Takam and Don’t Doughnuts
This Darlinghurst diner gives more than most. It’s home to both the sweets shop Don’t Doughnuts and the Filipino cafe Takam.
The businesses are independently owned. Don’t is by Miko Aspiras, who applies his skill as a classic pastry chef to make killer sourdough-brioche hybrid doughnuts. While Takam is run by chefs and long-time friends Francis Dela Cruz, Aileen Aguirre and Lesley Roque – who serve share-friendly, slow and comforting dishes that are hallmarks of Filipino cuisine.
The Takam and Don’t menus are surprisingly harmonious, and settling in for a long brunch is the best way to try them both. Start with Takam’s vegetarian version of okoy, which is traditionally a shrimp fritter from the north. It’s made with seasonal vegetable and served with sinamak, a spicy vinegar dip.
Then, for mains, order Takam’s signature chicken inasal. It’s marinated with lemongrass, charcoal grilled, and served with condiments and garlic rice. There’s also beef tapa, which is beef marinated in soy, vinegar and the juice of calamansi (a tart, juicy citrus fruit). Traditionally served for breakfast, the latter dish comes as silog – meaning it’s served with sinangag (garlic fried rice) and an egg, plus other accompaniments.
Don’t Doughnuts round off the meal. They’re chewy and have an understated sweetness that allows fresh ingredients to be the heroes. Try the popular Basque cheesecake or the pistachio custard with a cup of coffee by Victorian roaster Zest. Its other standouts include a glaze doughnut made from Madagascar vanilla beans, a Vegemite-spiked butterscotch doughnut and one made with strawberries and cream.
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