Michelin Dapo and Miko Aspiras were worried when Sydney went into lockdown a few days after they opened their Darlinghurst doughnut shop, Don’t Doughnuts. But despite unprecedented beginnings in the delivery and takeaway game – Don’t has made a serious name for itself.
Don’t Doughnuts has a succinct menu of 11 flavours. Aspiras, who honed his craft as a pastry chef in top Asian hotels, loves to experiment with flavours – so a new flavour appears every week. They’re understated in sweetness and appearance, which sets them apart from the doughnuts most of us are familiar with.
The dough itself is a soft but chewy sourdough-brioche hybrid. Aspiras uses a secret ingredient – that celebrates the tropical produce of his native Philippines and gives the dough a bright, fruity flavour.
None of the flavours are saccharine and the most colourful ones, such as the strawberries and cream, often contain real fruit. The dulce de leche has overtones of ginger; the garam-masala sugar is a spiced spin on a cinnamon doughnut; the classic vanilla glaze is made from Madagascar vanilla beans; and Vegemite spikes the salted butterscotch to provide a malty, savoury balance to the sweetness.
The burnt-Basque-cheesecake number is outstanding. The top is dipped in sugar and torched to an amber glaze, and a generous amount of blended-to-smooth Basque cheesecake is piped inside.
The shop space is vibrant. There are neon pinks and purples on a backdrop of black, which Aspiras says is a play on the “sinful” nature of doughnuts. A large window barters takeaway doughnuts and coffee by All Press.