Though I’ve had many, many sweet doughnuts in my lifetime (and so have you, I’m guessing, unless you’re living out some kind of Encino Man scenario and have just emerged from the ice), but I can’t say I’ve ever had a savoury one.
There’s a first time for everything, of course, and if what Flipside Donuts is serving up is any indication, savoury doughnuts are way better than you’d think they’d be.
Flipside serves mini doughnuts a la Tiny Tom, and if you order one of their savoury concoctions, you get eight little doughnuts with various toppings.
I ordered the Spadina Streetcar: “8 mini donuts covered in hoisin, braised duck, pickled vegetables, sesame aioli, cilantro.”
The doughnuts themselves are great — they’re freshly fried, just as you’d hope they’d be, with a mild sweetness that works quite well with the savoury toppings.
The texture is a bit more dense and cakey than Tiny Tom, with a lightly crispy exterior that’s incredibly satisfying.
And the toppings are delicious. Hoisin and duck is obviously a boffo combination, not to mention the extra punch of creaminess that you get from the aioli. And the freshness of the cilantro and the vinegary punch of the slaw helps to cut the richness from the other elements. The duck itself is a bit dry, but mostly, the dish works way better than you’d think.
I also tried a few of the sweet doughnuts. I tried Bellwoods Bonfire (“toasted spiced walnuts & hickory smoked maple syrup”), South Coast Sour (“lemon curd, toasted poppy seed”), Danforth Drizzle (“pistachio butter, Toronto honey, puff pastry”), and Viva YRT (“sweet mango puree & toasted coconut”).
There wasn’t a dud in the bunch, though the Danforth Drizzle, with its rich pistachio flavour, was my favourite.