|Short Stop Donuts|
Short Stop Coffee & Donuts
12 Sutherland Street
9 September 2014 - "The Beginning"
I first read about Short Stop donuts on Melbourne Gastronome, and learn that they're a super specialised donut shop in the heart of Melbourne's CBD, with coffee by Market Lane. Before they even opened, they already had 16,000 followers on their Instagram account, which documented their journey: a donut reconnaissance mission through the US and Canada, research and recipe testing, setting up the store and getting ready for business. They fry their donuts fresh throughout the day, with different flavours coming out progressively, so you just gotta rock up and try your luck to see what's available. Importantly, the donuts looked fab - not just plain donuts smothered in icing, but unique, distinct flavours and different types of donut dough (cake, raised, cruller etc.), with all donuts, icings and fillings made in-house. It also happens to be near my office. I like the sound of this place and definitely want to visit!
11 September 2014 - "A Failed Attempt"
My buddy Jimbo and I make a date to visit Short Stop tomorrow, but before the day is through I see on Instagram that Short Stop have already sold out of donuts, having received an incredible influx of pre-orders! Gosh darn it! Donut plans, foiled!
While we're here, let me tell you about Jimbo. So, my buddy Jimbo is pretty frikkin awesome. We work together, and he likes food as much as I do! He is sometimes my +1 for blog events, and I even named a cake after him. (That's The Jimbo Cake, in case you're wondering). He pretty much is always up for a #treatyoself, and has totally indulged my obsession with Short Stop. (Or is the correct term "enabled my addiction"???)
18 September 2014 - "An Obsession is Born"
Jimbo and I take a chance and rock up to Short Stop in the morning, and there are quite a few flavours available! We get a coffee each and share three donuts. I think most people get takeaway, but there are a couple of small tables, a few bar seats against the wall and some bench space outside. We snag a table, which is swiftly covered with donuts and coffee. Regarding Short Stop's coffee, just like Market Lane, they only offer white or black coffee, no decaf, no soy, no skinny. (Skinny latte with your deep-fried cake, sir/ma'am? - Hah!) They have espresso coffee as well as filter. They also sell a limited selection of Market Lane beans to take home.
|Deluxe Coffee Break, Short Stop|
The tables are quite small, and Jimbo is incredibly tall. While I'm trying to take this photo on my phone, his gigantic legs are all over the place, getting into the shot.
Sarah: Jimbo, can you move your leg?
Jimbo: Er, this one? ...moves his gigantic leg further into the photo...
Sarah: Er no the other one...
Jimbo moves his other gigantic leg into the photo...
Sarah: Oh my god, just open your damn legs, Jimbo!
Oops. I take the photo and look up to see two ladies in the queue laughing at us. Sorry Jimbo! Please forgive my Donut-hunger-induced inappropriate snappiness!
We share two raised donuts: a Rhubarb and Ginger, and a Cinnamon, Cardamom and Sugar, and one cake donut: Earl Grey and Rose.
|Top: Rhubarb Glaze|
Middle: Earl Grey and Rose
Bottom: Cinnamon, Cardamom and Sugar
The three donuts are incredible! The Rhubarb and Ginger is like a posh Krispy Kreme (with apologies to the pastry chefs at Short Stop) - a very light, yeasted dough, covered in a rhubarb and ginger glaze, which has a light crunch as you bite into it.
|Earl Grey and Rose|
I'm not a big fan of rose flavouring in general, but really enjoy the Earl Grey and Rose donut. The rose flavour is restrained and it's a well balanced donut. The cake itself is flavoured with Earl Grey tea, it's injected with lemon myrtle and the icing is made of rosewater and rose petals. Being cake-based, it's a little heavier than the feather-light raised donuts, and I really like it.
|Cinnamon, Cardamom and Sugar|
The Cinnamon, Cardamom and Sugar is my favourite of the three donuts (and in fact, my favourite of ALL their donuts). Like the Rhubarb and Ginger, the donut is super light and fluffy, and the subtle spices in the sugar are really delicious.
We also decide to buy a couple of Bourbon Crème Brûlée donuts back for our respective partners. The verdict? Not great. Perhaps it's partly because they're not eaten straight away, but they're not super crackly, the custard filling isn't particularly impressive, and neither Jenni nor Sandra love the donuts. Oh well!
2 October 2014 - "The Surprise"
I feel bad that Sandra didn't enjoy the Bourbon Crème Brûlée, and that she can't have Short Stop whenever she wants, so I organise a surprise donut delivery for her! I go to Short Stop in the morning and buy her a Red Velvet, and a Cinnamon, Cardamom and Sugar.
|Top: Cinnamon, Cardamom and Sugar|
Bottom: Red Velvet
I then arrange to have the donuts sneakily delivered to her office by a mutual friend, Amelia. (Thanks Amelia! You da best!) Amelia also happens to be pretty damn awesome! We do meditation classes together and she always has the cutest haircuts. She also shares my disdain of faux gluten intolerance. High five!
