We figured out that we could try all 4 of the Best Donut Challange entries during the March 4 to 27 window so off we went! The fact that I am either all or nothing in my approach to these challenges must say something about the state of my brain but I'm not going to worry about it just now. We placed an order a couple of days in advance and got a pickup time on Saturday afternoon.
Apparently, people have been walking into Mindful Juice Bar expecting to be able to pick some donuts out of a display case like Tim Horton's. This just indicates that we are not very good at following instructions, as a species. Go to the Holy Mochi Donuts website and figure out how to order some donuts. You will find it to be worth the effort and planning.
These are not exactly cheap donuts but I believe that is a good thing. A box of 6 which gives you a taste of all their flavours will set you back a cool $20.00. Part of the reason that we are so out of shape (again, as a species) is cheap sugar. If I pay, 3 1/2 dollars for a donut, I will scarf down fewer of them. A sweet should be a luxurious treat rather than a meal! And that is what small batch and handcrafted leads to. It gets you a better product but sometimes you pay just a little more. Get over it.
I find these donuts to be a little chewier than their North American counterparts (they seem to have been made popular in Japan by the chain, Mister Donut, and are also known as pon de ring). To be honest, I kind of like that substantive feel. Unfortunately, I have no measuring stick as I'm pretty sure we have never had mochi donuts before. The flavours do stand out and are quite distinct and we liked that too.
Their Best Donut Challenge entry is called, Browned Butter, Strawberry Delight and A Belly Full of Nice Flight. Full marks for whoever does the naming but also for whoever had the inspiration to build this. Browned butter glaze, bits of pretzel and salted caramel were the big players in donut number one. If you haven't yet figured out how well salty and sweet play together, this will work for you. Another stand-out contributor, this time to donut number two, is a vanilla bean glaze rather than just a vanilla extract product. It really does make a difference. We also really like the crispy strawberry candy. These folks (two women according to their Instagram) make their delicious product at Core Kitchen in Langley, the same place as our friends, Mr. Siapao. And again, no, don't go their expecting a display case. Go to their website and place an order!
Food 4 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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