13 May 2019

Delectable doughnuts doing a roaring trade down No Name Lane

| Glynis Quinlan

Nathan Frost worked for months to develop his special doughnut creations. Photo: Jack Mohr.

The humble but indulgent doughnut is taking on a whole new appeal in Canberra with our new ‘Doughnut Department’ serving up to 500 doughnuts a day.

Put away your notions of mechanically-produced sugary treats and welcome to the world – or should that be department – of artisan ingredients, dough-making that takes 24-hours and lovingly hand-cut creations with flavours that are a “cheeky nod to fine dining”.

Flavours change daily and include apple, white chocolate and lime leaf fritters, chocolate, cacao nibs and black sea salt, dulce de leche with roasted almonds, vanilla bean glaze, vegan raspberry jam, cinnamon sugar, old fashion buttermilk, and even Nutella. Are your tastebuds tingling?

Doughnut flavours change daily. Photo: Jack Mohr.

The Doughnut Department opened on No Name Lane, Marcus Clarke Street, around five weeks ago and hasn’t looked back since.

The delectable cafe with its creative vibe is a partnership between Nathan Frost – former operations manager of Lonsdale Street Roasters – and Clint and Andrea Hutchinson (Fashfest, HAUS Models).

Among other things, it provides a creative space where those with imaginative minds can hang out and connect. At the back is a massive glass wall which houses three businesses—Fashfest, HAUS Models and The HAUS of Artists.

The cafe provides a creative space to spend time in. Photo: Jack Mohr.

Nathan says the cafe’s name is “a play on a few things – the government departments in Canberra and, with our shared space with Fashfest and HAUS Models, they’re the fashion department and we’re the doughnut department”.

Nathan runs the department and worked for many months to refine the specialty doughnuts he makes.

Doughnuts sell for around $6 and are made of yeast-risen dough which has a fluffy texture. According to Nathan, they are “a little comforting flow of dough”.

Breakfast and light meals are also available, including tuna cured in citrus and lime with seasonal pickled veggies, bread ends and crunchy doughnut slices. There’s also a toasted breakfast granola with a doughnut crunch.

Nathan is working with Barrista Kyra Hansen who also worked with him at Lonsdale Street Roasters.

Drinks are carefully sourced through hand-picked suppliers passionate about what they produce, such as ‘Love Tea’, which is organic, fair-trade, and made in Australia.

Kyra says these teas are hand blended and focus on therapeutic benefit. The café serves Ceylon Breakfast, Licorice Love, Tumeric Tea, Rooibos and a French Earl Grey. The coffee is ethical too and sourced from Six8 Coffee Roasters.

Adding charm are coffee cups made by Hillgrove Pottery (Murrumbateman) just for the café. The Doughnut Department is all about the ‘special touches’.

The cafe has been fitted out by award-winning Capezio Copeland, a member of the Design Institute of Australia

The Doughnut Department is open from 7.30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday at No Name Lane, 40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra – shop front on Alinga Street.

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