Much has changed in Saigon since The Astronomer and I called it home three years ago. In addition to shiny new skyscrapers, helipads, and highways, an American-style doughnut shop has popped up in District 1.
After admiring Fresh Donuts from afar for the first two weeks of our trip, we finally let curiosity get the best of us and came in for a taste. The shop’s slogan is “fresh, delicious, everyday.” How could we resist such pleasant promises?
While it’s quite common for restaurants throughout Vietnam to display an altar with fruit and tea, it’s highly unusual to see one offering doughnuts too. Just to the left, behind the glowing red bulb, was a plated glazed cinnamon roll. I bet this gesture made the ancestors smile.
Fresh Donuts offers familiar finds like maple crullers and cinnamon apple bear claws, as well as one-of-a-kind creations like the “Sausage and Jambon Donut,” which included hairy threads of pork floss and thick squiggles of mayonnaise.
After seeing the selection before us, The Astronomer and I didn’t have the highest expectations. Still, we tried our best to keep an open mind and palate.
Our gooey eyed and glazed snouted “Bismark Piggy” arrived on a pristine white plate with a fork and knife.
It was the most intriguing and photogenic doughnut; I wanted to snap photos from every angle.
And thankfully, it didn’t taste the least bit disappointing. The texture of the doughnut was soft and pliable with a slight chew, while the Bavarian cream was thick and nicely sweetened. After eating our share of funktified hamburgers and muffins, this was the best Vietnamese take on an American classic that The Astronomer and I have ever tasted.
This little piggy went to Saigon…
For more Vietnamese food adventures from our summer 2011 trip, check out these posts:
- Saigon Classic: Bún Bò Huế Yên Đỗ
- Saigon Classic: Flaming Roadside Bánh Xèo
- Saigon Dinner Crawl: Squeaky Meatballs, Sesame Sludge, Spicy Duck Tongues, and More
- District 4, Saigon: Our Home Away From Home
- Saigon Classics: Goat Three Ways, Coconut Ice Cream, and Vietnamese Fried Chicken
- Vietnamese Steak and Eggs at Quán Lệ Hồng
- Life After Bourdain: Reuniting with the Lunch Lady
- Phở Hòa Pasteur: Phenomenally Phamous Phở
- Family Knows Best: Saigon’s Finest Bánh Mì, Glutinous Bananas, and Chicken Sticky Rice
33 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City