Modo Donuts live up to expectations

May 20, 2019 — by Kaylene Morrison

After visiting Tokyo and trying Mister Donut’s unique pon de ring style mochi doughnuts, Chris Watanabe, the second generation owner of Watanabe bakery in Honolulu, decided to develop his own recipe for mochi doughnuts. Ever since Watanabe added the coveted doughnuts to the bakery’s menu during the summer of 2017, demand has grown.

Watanabe bakery supplies doughnuts to its specialty shop MoDo Hawaii, which occasionally sets up a pop-up shop in the Mitsuwa Marketplace on Saratoga Ave.. From April 11 through May 5, MoDo Hawaii reopened its San Jose pop-up shop, and as usual, the pop-up shop was immensely popular.

The doughnuts’ unique textures, flavors and shape,  which can be compared to a bunch of doughnut holes glued together to form a ring, distinguishes them from any other kind of doughnut. Their texture and flavor comes from their abnormal ingredients, which include rice flour, and a machine molds the doughnuts into their unique pon de ring shape as they are pumped into hot oil.

After being told about MoDo, I decided to try their doughnuts for myself. One Monday after school, I drove to Mitsuwa thinking the line would be relatively short. When I got there, I quickly realized that I had assumed wrong.

It took me half an hour to get to the front of the line, and apparently that day the line was relatively short; there have been days where the line passed through the doors into Mitsuwa, curved around a corner, and took a total of five hours to get through.

That day, the shop was selling three flavors of doughnuts: blueberry, cookies and cream and honeydew sugar, which is  added to the doughnut by glaze. I bought two of each flavor for a total of $10, or around $1.60 per doughnut.

Because I wanted to taste them while they were still warm, I sampled all three flavors in my car before driving home, and although I later drove home using only my palms, getting glaze all over my fingers was worth it. Each doughnut was crispy on the outside and soft and very chewy on the inside, which is a quality these doughnuts share with classic mochi dough.

The unique glazes were unlike any that I’d ever tasted on a doughnut; however, I noticed that the honeydew sugar tasted slightly strange. It reminded me a little bit of cough medicine.

Nevertheless, I can definitively say that I like these doughnuts better than the the classic wheat flour ones sold by Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme and would recommend them to anyone. Just make sure to get there early once the next pop-up shop opens.

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