Doughnuts have to be the ultimate comfort food—soft, light and covered in a tantalising glaze, these golden rings are worth every calorie. Dress them how you like, painted over with a thick chocolate glaze if you’re feeling indulgent or keep it simple with the classic sugar glaze.
We have seen our fair share of famous doughnut chains to grace our island but more often than not they have been painfully sub-par. They were either sickly sweet or overloaded with extraneous toppings; a mess and not in a good way.
Well, when I found Korio tucked away in Far East Square, with the promise of artisanal doughnuts, I was more than thrilled and couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.
Korio is the brainchild of Myron and Shaz, a husband-and-wife team determined to show you what good doughnuts taste like. A family business through and through, you’ll often find Shaz tending to customers or her two adorable daughters hanging around the store.
The word ‘korio’ is Maori for “a swift river current or rapid”. A memorable name and also alludes to her eldest daughter, whose name is River. ”
A name with good feng shui for a fledgeling business,” I quipped, which was met with a chuckle from Shaz. Already filled with sweet beginnings, it was time to try all that Korio has to offer.
I was given a selection of Korio doughnuts, and is there anything better than opening a box of filled doughnuts? I knew I was in for a treat. Each ring was thick—the size of my palms—and covered with a delectable glaze.
Ever the purist, I started with the Plain Glazed (S$3.80). With a smooth, pristine white glaze, it looked almost like a mini U.F.O saucer in my hand.
Not to sound corny but the doughnut was truly out of this world. A simple glazed doughnut might seem like a no-brainer for most doughnut purveyors but for me, this serves as a good barometer for the other more ‘colourful’ flavours.
The doughnut was akin to expensive pillows, light and airy ones that sprung back when I applied pressure. Shaz tells me that she and Myron went through a total of 60 recipes to get this brioche dough right. All that testing was indeed worth it, an enriched dough that’s rich enough but also complements the heavier glazes.
One more thing: there are no additional leavening agents. So this dough goes through a lengthy 18-hour fermentation process. This allows the gluten to develop and have better webbing, which gives rise to a tight crumb pattern and cloud-like texture.
The glaze was what really impressed me, sweet but definitely not cloying, with just the right amount of thickness so you won’t be overwhelmed with the sugar. There wasn’t that unpleasant waxy finish that coats your tongue, a quality that lesser doughnuts seem to have—a plus point for sure.
Inspired by a Snickers bar, the Peanut Butter & Chocolate (S$4.20) is one you can’t miss. Slathered with luxurious, homemade peanut butter, and drizzled with dark chocolate before being sprinkled with a handful of chopped peanuts, this was a thing of beauty indeed.
The freshness and creaminess of Korio’s peanut butter was a real winner, you might even taste something familiar in there (winks).
With the saltiness and crunch of the peanuts coupled with the deep, semi-sweet flavours of the chocolate—this was like your favourite Snickers bar, but better.
On to the most decadent of them all, the 70% Dark Chocolate (S$4.50). A luscious swirl of shiny dark chocolate adorned the doughnut, complete with chocolate wafer orbs.
You know the team at Korio takes their chocolate seriously when you take a bite of this. By using 70% dark chocolate, you get a good balance of sweetness and bitterness that will appease both milk and dark chocolate lovers.
This is where that brioche doughnut comes in handy. Doughy but still light, this served as an excellent vehicle for your chocolate. Those chocolate orbs provide good texture and were the literal icing on the cake.
Korio certainly didn’t forget about white chocolate, taking a cue from the iconic Rafaello, this is Korio’s rendition of the coconut almond treat.
For this one, you get sizeable chunks of hazelnuts smothered with white chocolate and dusted with shredded toasted coconut bits.
If you know me, you know I love anything coconut. What’s more, toasted coconut has a deeper and nuttier flavour that is just divine. Hazelnuts are always a little nostalgic for me—my guess is the copious amount of Nutella I consumed when I was younger.
Either way, this cushiony white chocolate number hit the spot alright. Just like a Rafaello, but with even cleaner and pronounced flavours that I was all for.
Besides their delightful array of doughnuts, Korio has a rotating selection of sammies that are great for lunch or even a late-afternoon snack. However, this melty Grilled Cheese (S$9) is available all week (yes!).
Made with a mixture of cheddar and American cheese with sweet caramelised onions, this is all you’ll ever want in your grilled cheese sammie. The sourdough was a nice touch, a little tangy and of the right thickness, this too, helped to cut through the rich, melty cheese.
I couldn’t ask for a more perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
I was there on a Tuesday and the special for the day was (to my utter delight) the Grilled Haloumi (S$13). With large slabs of gratifying salty halloumi together with sweet, almost honey-like roasted cherry tomatoes and mildly bitter arugula, this made for the perfect mouthful.
No complaints here.
As I delved deeper into Myron and Shaz’s journey, they shared how scary and intimidating it was when they started Korio. Naturally, being young entrepreneurs there was a lot riding on this venture. Myron and Shaz weren’t going to be wishy-washy about the details and made sure their product was something they would buy themselves.
There’s a tentative air about how Shaz talks about Korio, even though they are constantly selling out by 2pm. After all, given the volatile and capricious nature of the F &B industry, it is all too easy to be yesterday’s news.
Nevertheless, with the calibre and heart behind their wares, I’m sure; just like their namesake, Korio will surge forward like the strong and swift current it’s named after.
Expected Damage: S$3.80 – S$10 per item
Our Rating: 5 / 5
135 Amoy Street, Far East Square #01-03, Singapore 049964
135 Amoy Street, Far East Square #01-03, Singapore 049964