Nov 2021
Donut from Robe Bakery, South Australia

Over 10 years ago I was still blissfully ignorant of how wonderful Australia was. In my mind, Australia was a place far away, with very tanned and healthy people, who spent their lives on roller skates, surfboards and beach towels. They ate this black tar called Vegemite straight from the jar and said “G’day” … a lot. Australian’s also kept koalas for pets and Joey the ‘roo was not eaten, but the friendly neighbourhood larrikin. Half of my ideas of Australia, and Australians, came from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Australian movie “Our Lips are Sealed”, which I watched when I was 12. Since that cinematic enigma, I’d met a handful of Australian’s backpacking across Europe. They always proved to be a friendly (and usually intoxicated) bunch, up for a laugh.

Then in my early 20’s I read a book by Bill Bryson called “Down Under”. I’m a big fan of ol’ Bill’s and this book was probably the biggest trigger for me visiting Australia. I was charmed by the images Bill had painted. I wanted to experience the Adelaide Oval thriving with crowds post cricket, drink a cold bevy down at the hot beach and most of all I wanted to see what the deal was with Australia making big things.

Robe Bakery 1884, South Australia
Robe Bakery,
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This brings me to the Big Lobster down at Kingston. If you’re South Australian you’ll know what this is. If you’re not, you’re probably wondering why a little South Australian town would bother to make a giant lobster. I’d encourage you to read Bryson’s book which provides an entertaining description of Australia’s love for all things big.

When I found out I was going to South Australia I knew that I had to go see the Big Lobster. Finally, on my second trip here, I did. It was a joyful, and long-anticipated moment, in my life. Now (I’ll cycle back to the donut blog), where were we heading? Robe. And, what’s en route to Robe? Only the wonderful, show-stopping monstrosity that is The Big Lobster.

So, what does that have to do with Robe’s donut? Nothing. I’ve just wasted 20 minutes of my time writing, and approximately 3 minutes of your time reading, to state that the donut we tried in Robe and the Big Lobster have nothing in common except their relative proximity.

And that they’re both worth the trip.

I really liked Robe and its seaside, tourism charm. The shops were overpriced yet delightful, everything was accompanied by a nautical theme, there were plenty of heaving bars and all the tables were full outside the cafes. We spent a delightful weekend with friends down at a seaside shack, exploring the town, seeing the lighthouse and walking along the cliffs. I look forward to going back.

And the donut? The donut was great. It’s nice to have a good bakery in the middle of a tourist town. Worth the stop if you are craving a donut on your next seaside adventure.

Aesthetics 6.5

The dough was dark and lopsided with a chunky diameter. In the midst of this mountain of dough, the smallest of holes gave some resemblance to a donut. The icing had bubbles on its surface and was uneven in its spread. The chocolate sprinkles were generous, slashed across half of the topping.

Topping 7.5

The icing was a chocolate flavour, with a dry shell and moist stickiness underneath. The chocolate (flavoured), crunchy sprinkles were very sweet – adding good texture but little benefit to the flavour. Overall, it wasn't a bad topping but it doesn't make the donut stand out from its competitors.

Dough 7.5

The dough was greasy, like chips, both on the hands and in the mouth. It tasted more savoury than other doughs, yeasty and salty, with not much sweetness thrown in. However, in combination with the sweet icing, the taste balanced out well. The dough was thankfully, and deliciously, fresh.

Texture 8.5

The dough was lovely and fresh. It was dense, and I say so in a positive light, without being chewy or dry. The icing was a bit on the sticky side once you broke through the shell, but not offensively so. There was a good crunch from the sprinkled half. Overall, the freshness of this donut gave rise to a good mark in texture.



Heavenly Delight

The donut was wonderfully fresh and delicious in that deep-fried, homemade kind of way. The balance between the sweet icing and the more savoury base worked well. I would definitely partake in this donut again, should I find myself in Robe.

  • Aesthetics: 6.5
  • Topping: 7.5
  • Dough: 7.5
  • Texture: 8.5

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