Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 20 2007

Dunkin’ Donuts, but not as We Know It.

I met up with such community luminaries as Prince Roy, Mark and Battle Panda last night after work. I was the first one there, so while I waited I sat on a sidewalk planter outside the MRT exit gazing vacantly at a lobby I was sure I had entered for some nefarious purpose in 1991.

Mark had an inexplicable hankering for cheesy faux-Italian cuisine, so we headed to the alleys behind Zhongxiao where he knew of some likely candidates all lined up in a convenient row. We picked one and found they had no rice, left just noodles. The soup tasted canned; proof of this was on display along the wall, lined with various Chef Boy-ar-Dee products.

After dinner we headed over to Nanjing East Road to sample the new Dunkin’ Donuts store, despite reports that they’d taken a lot of the sugar out of the recipes to “suit local tastes.” After walking a couple of blocks from the station, the aroma of the shop brought back memories of my childhood.

There was a short line, but nothing anywhere near as egregious as the Mister Donut mobs of yore. The setup was a lot better than MD, too; you just picked up tongs and filled your tray with the donuts you wanted from the shelf, rather than being introduced to a brochure and led one by one to the counter to negotiate your purchase with the cashier.

We loaded up our trays and retired to a table at the back of the store to munch down on our goodies. All of the donuts were good, better than Mister Donut, though the frosting was a bit too waxy on some of the donuts. The regular glazed was exactly the same as the US version as far as I can recall. The chocolate-filled puffs, my childhood favorite, were not as sweet. In fact, the frosting and fillings were noticeably less sweet, though the donuts themselves seemed the same. They’re probably even better earlier in the day when they’re fresh.

I asked the cashier when the next store was opening up and where, but she just said “Soon” and “Couldn’t say.” In any case, it’s bad timing for me, because while I could have enjoyed these all through my twenties, they’re off the menu these days except for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or just happening to be in the neighborhood. We’ll see if Dunkin’ Donuts, despite the questionable location of their flagship store, becomes as popular as Mister Donut. You’ll know it when you see fashionable women on the MRT carrying their latest jewelry purchases in old Dunkin’ Donuts bags.

posted by Poagao at 7:52 am  

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