There is a silent invasion that has landed on our Malaysia shore recently, from our neighbouring country, Indonesia. No don’t worry, it’s not the repeat of the Konfrontasi between this two nations, but rather an invasion of their donut chain.
Doughnut or more popularly known as donut, is not a pervasive culinary culture here in Malaysia, although thousands of mak ciks (old ladies) at roadside stalls and the school canteens have been selling this as long as I can remember. Then came the Dunkin’ Donuts who revolutionized the way we look at donuts, and earlier this year, Big Apple, opened their first outlet at The Curve, Damansara.
And now, J.Co Donuts & Coffee, yet another Indonesian-owned chain, has decided to break into the Malaysian donuts market. Their first ever outlet outside of Indonesia opened end of last month at Pavillion, the latest of prestigious shopping mall in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Since then, thousands and thousands of Malaysian have made their way there and queue up to get a fix of their donuts. Now, I am not someone who are really into queuing up for an hour for my food. So imagine how excited I was when Sid told us that J.Co’s PR Executive, Intan Suraya, has invited us to check out their donuts and coffee.
* Intan Suraya Shamsuddin, the PR & Promotion Exec *
This one helluva gorgeous PR Executive guided us through the history and background of J.Co. The owner of J.Co is actually Johnny Andrean, an Indonesian hairstylist turned millionaire who owns more than 200 salons and 30 J.Co outlets in that archipelago country. So now you know the “J” stands for Johnny. Since opening their first outlet in Indonesia more than 2 years ago, they have now served more than 50 million donuts!
As for their outlet here at Pavillion, it is located on Level 01 (Level 03 is on street level), right next to BreadTalk. It is not difficult to locate J.Co, just look for a long human queue and you’ll find it. According to Intan, they have unique concepts for each outlet, and the one for this Pavillion outlet is more hip and hype as their target market seems to be teens and young adults.
Just like most of the new modern eateries, the kitchen is open for public scrutiny via glass panels instead of wall. So while queuing to order the crowd can actually look at how they prepare the donuts. It looks easy enough, bt apparently the kitchen staff has to start their shift at 4am each morning! I hope J.Co is paying them well.
In order to ensure customer’s satisfaction, J.Co makes sure their ingredients are sourced from the best places, and then undergo strict hygienic and fresh cooking processes. For example, their best-selling Al Capone (named after the famous Chicago mob boss) are made of almonds imported from California, and white chocolate from Belgium. This one tough looking donut is an absolute winner, with the crunchiness of the almonds outside, and the softness of the donut to counter-effect it. No wonder it turns out to be their best seller.
Another popular one would be the Glazzy (RM2.00), the simple yet amazingly addictive donut. Instead of the standard donut which is sprinkled with sugar, this Glazzy is made using soft dough, and then glazed with American honey which will melt in your mouth, literally! While the donuts at Dunkin’ Donuts are more bready, the ones here are crunchier, more airy and light and fluffy.
One flavour that all chocoholics would love would be the Coco Loco, a donut that is 40% filled with Belgian dark chocolate. There are chocolate filling both inside the donut as well as on the whole top surface. Slightly too sweet for me but the girls seem to love it lot.
The “Why Nut” is a donut with unique combination, American peanut butter topped with premium white chocolate from Belgium. Unorthodox but a surprisingly good combo nevertheless. Why NOT indeed!
With all the craze over green tea in recent years, it is only logical for J.Co to come out with a green tea flavoured donut as well. Named as “Miss Green T“, it is made of Macha (green tea powder) imported in from Japan. While I doubt the significance of the health benefits claimed by the chain, I know my tastebud immediately identified the goodness of the strong green tea flavour.
But my favourite on that night would be the “Cheese Me Up“, the one with topping made of melted New Zealand low fat cheese, and sprinkled with bit of chives. Unlike the sweeter variants mentioned, this one is less sweet and a little hint of saltiness. Will definitely brighten up the day of anyone that fancies savoury stuff.
Well as their name suggests, they are more than just donuts actually. Coffee is one product they are proud of as well, that’s why J.Co goes the extra mile to sources their Arabica coffee beans from five different countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Venezuela) and roasted in Rome, Italy. For non-coffee drinker, no worries as they have quite a number of non-coffee based drinks as well. For every drink purchased, you will get one Glazzy totally FOC!
* Cappucinno * * Iced Chocolate * * Toffee’ O *
Ok, after tasting J.Co‘s donuts, I might change my mind about not queuing up an hour for my food. I have to admit their donuts are seriously delish. I will without a doubt come back as there are many other assorted donuts that I have yet to try, including the much-talked-about JCrown Oreo. The hot topic/gossip out there seems to hover around the question of originality of these donut chains. In my humble opinion, consumers’ main concern would not be about who is copying who, but rather about the taste, service and the pricing. The pricing is almost similar if not the same, but when it comes to taste and service, I feel that J.Co has the slight advantage over Big Apple at the moment.
While I foresee the streams of people going to J.Co and queueing up for their hot and tasty donuts won’t be stopping anytime soon, I hope the management would not take things for granted and rest their laurel. Arguably J.Co have the best donuts now, but I can’t be sure I’ll say the same thing once Krispy Kreme decided to join in the donut war here. Those who have tasted them would know what I mean. But till then, join in the queue turn yourself into a Homer Simpson!
Donut Price List
Glazzy RM Assorted RM
Each 2.00 Each 2.30
½ Dozen 9.60 ½ Dozen 11.00
Dozen 16.20 Dozen 19.10
2 Dozen 28.60 2 Dozen 33.40
Beverage Price List
Cafe Latte 8.60
Iced Chocolate 8.10
Green Tea 10.00
Price for Regular Beverages:
Cafe Latte 9.10
Iced Chocolate 9.10
Oreo Freeze 11.90
Green Tea 11.00
*prices above are subjected to 5% gov tax.
J.Co Donuts & Coffee
Address: Lot 1.05.00, Level 01,
The Pavillion KL, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Telephone: 017-378 0177, 03-2142 5177 (Corporate)