The last time I mistakenly thought it was Doughnut Time, I was proved so thoroughly wrong, I started to doubt I even liked doughnuts anymore! As you age your tastes do change, and eating those doughnuts made me wonder if I'd finally hit the point when sugar coated rings of saturated fat no longer appealed. So despite them opening their first bricks and mortar store right in my Inner West ‘hood, I put off visiting Grumpy Donuts for months.
Eventually curiosity got to me, and I entered this online and café-based business’s first bricks and mortar store. With white paint and tiles, the clean lines of the store direct your attention where it should be – onto a marble display board showing off the day’s doughnut selections. Doughnuts are divided into Rings ($4 - $5.50); Filled ($5.50); Bars ($6) and Fritters ($6); with no discounts for purchases in multiples of six. You do however receive your half-dozen doughnuts in a groovy pink box that conjures up memories of The Simpsons, and the pink-doughnut-loving Homer.
To begin with, these doughnuts are real doughnuts, not bread rolls or cakes disguised as doughnuts. While they’re not as ephemeral as a Krispy Kreme, they’re not ridiculously over-sweet either – the Vanilla Bean Glaze ($4.00) is flecked with real vanilla and eats with a lot of lemony tang. The doughnut itself reminds me of the slightly more substantial pineapple doughnuts I used to enjoy as a kid.
You can also see the commitment to using high quality ingredients in the flavour of the Maple Glazed ($5.00). It has a savoury edge that I like better than the vanilla, and it even goes with beer. Sourpuss - which you can pick up at Wayward Brewing virtually next door to your doughnuts – is a real dessert beer. It has great acidity, which cleans your palate, and enjoying it with sweetness brings up the bready notes in the beer.
Beer will also suit Buttered Toast ($5.50), which glues lightly toasted brioche crumbs onto the doughnut using brown butter glaze. It’s not my favourite – but it's not over-sweet either. Nor is the Sour Patch Jam ($5.50) that cleverly confuses your palate’s expectations with a raspberry jam centre offset by a super-sour sugar dusting (think: citric acid powder).
Best of all though is the Apple Fritter ($6). Though technically not a doughnut, this fritter-doughnut hybrid is fried then glazed. What make it special is the filling of Granny Smith apple pieces, and the lashings of caramel and cinnamon. It’s unique and delicious, and probably the only item I tried that I’d go out of my way to return for.
72 Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown
Ph: (0403) 837 898