There is a new sweet treat taking the UAE by storm in the form of Dum Dum Donuts.
Located in Jumeirah is the first international branch for this British patisserie and having officially touched down in Dubai, we were invited along to see what all the fuss was about.
Dum Dum’s are the world’s first artisan baked doughnut / croissant hybrid. Each and every item is hand crafted and beautifully baked (not fried), using only natural ingredients, to create an array of unique and irresistibly delicious flavours. The brand launched at the end of 2013 and immediately became a foodie phenomenon, thanks to Instagram and the signature look of Dum Dum’s most popular seller ‘the zebra.’
The Zebra comprises layers of croissant dough and chocolate croissant dough, filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache, to create a look unlike anything else. Plus the taste is spectacular! When the ‘zebra’ was first introduced in London’s BoxPark, it was so popular that when it was sold out, people in the queue would offer to buy them (at an inflated price) from the lucky few who managed to purchase them – and so a new foodie craze was born! The popularity is so great that they are the only doughnuts retailing in London’s iconic department store, Harrods.
The store in Jumeriah is a pleasant space of clean lines and industrial sheek. The decor makes it seem as though your actually inside a small donut making factory. With plenty of shiny metal, pipework and ducting, offset by spatterings of neon pink (inside light fittings and on the corners of tables). The iconography of a large pink zebra proudly adorns the right hand wall, and this image is something that is found in each and every store – though in a unique format for each location. The space is an altogether funky mix of urban and modern and innovative touches – like the dripping shelves – add a quirkiness to proceedings.
Behind the glass counter sits a wealth of baked goodies, from the cronuts through to donuts and even yum yums (a UK staple of sugary iced sponge, that we have not seen elsewhere in the Emirates). We certainly felt spoilt for choice when it came to picking, so decided it would be best to try as many as possible! Browsing the selection that included toffee apple, cherry and strawberry cream. We eventually settled on PBJ, Pistachio, The Zebra and Dum Dum Dubai.
PBJ is a peanut butter and jelly donut (we love all things peanut) and what surprised us was the fact that the peanut butter glaze was sweet and sprinkled with chopped peanuts for texture, whilst the jelly inside was in fact quite tart. It was this gooey combination of sweet and sour that made our first bite of Dum Dum’s so memorable.
The Zebra is stuffed with chocolatey goodness to the point that it feels quite overindulgent. Layers of flaky cocolclate croissant dough, stuffed with a delightful chocolate buttercream is enough to convert even the most sceptical of dessert eaters.
Pistachio looked the part, with its contrasting colours of warm baked dough and chopped green nuts. We especially liked the fact that the pistachio flavour was more of a hint, as opposed to some of the overly-artificial pistachio desserts that we have become somewhat accustomed to here in the Middle East.
We thought that things couldn’t get any better, until we sampled the Dum Dum Dubai. Each store has one unique flavour that is an exclusive and cannot be found elsewhere – providing customers with an incentive to visit each and every location. The Dum Dum Dubai is a cronut stuffed with a light karak infused cream that is oh so representative of the region. With each bite of airy goodness, you can taste the distinct sweetness of cardamom and spices. If you are only to try one item at Dum Dum’s, then we suggest that this is it!
Dum Dum’s donuts are available individually or in boxes of six or twelve. Plus for the bravest, there are gigantic versions measuring 10 inches, that are just perfect for sharing or as an alternative birthday cake.
The usual array of beverages are offered, from lattes and cappuccinos through to milkshakes and juices, but it was the karak latte that had everybody talking.
During the opening event we were lucky enough to meet with Paul Hurley, the Founder of Dum Dum’s. Paul spoke animatedly about the brand and his vision to create ‘The Best Doughnut In The World.’ Drawing on the influence of a traditional French patisserie, for Paul it’s all about hand crafting a product of the highest quality and keeping the customers happy.
We can also reveal that if things go well at the Jumeriah branch, then the UAE can expect a further nine stores to pop up within five years, the next of which will likely be a kiosk at JBR. We did ask about the prospects for Abu Dhabi and it is part of the plan, but no further details are available at the stage.
Dum Dum’s has been in a soft opening phase for the past two weeks, though the staff have been hard at work for the best part of a month to create the correct tastes and standards for the brand. Be aware that there are unlikely to be any imitations as the baked cronut is patented to Dum Dum’s and therefore cannot be replicated elsewhere.
The neon sign at the front of the store lights up with the words ‘sold out’ once all of the daily fresh produce is gone. So make sure you hurry down, before it’s too late, or if you’re to lazy to travel to Jumeirah, the good news is that they deliver throughout Dubai – yay!
One thing’s for sure – having sampled at least seven of the donuts (we took a further three home), we ca confirm that Dum Dum’s are hands down the best cronuts that we have ever sampled and the fact that they are baked means that they are lower in fat – so we can eat far more of them!!
Consider us converted to the world of Dum Dum’s. We will certainly be seeking out all of the signature flavours unique to each store, when we return to London for vacation this summer.
Location: Blue Reef Building, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2, Dubai
Hours: 8:00am – 10:00pm
Phone: 04 261 1601
We were invited to this event but all views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, unless otherwise stated.