Poison Doughnuts Slays With Its Sinful Take On Everyone’s Favorite Fried Ring
Doughnut trends come and go. Remember the lines at Krispy Kreme when it first opened? Or the frenzy for that doughnut-croissant hybrid called the cronut just a few years ago? While it has been relatively quiet on the doughnut scene since then, it was just a matter of time before the doughnut monster would rear its sweet, fried dough head again to regale us with something new. This time, the culprits are the brilliant team of pastry chefs Miko Aspiras and Kristine Lotilla (of Scout’s Honor, Le Petit Soufflé, Freezer Burn, Workshop fame) who sprung their new baby, Poison Coffee & Doughnuts, on us just a few weeks ago.
Poison is somewhat hidden at the very end of The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, where Toyo Eatery is located. It shares space with Hydra, a design group composed of independent design studios, plus the Tasteless Restaurant Group, the company behind Poison and other forward-thinking restaurant concepts. Hydra, of course, is the multi-headed serpent of Greek lore (or the terrorist organization in Marvel Comics), with poison as its deadliest weapon.
Poison Doughnuts resides in a sparse, industrial space, minimally lighted to purposely challenge those with their smart phones always at Instagram ready. Here, you have to put down your phones and focus all your attention on the poison at hand—the doughnuts and the coffee (courtesy of Yardstick), too. But in truth, there’s not much to see. The counter holds a sparse collection of doughnuts, but there’s a reason for that. To ensure maximum freshness, the staff only preps a minimal number, and replenishes depending on demand. (I was lucky to have grabbed the last salted chocolate doughnut on display.)
The doughnuts aren’t your usual feathery light, fried dough treats. Instead, with a sourdough brioche starter, they are somewhat denser, more bready-y in texture, the better to handle the onslaught of intense flavors they are a vehicle for. Ranging in price from P50 to P70, Poison’s debut doughnuts are anything but ordinary.
Garam Masala comes with an Indian-inflected spice mixture laced with sugar, layering sweet, spicy and savory. Salted Dark Chocolate starts with premium 64% dark chocolate and ends with a sprinkling of sea salt. Blueberry Glaze lures with “something strange” (according to its product description) lurking inside. Egg Custard Brulée boasts a burnt sugar exterior injected with a dark brown sugar custard. Boston Cream is an even richer take on a classic, with vanilla mousseline inside and homemade marshmallow stained with dark chocolate.
While some may still prefer the more familiar, lighter variety, there’s no denying that Poison’s doughnut flavors are surprisingly intense and complex, light years beyond the sugary confections of more commercial brands. While there were only five flavors available during my visit, expect more variants to appear, each one more intriguing and venomous than the last.Poison Doughnuts @Hydra, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue (Pasong Tamo Extension), Makati City