Lee’s Donuts, Granville Island

 

So Lily and I had recently moved to Vancouver and were looking for some fun stuff to do. We love markets and found out that Granville Island host a permeant market that is on every day, so we schlepped out onto the tiny ferry (it was awesome) and made our way to the market!

What we found was honestly one of the cooler markets that we have ever been to. It felt like the entire island was dedicated to this market and inside there was a fantastic selection of every hipster market item you could ever dream of! In any case, we were feeling a bit peckish and saw the very unassuming Lee’s Donuts over in the corner and being in a position where we sorely missed Krispy Kreme (the best donuts ever in our opinion) we decided to give it a try.

 

 

Lee’s are famed for their honey dipped donuts ($1.90 each, $13.75 for a dozen), which we honestly weren’t very excited about. We weren’t looking for a matcha infused raspberry topped maple kale donut or anything, but honey just seemed so pedestrian.

Oh how terribly wrong we were.

Honey dipped donuts are amazing! The one thing that I rate a donut on is how fluffy it is inside and these are lighter and airier than any donut I’ve ever had. In contrast, the crust is lovingly crispy and when biting into it, there’s a slight crunch, with bits of hardened honey dropping off.

The best thing about these is that they aren’t too rich, the honey flavour is sweet, but not sweet enough where I can’t eat 6 of them at once. In hindsight, maybe that’s a negative point.

 

 

You can see how excited I was about these things! I didn’t expect these donuts to be as good as they were and I definitely didn’t expect to have a new favourite donut ever. Look at me! That’s the face of a guy who’s had probably a bit too many donuts, excited about eating yet another donut! This could be you! Imagine the possibilities!

Lee’s Donuts

Address: 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

Lee's Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Passiontree Velvet, Macquarie Park

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Now that I’m back in Sydney, I’m retracing all the places I’ve missed since I left, all the new restaurants, cafes and shops. Finally getting a chance to sample all the food that inspired those drool worthy pictures that covered my Instagram feed over the years.

One place that has been showing up again and again is Macquarie Park. Back when I was in university, no one wanted to go to Macquarie University. It was out of the way and everything around it kind of sucked. There was nothing nearby to do or eat. It was just you, your university buildings and lots and lots of trees. Nothing against trees, but you know, you can’t eat em.

Well after a few short years, it looks like that has all changed. It seems like all the new hotness is opening up in Macquarie Park. The latest brands, exclusive stores and amazing restaurants. Because of that, naturally during my first week back in Sydney, I decided to pay Macquarie Park a visit. I was actually keen to try out KIN by us, which is just around the corner from the shopping centre. However, as it was a public holiday they were closed. I probably should have checked that before hand but as per usual, I didn’t. Luckily for me, there was still plenty of goodness on offer, and in particular Passiontree Velvet.

I wasn’t really looking out for this place. I kind of just stumbled on it while lost in Macquarie Centre. This is the first shopping centre that I’ve been to that has half floors. And the difference between a half floor and a full floor is five steps or a small ramp so needless to say, navigating this place sucks. So while I was wandering around looking for Aqua S, somewhere near the Aldi and the Coles, I stumbled across an island that happened to be Passiontree Velvet. To be honest, at the time I wasn’t really looking for it, but I was definitely happy to see it!

Passiontree Velvet is another fantastic export from Brisbane. Now all we need is MOS Burger to finally get exported! This modern looking cafe serves coffees, tea, light lunch meals and cakes. It’s not your typical cafe like The Coffee Club or the like, instead here, you’ll find croque monsieurs, baguettes and macarons, so it’s decidedly French. You can even settle here for a simple high tea with scones and Devonshire cream or the full deal with petit fours and ribbon sandwiches; in hindsight maybe Euro is more appropriate as opposed to French.

But what took my fancy were the cakes. Passiontree Velvet’s cabinets are filled with multiple scrumptious looking cakes, pastries and eclairs. Everything from your classics to more modern and fancy one.

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Instead of lunch, I decided to do the smart thing, and let cake be my lunch! For once, I decided to opt for some of the classics, instead of going for one of the crazy looking ones, like the log which looked like a forest with grass and green moss. Instead, here I went for the Pistachio and berry log ($7.50).

This was a simple treat but a tasty one. An airy and light eclair shell which had a really nice and strong eggy flavour to it, filled with a creamy but rather mild pistachio and nutty almond flavoured custard like fulling. This crispy but doughy like treat was covered in a pistachio and white chocolate which reinforced the nutty flavour of the pistachio and added that much needed sweetness that wasn’t really present in the custard filling. Finally there were a couple of strawberries and blueberries which added that contrasting sourness and really brought this whole pastry together.

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Every time I go to a patisserie, I always try to get a Lemon tart ($7.50). 1) because it’s one of my favourite pastries and 2) because it’s an absolute classic and any place that can’t do a solid lemon tart worries me. That is, I’ll think twice before trying something else there.

Luckily, that was not the case here. This lemon tart from Passiontree Velvet hit the spot perfectly. A perfectly smooth lemon curd with that strong citrus tang and that contrasting sweetness which cut right through it. This was paired with a rich and buttery tart and a sweet and fluffy meringue. This was the perfect balance between sweet, acidic tang and rich pastry.

There wasn’t anything special about this lemon tart but as a classic, its still the perfect treat after a long day with a strong cup of tea, not that I had a cup of tea or a long day, I guess. I mean, I was just shopping, which most people consider leisure or entertainment. But for me, thats a big day!

