Nutty stuff


Clockwise from top left: Peanut butter Nutella, salted caramel, choc orange, cinnamon, cookies ‘n’ cream, lamington jam cream.


Daniel’s Donuteria Hoppers Crossing, 4/150 Hogans Road, Hoppers Crossing. Phone: 8742 4997

Despite having – until now – never visited Daniel’s Donuteria, I am so used to thinking of it as a Hoppers Crossing fixture, that it comes as something of a shock to discover it is but one.

There are others – thanks Bennie, Nat for wising me up – in Springvale, Carnegie, the CBD and even (blow me down) at Highpoint.

But here we are at Hogan’s Corner in Hoppers.

How to describe Hogan’s Corner?

It’s a weird collection of shops and and caparking seemingly distributed at random.

When it comes to shopping centre/precincts, Hogan’s Corner is definitely at the unlovely end of the spectrum.



But it serves the local community pretty well, I suspect, and we enjoy the unfamiliar setting as we get familiar with Dan’s “donuts”.

They are very, very good, though it may be some time (maybe never) before we partake of a post-midnight deep-fried batter run to Hopper’s Crossing for the place’s popular 24-hour opening hours on Friday and Saturday.



We have been envisaging sharing three donuts between us for lunch.

But we succumb to the attractions of a great offer – six of the joint’s top-line specimens for $14.

That’s about $2.30 an item – and that makes for a ripper deal when compared with the prices I see Krusty Kreme products going for closer to home.



We do indeed account for three of our six – peanut butter Nutella, salted caramel and choc orange.

And I, for one, am very full at that point in what is an usual non-savoury, non-spicy lunch for us.

I had half expected the Daniel’s range would involve plain donuts with different frostings/icings.

But, no, all our donuts not only have their own individual toppings, but also fillings to match!

How splendid!

But better was to come.

The next day, for a mid-morning snack-with-coffee, I gobble our lamington, jam and cream donut.

Now, I’m not going to claim that donuts are anything but at the top of their game when fresh as.

But in this case, a certain amount of day-after staleness lends my snack pronounced extra yumminess.

The chocolate/coconut frosting, in particular, has a crustiness that works in explosively fine tandem with the great gobs of real cream and jam that constitute the filling.

Divine and decedent!


Station doughnuts – a tradition continues



Footscray Doughtnuts & Coffee, Footscray Station

Like everyone else, I loved Nick and his Olympic Doughnuts.

Or rather, in this case, I really loved the idea of Nick and his doughnuts – that he was and is such a legend and that Olympic Doughnuts was such a Footscray institution, even surviving the revamp of Footscray Station.

I thought the doughnuts OK, but found the jam they were stuffed amounting to not much more than, well, syrup.

This, as a pal has pointed out to me, is a ridiculous attitude to hold.

She’s right – these were not your hipster cafe vanilla cream-stuffed doughnuts selling for $5.

These were your street-food doughnuts – cheap, fresh and hot.



Well now Nick has retired – and much to the community’s widespread delight, a new doughnut operation is up and running at the station.

So I take it for a spin.

The doughnuts are … cheap, fresh and hot.

Though the jam is, well, syrup.

Who cares?



I do good through a deal that provides me two dougnuts and a pretty good coffee for $5.

And on a sunny Indian summer’s afternoon, the station plaza is a fine place to linger a while, watching the ebb and flow.

There’s a bench seat directly opposite the doughnut shop; the convenience store next door even had a couple of tables chairs.


Tico’s Drive Thru


Tico’s Drive Thru has a stylish appearance.

Tico’s Drive Thru, 549 Geelong Rd, Brooklyn.

Tico is really on to a winner here.

Actually, there is no Tico.

The owner and proprietor of Tico’s Drive Thru is a cheerful and energetic chap by the name of Hugo.

Tico, he explains to me, is vernacular for Costa Rican – in the same way as Aussie or Yank.

Hugo is Costa Rican, having moved to Australia about 27 years ago, and so is his Di Bella coffee.

He’d owned the triangular site on the corner of Geelong Rd, Francis St and Millers Rd for about eight years with not much idea what he was going to do with it until he dreamed up his bustling coffee enterprise.

Having driven past so many times, it’s a little surreal to be watching him and his staff as the endless streams of cars and trucks whiz by in both directions.

Hugo tells me they’re nearing the end of the morning rush hours, but they still seem plenty busy to me.

Tico’s produces about 700 coffees a day.

Incredibly, they sell about 750 coffees every week day.

And of those, Hugo says, about 600 are regulars.

He may not remember the routine orders of all those 600 or so, but he certainly knows those of the half-dozen or so cars that have pulled in as we are talking.

Most small/regular coffees are priced at $3.

My cafe latte is excellent.

There’s little or no room for a customer to linger, as this is a dedicated drive-by operation – the confined nature of the property allows nothing else.

But Hugo says future outlets will hopefully cater to sit-down customers, too.

The next is planned for Essendon.

This, the first Tico’s, sells a basic range of cookies, but a doughnut machine is in the process of being installed and should be in operation in about three weeks.

They give copies of the Herald Sun to customers, the wireless EFTPOS service takes no longer than a cash transaction and there’s an on-site ATM.

I feel fatigued just watching the Tico’s crew in action.