After six years in its cosy Redfern space, Donut Papi has opened a flagship in Marrickville. Where the former shop was a low-key kitchen and takeaway counter, the new digs are big, bold and bright pink – and dripping in strawberry glaze.
“Walking inside is like stepping into a big doughnut,” says Kenneth Rodrigueza, who co-owns Donut Papi with his sister Karen. “There’s a pink drip [hanging from the ceiling] and the retail wall is framed in pink drip. It’s all pink and all fun.”
What hasn’t changed is Donut Papi’s intense focus on two things: doughnuts and drinks. When you enter the store, the first thing you see is a glass-topped case displaying the doughnuts of the day. Beyond the counter are rows and rows of doughnuts, backdropped by the bakers in action. The entire creation process – from frying to glazing to sprinkling – is done on-site.
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Donut Papi’s core range includes the Strawberry Milkshake – a pink-glazed, sprinkle-topped homage to Homer Simpson – plus classic American flavours like maple cream and apple fritter. The Rodriguezas’s Filipino heritage often gets a nod, too: think purple yam beauties and the Ondeh Ondeh (pandan and coconut).
Rotating specials keep fans coming back for surprises, and November brings a Filipino theme. The big hit is a doughnut based on ensaymada, a sweet and cheesy brioche. First, the team bakes a salted Basque cheesecake, then blends it and pipes it into a bombo doughnut, before crowning it with butter, sugar and grated cheese. Then there’s the savoury Boy Bawang, based on the salty, garlicky Filipino corn snack of the same name. The doughnut is filled with a crunchy, creamy combination of garlic-infused corn nut and cheese, then topped with garlic butter and parmesan.
Come summer, look out for Donut Papi’s custom-made ice-cream truck – it’s been a long time coming. “We had to delay it when we were in Redfern because the space was so small,” says Kenneth. “It’s a traditional Filipino cart – almost like a horse carriage – with a freezer inside. Papi means father, so there’s a painting of my dad’s face on the front.” He can’t confirm what scoops will be inside, but doughnut ice-cream sandwiches are on the cards.
There’s a bunch of cool drinks to match the doughnuts, like the iced yema latte. A layer of house-made yema – a caramelly, egg-based Filipino sweet – is topped with ice, milk and a double shot of espresso. There’s also iced matcha and a melon-lychee refresher.
Those who want to soak up the store’s vibes will need to be quick (or lucky), with only a few seats across a handful of tables.