I’m a little disappointed I only sampled two desserts from Passiontree Velvet. Everything in their dessert cabinet, from the cakes to the macarons, looked so scrumptious. After sampling these two for myself, I think I might be dropping by again in the future for another cake or two!

Passiontree Velvet

Macquarie Centre, North Ryde

Website: passiontreevelvet.com

Facebook: facebook.com/passiontreevelvet/

Instagram: @PassiontreeVelvet

Opening hours:

Monday to Wednesday and Friday

9:30am to 6:00pm

Thursday

9:30am to 9:00pm

Saturday

9:00am to 6:00pm

Sunday

10:00am to 6:00pm

Passiontree Velvet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Churros King, Braddon

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I love this place. Ever since I first sampled the goodness from this rather unassuming food truck (well, I guess its more of a cart but whatever) many many months ago, I’ve been keen to share this hidden churro gem with anyone who is willing to listen. Outside of this blog, there aren’t many, so I figure it is time to write up this post and try and spread the love for the Churros King!

The Churros King is located in The Hamlet, right to the side of the entrance as you walk in. It’s a simple set up with nothing more than a frier, two dipping bowls and a dough squeezing machine. On most nights, there’s just the owner, pumping out freshly made churros to order and on busier nights, you’ll find another person helping out. I’m not 100% sure when the Churros King is open, it kind of seems dependant on the weather but over a good weekend, you’ll find the Churros King open from Thursday to Sunday, from about after work hours till pretty late at night, but not any later than anything else at The Hamlet. On rainy and super cold weekends, sometimes the Churros King decides not to turn up at all, which is fair enough. He is kind of just out there in the cold all by himself, with no cover and next to no customers anyway since no one seems to go out when the weather is terrible. But with spring just starting, I’m sure we will see more of the Churros King.

The offer at the Churros King is simple. There is only one thing on the menu, churros. You can either get one for $2 or 6 for $10. For a little bit of variety, you can pick between a dark chocolate or caramel sauce dipping. You won’t find anything else here at the Churros King, no drinks, snacks or anything else, just plenty of glorious golden sticks of fried goodness. Normally, I would want some water and what not but here it’s not too problematic, you can always grab what you need at one of the other awesome food trucks at The Hamlet, like BrodDogs, the Spit Shack, Mr Papa etc.

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So what makes these Churros (6 for $10, half dark chocolate, half caramel sauce) at the Churros King so good? Absolutely everything! I’ve never had a churros this good, either in Canberra or in Sydney. Okay, I haven’t been to Spain but these are the best you’re going to get around here and in my infinite geographical naïveté, I reckon they could give Spain a ran for their money too. Nevertheless, forget San Churro, forget Guzman y Gomez or any other place that offers churros, if you want some of that deep fried goodness coated in cinnamon sugar, this is the place to be.

The churros at the Churros King are super light and extremely airy. They’re fried to the sweet spot, where the churros snaps in half with a crackle as you bend it but aren’t too crunchy where it takes away from the fluffiness. You won’t find a heavy, dense and rubbery churro that leaves you disappointed and chewing like no tomorrow. At the Churros King, instead you’ll just find the perfect combination of fried dough and sweetness from the cinnamon sugar and dipping sauce.

Outside of the perfectly cooked churro, you can choose to dip your churros into a dark chocolate or caramel sauce. Personally, I like the dark chocolate as I find it adds a nice bitter contrast to the sweetness of the cinnamon sugar. If you’re a fan of caramel and a massive sweet tooth, I’m sure the caramel sauce will hit the spot for you. Both sauces are high quality and extremely well made, you’ll find no cheap substitutes here. My only qualm about these churros and its a pretty minor one, is the amount of dipping sauce you get. The crew at the Churros King, dunk the churros into the dipping sauce of your choice. Unfortunately, you only end up with about a quarter of your churros smothered in chocolate or caramel sauce and honestly, I want more!

Finally, my favourite part about these churros and what makes it stand out from all the rest? The flavour. I couldn’t work it out at first but after many many ‘tests’, I think there’s a hint of citrus to the churros. After every bite, you get this uplifting citrus note at the end. To me, this is what defines the churros at the Churros King. It takes it from a heavy and dense dessert to something light and almost snack like that you can eat hundreds of. Well, I can.

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Here is an action shot of a churros in the making. Pretty cool right?! Everything made right in front of you and served to you super warm. I’m normally not a fan of places that call themselves ‘the best x ever’ or ‘winners of x award’, they never quite meet expectations but these churros, they deserve the title of king for me.

Its a simple set up, with a simple product and with just a few ingredients and tools, the crew at the Churros Kings gives you something absolutely amazing. The perfect snack on the way home after a filling dinner in the city or Braddon. The perfect snack to end the night.

If you haven’t had the churros at Churros King and you’re a fan of churros or just desserts, these are a must. I know these pictures aren’t amazing but these definitely taste better than they look. There are a couple of things in the world of food that will never really photograph well, one being anything in a roll, like a kebab, another one is these churros wrapped in some baking paper. That and my horrible photography and composition skills. Don’t let my descriptions, writing or pictures put you off. You’ve got to try these.

Churros King

16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Opening hours:

Thursday to Sunday

6:00pm to 11:00pm

Churros King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato