Can an international chain really compete with local donut champions?
Valentine’s Day in Japan is as much a celebration of love and affection as it is a celebration of chocolate. That’s because it has become a local tradition for women to give chocolate to almost everyone in their lives on February 14, and devoted men return the favor to their sweetheart a month later, on White Day.
For us, chocolate is our love language at any time of the year, which is why we always make room in our bellies for the new limited Valentine’s editions that appear in stores. This year, after slackening the waist cut to try some chocolate donuts from the local Mister Donut chain, we learned that Krispy Kreme is launching its own range of chocolate donuts called “Dear Chocolate“.
▼ But how would they compare to the amazing Mister Donut range?
We decided to find out by buying all six of them but when we visited they were so popular that one was already sold out for the day.
▼ So we have five that we could, doubling the heart-shaped one to make up our half dozen.
Starting with chocolate tart (334 yen [US$2.60]) was a great way to start the tasting as it was light and fluffy on the inside, yet incredibly crunchy on the outside.
It was an absolutely divine combination, especially with the rich chocolate cream adding a decadent chocolate hit to every bite.
▼ We’d go so far as to call it a must-buy, and for us, the crunch makes it even better than the donuts at Mister Donut right now.
Next we have the so-called Strawberry & Chocolate (313 yen), which was so shiny that it was impossible to photograph it without the disturbing glow of the overhead lights. This one was airy and light in texture, but richer and more flavorful – absolutely delicious!
▼ Now it’s time to cut in Chocolate Fondant Heart (334 yen).
This one marked many of our boxes, and the thickness of the frosting and the gooey chocolate center are two of the highlights. It was light, chocolatey and delicious and the fact that it comes with two marshmallows so you can share them with your lover without arguing over who gets the marshmallow was a very nice touch.
The Chocolate Ganache Ring (313 yen) is another high-quality offering, replicating the popular ganache chocolates with cocoa sprinkles, which are especially popular as Valentine’s Day gifts.
▼ This soft donut was our Valentine’s Day gift to ourselves.
Our last donut of the day was Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (270 yen) that really tasted like chocolate cake! It was a great donut to finish off and took our minds off our missing heart shaped custard filled donut Heart made of chocolate-chocolate cream (270 yen).
So how did Krispy Kreme deal with local favorite Mister Donut? Well, it’s close, but since Krispy Kreme donuts are more expensive than the ones at Mister Donut, we have to give it a win… Mister Donut!
There is one exception, however, such as crispy The Chocolate Tart donut blows the Mister Donut series out of the water, as far as we’re concerned, we highly recommend trying it the next time you’re walking past a Krispy Kreme store.
Donuts will be on the menu from January 18 through early March, so there’s plenty of time to try them out, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for their great new Tit Donuts, which are also on the menu for a limited time!