Over the weekend, Jacob and I stayed at a friend's lane house in Shanghai's French Concession. It's a live-work space that is occupied by a web company, and all the techies is get their caffeine and sugar fixes from Paul, a French bakery that opened in the city last year. (I'm sure in Paris Paul is considered average, but in Shanghai a Western bakery can't be found on every corner.) Every morning we were in Shanghai one of us would make a Paul run, and come back with croissants, rolls, etc.
On Saturday, just as I was about to step out to meet my cousin for a soup dumpling lunch, J came through the door with two enormous bags. One was from Paul and was filled with Danishes, doughnuts, olive rolls, and a ham sandwich on baguette. The other was from Mr. Donut; it had a selection of large and mini doughnuts, and a little cardboard caddy of macarons.
"I didn't know Mister Donut made macarons," I said.
J shrugged. "They were 7 kuai. It's worth a try."
Since I was about to go out for lunch, I decided not to stuff myself. I mean, half the baguette sandwich, a pain au chocolat, a Danish, and two mini doughnuts are just appetizers. Then I tried two of the macarons, a green tea and a vanilla. For macarons that costs 25 US cents each, they weren't horrible. There was definitely a meringue taste, but also some artificial preservative aftertaste. But appearance-wise, they at least look less plastic than the ones I saw in Beijing's branch of Fauchon. While in China, I guess I'll just stick with my Comptoirs de France macarons.
The doughnuts, on the other hand, were very good and less oily than ones from Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts. I can probably eat 3 or 4 without feeling like I will die from a heart attack. But for pure cheap guilty pleasure, nothing beats a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed fresh off the conveyer belt. (And now transfat-free!)
Mister Donut 1008 Huaihai Zhonglu, near Shanxi Nan Lu Shanghai