This is Part 1 of a 2-part post.
Krispy Kreme may have declared bankruptcy, but here in Manila, everybody is doing donuts now. Used to be there was just Dunkin Donuts and Mister Donut duking it out, but now the playing field has expanded exponentially. Off the top of my head, I can count these places that have opened shop, and just in the past two years! Hot Loops (at all Robinson’s affiliated malls and convenience stores); Chelo’s Donuts (Katipunan); of course GoNuts Donuts (who started it all), and now Hoops Donuts.
This place caught me eye while I was on my way to Omakase, and of course, being a lover of all things hot and fried, I had to stop by.
It’s a small and cozy shop, made all the more enticing with the smell of freshly cooked donuts lingering in the air. I could get high on such an aroma, I tell you,
that and freshly baked bread. Anyway, Mrs. Dolina met me at the counter, and was very generous in offering me tastes of this and that and some more of this and that donut. Turns out Hoops is the brainchild of her two sons, Paolo and Marco, Las Salle grads still in their early 20’s. I mention that they are La Salle grads because it’s a fact that’s proudly displayed on their counter. (!) The two have done an outstanding job starting up their own business, even going so far as shooting the photos which decorate the walls. Adding to the appeal of the storefront is their in-house kitchen where customers can view the entire donut-making process. It’s this “show” of the hot-donut experience that I believe Filipinos have fallen in love with.
At Hoops, you’ll find the usual smorgasbord of flavors that are commonplace in any donut shop, honey dipped and sugar glazed et al. Also, as any good food store like this will do, they’ve also offered their own flavor creations, made by glazing the said donut in a characteristic flavor, thus: mango, mint, ube, melon, coffee, wasabi, and black pepper. Initially off-putting, the wasabi donut is a crÃ¨me glaze differentiated by a few green sprinkles. It tastes slightly of the green horseradish, but it’s not too strong to be detected. Frankly, I would’ve actually liked it to be stronger. The black pepper donut sports an almost grayish glaze dotted with black specks. Unlike its similarly exotic partner, this pepper donut packs a potent pepper punch (try saying that fast three times). It borders on excessive, seemingly out of place on a donut. Perhaps it just needs to be tweaked a little.
This place also has something for those who aren’t big on sweets that make one’s teeth ache. (But then again, if that’s the case, you shouldn’t be reading this blog!) Hoops offers a meat floss donut, similar to the ones sold at BreadTalk. Mrs. Dolina told me that all the donuts are made from the same base dough, and from there, it’s easy to make a sweet or savory donut.
to be continued…
THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED.
1/F Casa Susana Arcade
Check out the Hoops Donuts website.