed to go there at least once before i left seoul to get some donuts.


doughnut plant is kinda a BIG deal in NYC... at least i think it is. i've read reviews where queues for these babies are out of the store, just so they can get their hands on these sinfully yummy rings of sweetened fried dough - all with mark isreal's special creative touch. i've read one specific blog entry, 'dive bar to five stars' who summarized its decor with such an adorable but suitable comment..

The Chelsea location has the doughnuts and the people who serve them in cage-like structure.  I’m not sure if it is to keep them in or keep me out.

 the shop here was a lil quieter, petite and only has a counter by the front of the store for their customers (perhaps for instant gratification through food) and a couple of patio seats outside. the shop took on an artistic modern contemporary decor, exposed bricks on the wall and wired lamp "shades" illuminated the store.



my research has given me enough information about what they were famous for.. my first visit was dampened by disappointment when i found out that they ran out of some donuts that i wanted to try and vowed to return for a second time before i left. lol.


i'd typically write this on my own but i figured since doughnut plant has such a detailed description of what donuts they have and they ARE the experts in the field, here you go! they also are proud of the fact that their donuts have no trans fat, no preservatives, nor artificial flavorings and no eggs!


taken from doughnut plant's website


doughseed ::  creme brûlée | mini, round donut filled with vanilla cream, with a caramelized top (3,200 원)

taken from their website



my first donut from doughnut plant - a "mini" (really think it's more of a regular-sized). the pioneer of the doughnut plant's doughseed. i hadn't had a chance to read its description when i bought my first one but boy, oh boy..it was actually a very good thing because what i thought was just a regular donut with a brûlée-d top, i was greeted by a pleasant surprise of the vanilla cream hidden inside.




my emotional state while tasting this donut went from from intrigue, to utter surprise to finally satisfaction. i ended up having a huge smile on my face mid way through the donut. to be quite honest, it wasn't love at first bite. i thought it was a tad dry (i haven't reached the filling yet) but then my love grew for this fluffy "lil" sweet thing with each bite. the vanilla cream on the inside was speckled with vanilla beans, floral, creamy and sweet which was the perfect compliment to the donut with the brûlée on the top which created a sugar 'crust', mimicking the dessert it was inspired by.

it did taste somewhat like a creme brûlée with a soft dough in between - sweet (just nice), rich, creamy, vanilla-y, crispy from the sugar crust and fluffy. it is quite lovely, this was. and the element of surprise for the first time was just a bonus to the whole package.


cake doughnut :: blackout | chocolate cake donut, filled with chocolate pudding, dipped in chocolate glaze and sprinkled with chocolate cake crumbs (2,900 원)

taken from their website


i've once mentioned in my last entry about doughnut vault that i am not a keen believer of cake donuts. in fact, i try to avoid cake donuts when possible. but i am sure so glad that i didn't keep to my principle on cake donuts when i ordered the blackout.

this was a worthy donut to change my perceptions about cake donuts -- i wouldn't go as far as to say that cake donuts are my thing now but i'd get a cake donut from doughnut plant any day in a heartbeat.

it was a ring of chocolate moistness made just for chocoholics - with just the right amount of sweetness.  it was almost like a chocolate cake where chocolate sauce/fudge is lodged into each air pocket within the donut that when i bit into it, (messily, i might add) it felt like chocolate-y syrup goodness oozed out with every bite. texturally, it was like soft, moist, almost fudge-like cake.

rich? yes.
indulgent? most definite yes.
delectably yummy worthy of all its calories? you betcha! (well, it did make me change my mind about cake donuts)

cake donut :: tres leches | the sweet taste of the authentic "three milks" cake, delivered in a round cake donut. (2,900 원)
taken from their website



this was listed as a must have by various food blogs and it seems that it's a huge hit with many. tres leches translates to 'three milks' from spanish which is the fusion of evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. this cake donut had me at my first bite.




mark isreal has mastered the artistry of mimicking its latin american counterpart where it drew its inspiration from - sweet (perhaps a touch too sweet), creamy and addicting . texturally, almost tasted like a cross between yeast and cake donut. what boggles me is the fact that they managed to fill it with cream inside the donut around the ring which i think is quite a amazing feat. in four words : indulgence at its best! no wonder it is one of the most loved donuts from doughnut plant.


how much do i love doughnut plant? during my second week in seoul, i went to doughnut plant three times over seven days (probably often enough to classify me as a regular for that short period of time) and thought about it a lot the other four days.

.....

actually, scratch that.

i still think about it A LOT (and that is an understatement), craving to sink my teeth into one of their heavenly donuts again. i tell my friends who are in nyc or seoul to eat a couple of these on my behalf... so, do yourself a favor and get some (many, if you can eat that much) if you are in japan, seoul or nyc. the fact that it is cake donut that has left me wanting is even more impressive especially for a yeast donut advocate like myself.. a testament to the fact that doughnut plant established its reputation on cake donuts than its yeast counterpart.

mark isreal's creative scrumpdeliyumptious spin on his grandfather's handed-down-through-generations-donut recipe has proven to be the formula for legendary creations where falling in love at first bites happen... sometimes,  more than once ^^ so, mr mark isreal, could you please open a doughnut plant right next to my house? pretty please?


doughnut plant | location
apgujeong branch, seoul, south korea
seoul, gangnam-gu, apgujeong,
226 seongsu building 1st floor
{서울 강남구 아구정로
226 성수빌딩 1층}  

{yummy-ness | 4.5 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | blackout . tres leches . creme brûlée }
note:: yup all three that i've tried were awesome!

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

Doughnut Plant on Urbanspoon


{i'm aware the urbanspoon icon links to the store in nyc and not seoul, 
but i reckon the quality of donuts are similar and it would be a waste
to not share the awesomeness of this place with others :)} 

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