There aren’t a lot Canadian restaurants around the world (if any) but something that is synonymous with Canadian cuisine would be the giant donut chain Tim Hortons. ”Timmy’s” was started way back in1964 by the retired NHL hockey player (of course) Tim Horton and has now become Canada’s largest food chain with over 3,300 locations in Canada, 721 in the United States, 50 kiosks in the UK, plans for 120 in the Middle East and previously Khandahar’s only donut shop before the Canadian Department of War shut down their operations in Afghanistan last year. My favorites at Timmy’s have ranged over the years from long johns’ to sour creme glazed to honey crullers but none of them come close the best damn apple fritters that I have ever had at Jan’s Donuts. About 25 years ago Jan’s Donuts were made from scratch every morning and if you didn’t come early you could expect to be disappointed when your favorite was out of stock. This week’s review made me think back to those Saturday morning trips there with my Dad to enjoy those huge crispy and crunchy fritters and made me wonder what happened to that shop. Maybe too many Tim Hortons opened up?
This write-up is a round-up of Thailand’s 5 biggest corporate donut chains and 1 new independent shop with an interesting story. Our first port of call was Malaysia’s own Bapple (Big Apple) Donut’s located in the Mid Town Asoke building. This location of Bapple has proven to be very popular in the few months it has been open with a long list of interesting flavors ranging from Say Cheese (white chocolate and New Zealand cheddar) to the love it or hate it durian flavored Duren Duren.
*For comparison’s sake we chose the shop’s most basic chocolate covered donut and one of their signature donuts.
Chocolate Donut: Dark Chocolate (THB 10 / $ .33) - If you are a fan of very soft and very sweet donuts then Bapple has you covered.
Did you know that Mister Donut started in 1955 when two brothers-in-law (Harry Winouker and Bill Rosenberg) broke off their partnership with Harry starting Mister Donut and Bill creating Dunkin Donuts. After becoming the largest competitor to Dunkin Donuts, Mister Donut came full circle after it was purchased in 1990 by Dunkin Donuts then parent company. Most Mister Donut’s changed their name over to Dunkin Donuts but Asia kept the brand running with Thailand having over 250 branches.
Basic Donut: Classic Chocolate (THB 10 /$ .33) – I enjoyed this fluffy and vaguely pastry-like donut. The chocolate on top was firm and not overly sweet.
Signature Donut: Pon de Ring (THB 22 / $ .70) – This baby is the bagel of donuts! Chewy with a hint of honey-cruller flavor. Some love it and some hate but I personally thought it was tasty.
Overall: 7 /10
Next up was a fairly new Thai brand called Daddy Dough which was started just a few years ago based on a family’s recipes which were created in the States.
Basic Donut: Double Chocolate (THB 26 /$ .87) the texture of the donut was quite soft and the chocolate was way too sickly sweet for my tastes.
Signature Donut: Classic Glaze (THB 26 / $ .86) – The glaze had melted off which made the rather bland donut soggy and altogether reminded me of something you would buy in a pre-packed half-dozen sold at the grocery store.
Overall: 4 /10
Dunkin Donuts is the world’s largest donut chain with over 10,000 locations in 32 countries and 200+ outlets in Thailand but I am not exactly sure why after trying out their goods.
Signature Donut: Peanut Chocolate (THB 26 / $ .86) – Very dense and cake-like with a fake tasting chopped peanut coating. Not a donut I would put my signature too.
Overall: 5 /10
Krispy Kreme has been in Thailand for almost 2 years and has recently opened up 3 new locations with plans for another 10-15.
Basic Donut: Almond All Over (THB 35 /$ 1.15) I liked how the chocolate was slightly bitter and the almonds tasted almost fresh toasted.
Signature Donut: Classic (THB 27 / $ .90) – This donut is very soft and is probably not one for the diabetics out there. I eat them rarely but always enjoy them when I do.
Sublime Doughnuts (02-658-3016) is an off-shoot of the famous original Atlanta Georgia location. Opened just over 2 months and located next to Chula University on Siam Square Soi 8, this shop has already built up a steady following of patrons who can appreciate the difference between a homemade donut and a factory made donut.
Basic Donut: Dark Chocolate Fudge (THB 26/ $ .86) – Moist dark chocolate donut meets quality dark chocolate icing.
I have always enjoyed writing ‘vs.’ reviews and I love donuts so the dozen I ate from 6 shops in 2 days was actually pretty enjoyable. It really was no surprise that the corporate chains produce fairly boring corporate tasting food worthy of a purchase when there is nothing else around. However if you take your donut eating as seriously as Sublime takes their donut baking then there is no other place to go in Bangkok for your sweet fix.