Our fa­vorite dessert des­ti­na­tion of 2017


Dan Matutina’s love for dough­nuts can only be ri­valed by Homer Simp­son. Now who’s Dan Matutina, you may ask. Un­less you’re im­mersed in the fields of dig­i­tal art and brand de­vel­op­ment, Dan’s name may not be as fa­mil­iar as Homer’s, but in the fast-grow­ing global in­dus­try of an­i­ma­tion and graphic de­sign, he’s one of the most highly-re­spected and in-de­mand Filipinos. He’s done art­work for Google, the Wash­ing­ton Post, For­tune, the Wall Street Journal, Hava­ianas, Coke, Heineken, and most apt, the cam­paign for the launch of Pin­ter­est in the Philip­pines. He’s bril­liant. And he pos­i­tively beams when he talks about his pas­sion for dough­nuts.

He im­pressed me right off the bat when we found com­mon ground in our love for San Fran­cisco’s Dy­namo Donuts & Cof­fee. I was ac­tu­ally in­stantly re­minded of my Bay Area fa­vorite when I saw Poi­son’s line-up, and Dan pro­ceeded to en­thuse about his fa­vorites there, as well as his top tire-shaped pref­er­ences in New York and Lon­don. We rem­i­nisced about the Filipinos’ al­most sala­cious pas­sion for dough­nuts/donuts, how­ever they’re spelled. Dan’s from Leyte, so he closely ob­served how ev­ery new dough­nut brand eclipsed the pre­vi­ous one in pop­u­lar­ity, as ev­i­denced by the hand car­ried dozens for “pasalubongs” in flights to Ta­cloban: from Dunkin’ to GoNuts to Krispy Kreme to J.Co and in the fu­ture, per­haps, Poi­son?

Why not? “Dough­nuts so good, they’re deadly” is an ir­re­sistible pitch. And in­deed, they are. I con­sider my­self a con­nois­seur, and Poi­son’s def­i­nitely are killer. No sur­prise there, be­cause Dan found the per­fect con­spir­a­tors in devel­op­ing his dream dough­nut shop: Kris­tine Lotilla and Miko Aspi­ras, the pair be­hind the #1 cookie store in the coun­try, Scout’s Honor, and the pro­gres­sive French-Ja­panese pas­tries of Le Pe­tit Souf­flé. To­gether, this new trio bounced idea af­ter ge­nius idea off each other, un­til they were sat­is­fied with their ini­tial line up of 7 vari­ants, each burst­ing with fla­vor, and over­flow­ing with creativ­ity.

The com­mon sugar-sprin­kled dough­nut is el­e­vated into an ex­otic cre­ation, dusted with Garam Masala, the spice mix­ture from In­dia. Their egg cus­tard dough­nut is filled with a lus­cious Brazo de Mercedes cream. The blue­berry dough­nut? Stuffed with tart lemon curd and a jam of with whole blue­ber­ries.

It’s funny though. There are seven vari­ants, all unique and all ex­cep­tional, but the Poi­son take-home boxes are only made for six. It seems that Dan, Kris­tine, and Miko are also adept at sales strate­gies.

Oh, and the cof­fee is pretty damn good too. There’s a mi­cro-creamy Flat White of course, made from Yard­stick beans, us­ing top-of-the-line La Mar­zocco espresso ma­chines from Italy. The whole vibe is dra­matic and al­most, well, dan­ger­ous. The mood is all dark and pur­ple and neon and the late great rock star Prince would have loved it here. Dough­nuts and Art. Dough­nuts as Art. It’s my kind of poi­son.


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