de Vili’s

Mar 2017
Donut from Café de Vili’s

Villi’s is a long-standing South Australian tradition, or so I’m led to believe. At least it was one of the first donuts I tried when I first came to Adelaide. Gracing the windows of most builder’s cafes the Vili’s logo is found on nearly every street in this fair city and it’s hard to miss or avoid. It wasn’t until I was en route to the airport following my second trip to Adelaide that I went to the 24-hour source of these large, fluffy donuts.

Driving down South Road in Adelaide is never a pleasing site. Adelaide can be, in my opinion, a beautiful city. With a meandering river, multiple parks and green, leafy hills and a border of white beaches it’s hard to beat. However, with any city, the human ability to destroy nature is evident – no more so than with South Road. It’s a four-lane affair, with grey asphalt blending into the grey buildings either side. A layer of dirt dusting all, including the bright and obtrusive billboards and peeling local signages of companies long gone. Continue North up South Road, an oxymoron I’m aware, you near the airport and nearby is a familiar Vili’s sign abutting a brick-walled factory and with an overly optimistic temperature gauge.

Café de Vili’s, Mile End
Café de Vili’s,
Mile End South
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The first visit here in 2014 was on the way to the airport, with 24 hours of travel and airplane food awaiting me, I asked my friends to pull over. The 24-hour cafe is in no way special, formica tables and linoleum floors with the smell of grease and stale coffee filling the air – but be not quick to judge what comes from within these old walls. On this particular occasion I don’t think I took in the surroundings much, more focussed on the donuts and making my flight. I got two for the road, shoving them into my bulging travel bag and sprinkling my way through security.

Delightfully, and purely incidentally (I do not tell a lie) when we moved to Australia in 2016 I was overjoyed to find that the house we rented was less than a 5-minute drive away from this 24-hour bakery. It was a danger I recognised and vowed in my jet-lagged state would only be partaken in if I ran to the bakery and back as some compensatory exercise. One year, and at least 10 Vili’s donuts later, I’ve not run there once and honestly, I don’t really intend on ever running there either.

The occasion on which the following donut was enjoyed was a night in with my husband. Late in the summer we sat watching TV, whittling away boredom with Seinfeld. Bedtime rolled around but with neither of us particularly tired we sought further entertainment. A genius, who shan’t be named, suggested an 11PM trip to Vili’s followed by a large glass of Scottish Whisky and it wasn’t hard convincing the other party to agree. Within 10 minutes of vacating the couch we were back on it, Vili’s in one hand and quickly consumed.

Aesthetics 7.5

The donut was well formed and of fair size. One side of the donut was very slightly thicker than the rest. The donut was topped with light pink icing and plenty of sprinkles. The sprinkle/icing coverage was nearly perfect for the size and width of the donut, topping a light golden dough. Slight spillage and dripping of the topping down the side was not aesthetically pleasing but only of a minor note. 

Topping 8

The icing was a light pink colour which usually means a synthetic raspberry or strawberry flavour, however, I was pleasantly surprised that the flavour was not overpowering. The icing was of good volume and consistency with a great covering of crisp and fresh colourful sprinkles. 

Dough 7

The dough was fairly good and far from bland. It was salty and sweet simultaneously, although erring towards the salty side more than was ideal. However, when eaten with the icing and sprinkles it became much better balanced. The dough could have been slightly more yeasty and bit sweeter to give it a bit richer of taste.

Texture 6

The dough was very light and airy, a bit too dry for me personally. There was little crunch to the outside of the dough. There was little springiness too it, probably secondary to it being so light and airy and more chew and density, i.e. dough-e-ness, would have made a wonderful change. The icing was of good texture so no faults to mention there and the sprinkles crunched.



Worthy Contender

A great donut to be had, delicious. Not the biggest donut on the Adelaide block but a great contender for one of Adelaide’s best.

  • Aesthetics: 7.5
  • Topping: 8
  • Dough: 7
  • Texture: 6

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