It was love at first bite for me and Mister Donut’s Pon de Ring. The Japanese doughnut had a chewy bite—made so by the use of mochi flour (I’m betting)—that offered something new to the doughnut-eating experience.
We loved it so much that we flew them home from Taiwan, just so the rest of the family can enjoy them, too. I was elated to hear that they were finally available in the Philippines. But Greenhills, the sole branch where they’re sold is as far-flung from me as Japan (Okay, exaggeration. Maybe just Singapore.), so eating it remains a distant dream. So near, yet so far. But hey, I don’t mind anymore, thanks to the über-delicious Gavino’s Japanese Donuts.
I was really excited to spot the small booth at SM Megamall. It was recommended by my friend M, who like me, was dying for a Pon de Ring fix. It was interesting to see them lined up in the display cases. There was a good selection of flavors, probably inspired by donut chain J.Co. The pricing was confusing because of the difference between the regular and premium doughnut prices, but the staff member assisting me was very helpful. I ended up with a dozen. After parting with my money, I wondered if it was a good decision. I haven’t tried it before. What if it goes stale fast? Or worse, what if it wasn’t any good?
I immediately popped the box open when we got home, eager and nervous to take my first bite. Pad grabbed a plain, glazed one. Fireworks. Or at least very enthusiastic chewing from him. I stole it from him and took a bite myself. It was good. Really good. Too good.
What I like about Gavino’s is how pillowy soft it is, despite the chewy texture. Confusing? Think of it as the bastard child of Mister Donut’s Pon de Ring and J.Co’s doughnuts. Pillowy soft upon first bite, but chewy and resilient as you continue chewing. The glazed version is sweeter than Krispy Kreme’s Original Glaze, but for once, I consider it a good thing. Because Gavino’s is more full-bodied than Krispy Kreme and J.Co, the sweetness was complemented it well, rather than detracted.
It’s sticky and messy to eat, as the doughnut tends to flop about, unlike the Pon de Ring that keeps its shape nicely but I find it forgivable. It gave me an excuse to lick my fingers after. Now it would be nice if they open a branch in the South soon but in the meantime, I’ll stockpile these goodies whenever I’m in Megamall.