The surprise works and Sandra is super impressed! Hooray! I don't want to oversell this, but I just might be the best girlfriend in the history of the universe.
6 October 2014 - "Friends Are Concerned"
I happen to check Instagram at 4:20, and see that Short Stop are offering 2-for-1 Red Velvet donuts as they've baked too many. Without saying a word, I lock my computer and literally run to Short Stop, and arrive out of breath and snap up a pair of donuts. I consider setting a daily 4pm reminder in my calendar to check if any donuts are going cheap, but then I think better of it. Overindulgence aside, do I really want them to recognise me as the cheap lady with the crazy donut eyes?
|Red Velvet Donuts|
The red velvets are awesome. Sandra thinks they're too intense, with their thick coating of dark chocolate ganache, but I think they're just right. Unsurprisingly, they taste like deep-fried chocolate mud cake. And I am really into that.
9th October 2014 - "I Don't Have a Problem"
My amazing friend Alaina texts out of the blue, suggesting a coffee catchup as she has a surprise gift for me. I'm having a pretty stressful day at work and half-jokingly suggest Short Stop.
|Convo with Alaina|
Heck yes this day just went from crap to amazing!
|Short Stop in the Sun|
We sit in the sun and share a Banana and Chocolate Hazelnut, and an Earl Grey and Rose.
|Earl Grey & Rose, White Coffee, Banana and Chocolate Hazelnut|
|Banana and Chocolate Hazelnut|
The Banana and Chocolate Hazelnut is really nice - it's a banana cake base filled with banana cream custard, dipped in gianduja icing and covered in crushed roasted hazelnuts. It sounds like it would be intense and heavy but is surprisingly light. The banana cream custard has a very pure, natural banana flavour and is more "banana" than "custard cream", which lightens the whole effect, and the cake and icing aren't overly sweet. Winner!
Alaina's also brought me a bottle of New York maple syrup from her travels, bottled in Attica, "which reminded me of you because it's in the same town as the prison in Law and Order: SVU". Aww! (Alaina loves Law and Order: SVU as much as me, if not more, and I truly believe this shared obsession is one of the strongest pillars of our friendship).
13th October 2014 - "An Obsession becomes a Mission"
I start to think my Short Stop obsession must surely be waning by now, but then I suddenly realise I've only got three more flavours to try before I've tried them all. MUST FINISH.
I manage to convince Jimbo to do our morning coffee break at Short Stop, ("Only three flavours to go! Help a sister out!"), and we share an New Orleans Iced Coffee Cruller and a Peanut Butter and Jam. I like the cruller - it's got bitterness to temper the sweetness, with a squidgy inside and lightly crisp outsides. It reminds me, texturally, of a good churro. The PB&J is a bit disappointing - the PB topping is a bit thin and grainy and there is TOO MUCH JAM. (On a positive note, the strawberry jam itself is made in house and very nice, there's just too much of it).
|Top left: New Orleans Iced Coffee, Top left: Peanut Butter & Jam|
Bottom left: White coffee, Bottom right: JAM
By this stage, I notice that the availability of flavours seems to be a bit more consistent - although they often sell out late in the afternoon, on each of my visits there's a good variety of donuts available.
|Donut Selection! All flavours in the house!|
17th October 2014 - "Sarah's Body is 90% Donut"
One more donut to go... and Jimbo kindly indulges me again. We get the Australian Honey and Sea Salt to take away, and share it. It's a good donut, similar in texture to the New Orleans Iced Coffee, with a milk-and-honey glaze and a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt on the top.
|Australian Honey and Sea Salt Cruller|
That's it! I have done all the donuts! Now I've tried them all! Level up! Achievement unlocked! I've got the complete collection! (The eagle-eyed among you will notice I haven't had a bacon-thyme-apple one, but they've stopped selling those so I'm saying it doesn't count!) I Instagram the donut, and my happiness / disbelief that I've actually tried them all, and Short Stop comment on my picture:
"New Strawberry glaze launching Monday... Working on powdered buttermilk cake donuts, a new chocolate cake donut and an old fashioned. More levels to achieve!".
Those sneaky Donut Dealers!
The new flavours sound awesome, but for now, I am officially on a Donut Ban! You guys, please enjoy those donuts with my blessing. Tell me which are your favourites. I like the simpler ones the best - the raised donuts with either sugar or glaze, and the yummy cake donuts.
Thank-you, and goodnight!
(P.S. for anyone concerned, I happened to have a blood test at my regular checkup last week, and my blood sugar and cholesterol levels are within the healthy range! Yay!)