There comes a time in everyone’s life when they need one thing and one thing only: a sugar rush of such intensity they are left flat unconscious, high in the stupor of a near-diabetic coma. In such times what is called for is a donut, preferably topped with icing sugar, chocolate, caramel or sprinkles. Or bacon.
We are here to talk donuts.
If you feel such an urge in Hanoi, your best option is likely Glazed Artisan Donut. This small baking outfit is based out of Lifted Coffee, a three-story Australian-inspired brunch joint that opened three years ago, just a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. They serve everything from granola to meatball pasta, but we are not here to talk breakfast or brunch. We are here to talk donuts.
Glazed Artisan is Homer Simpson’s dream. The stunning array of donuts offered is almost bewildering: vanilla lime cheesecake donuts, strawberry grapefruit donuts, matcha and green tea donuts, salted caramel donuts, milk and cereal donuts, blueberry crème donuts, Oreo cream donuts. The list goes on, and they look amazing: bright and shiny, bursting with color, priced between 30,000 and 75,000 VND per donut.
But are they any good? Well Chào, abstemious as ever, only tried three–the candied bacon, the Vietnamese coffee, and the banana crème brûlée. Truth be told, we feared these flashy rings of dough might be mere gimmicks, novelties that look good on Instagram but would not taste much good. We were wrong, so very wrong. All were a riotous success.
The candied bacon had a hint of maple syrup and slight saltiness, the surface of the crème brulee cracked beautifully on the bite, and the Vietnamese coffee tasted exactly like a Vietnamese coffee should, with the added bonus that it came as a donut and did not give us the shakes. As for criticisms, we do not have any, though it is worth pointing out that Artisan donuts are of the denser, heavier type, and may not suit people who like only the very light and fluffy ones.
The owner of Lifted Coffee, young F&B whizz Tom Dang told Chào that he stated making the sugary treats because he missed the many donut joints outside the state library in Melbourne, a city he lived and studied in for 10 years before returning to Hanoi. Dang is something of an entrepreneur and also owns two branches of Paperman Baget, which sell a variety banh mi with a modern twist.
We asked Dang directly how many calories were in his donuts, to which he laughed and gave a very simple answer, “a lot.” His favorite toppings are banana crème brulee, lime cheesecake, and apple pie, and the only one he was never a big fan of was the matcha and green tea as it was, get this, “too sweet.”
He says it took two weeks of almost constant fiddling with the dough mixture to get it right as the ingredients, especially the yeast, behaved a little differently in Vietnam, and they had to make adjustments. “Also, my baker had never made donuts before, nor had I, so it took a lot of practice to get the size right, as well as the taste of the dough,” he says.
“Also, my baker had never made donuts before, nor had I, so it took a lot of practice to get the size right, as well as the taste of the dough.”
If you are in the mood for one of Dang’s creations but do not want to make the journey to Lifted, you can order directly from their Facebook page. It is worth doing this early as they are often sold out by the early afternoon. For larger orders it is worth calling 24 hours ahead.
Dang tells us he was once visited by a group of Japanese journalists who visited his store to ask about the health benefits of his donuts. “Honestly, I didn’t know what to tell them,” he says. Touché.
Lifted Coffee and Brunch
101 Hang Ga, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
+84 24 3266 8626
8am – 10:30pm