I passed by SM Megamall for an errand the other day, and saw the build-up announcement by The Strip area of Building B. I am getting excited.

I am not a big donut fan. Admittedly, I never caught on the Krispy Kreme craze and only ingest them when I have no other breakfast choice. There is something excessively sweet about conventional donuts and all that powdered sugar. There’s a very thick line between delightfully sweet and sickening saccharine and donuts seem to always fall off the cliff for me.

So when I received not one, but three boxes of J.Co donuts to try out, initially I was ambivalent towards them. First, I was attempting to go on a diet, which failed drastically because of eating way too much donuts. Secondly, I was cutting down on sweets, or so I pronounced. Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve read up that J.Co Donuts & Coffee is not just your typical donut shop for Homer. Aside from the mandatory donuts,  J.Co’s offerings also includes coffee based drinks, creamy yogurts and an inviting ambiance. That is a great idea because imagine visiting Starbucks, Pinkberry and Krispy Kreme all in one store.

J.Co is an Indonesian chain that began in 2005 at the helm of Johnny Andrean who wanted to fuse together the western foodie crazy with the exoticism of eastern influences. Though the first PHL branch is scheduled to open this February, J.Co is already 100+ branches strong all over Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and even China. It’s the fastest growing coffee & donut chain in southeast Asia.

After carefully considering the Asian palate and taste buds, Johnny created a food chain that is fast sweeping across the Orient. These are, what I would like to consider, Designer Donuts.

Visually, the box’s contents were stunning. Only one donut was dusted with powdered sugar, the rest are a whimsical set of brightly colored, richly flavored and artistically crafted donuts which kind of brought the kid out in me, in a chic-er way, of course.

Another reason why my resistance towards donuts waned after receiving them is because J.CO uses the best ingredients found around the world such as Belgian chocolates, Californian almonds, American honey, New Zealand cheese, and Japanese Matcha green tea. I mean, if I’m going to get punished at the gym for eating something, it better be worth the calories.

Alcapone

J.Co’s signature product is also my favorite of the bunch. White Belgian chocolate meets crunchy Californian almonds.

Recipe from Rome, Almonds from California. White chocolate from Belgium and the donut is originally created in Indonesia.”

I was surprised that it was only slightly sweet, especially because they used White chocolate which is really more cocoa butter than it is cocoa. The slivers of almonds were delightfully crunchy and set me up for success since you’re supposed to eat nuts on a daily basis.

The donut itself is soft and light, not heavy as a brick. This donut situation was beginning to be enjoyeable. I really love the generous topping of almonds which makes me feel healthier just biting into it.

Black Jack

Plain and simple. I was surprised that when I bit into it the chocolate was not a glaze, which is made from a LOT of sugar, but an actual shell using Belgian dark chocolate. I loved how it was satisfying without being overly sweet.

Choco Caviar

If you’re still not happy with a nice thick coating of dark chocolate, why not add chocolate balls all over to get you all chipper?

Tiramisu

This one I enjoyed because I really love the flavors of tiramisu. The slight mocha flavor of the shell was so addicting, and the light cream filling was enjoyable without giving me a sugar rush. And the donut was fluffy, so overall the mouthfeel was just a joyride.

Choconutzzy

Don Mochino

Dark chocolate shell with a mocha cream filling. Damn good.

Heaven Berry

The donut version of Strawberries n’ Cream with a white chocolate strawberry shell and a creamy strawberry filling. It tasted like… strawberries, not of strawberry jam. Again, surprisingly not sweet given its Pepto-Bismol tint.

So think of J.Co as your designer donut boutique. where you can act like an adult and eat your donut, too. The fact that the donuts are less sweet than conventional donuts means that their ingredients are of quality which don’t need to be masked with loads of sugar. It also allows you to indulge in their coffee concoctions or frozen yogurt desserts on the side.

I think I found my new potluck contribution for 2012. Haute Donuts from J.Co

J.Co Donut & Coffee first Manila branch will be at The Strip, Building B of SM Megamall (beside Mang Inasal). It will be open on March 15th, 2012. So if you are as excited as I am to get your donut/coffee/yogurt fix from them, come on the FIRST day because there will be a special treat for the first 200 customers who visit the store beginning at 9am on the 16th. Mark your calendars!

View J.Co Donut’s whimsical website