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Review of Jelly Modern Doughnuts

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Tucked away at the corner of 8th St and 14th Ave, Jelly Modern is the latest entry into Calgary’s ever expanding food scene. Started by a pair of sisters, Jelly Modern attempts to bring to Calgary what one of the sisters saw in her travels around the world. The sisters don’t have any culinary background themselves, but opted instead, to rely on consultants and other pastry chefs to expand on their vision and crystallize their ideas.

The thing that strikes you about Jelly Modern as you walk in is how meticulously everything has been thought out. From the overall color scheme and decor to the wooden (and biodegradable) knives and spoons, the sisters have clearly put in a lot of thought and effort into this establishment. The interior of the place is bright and airy, even on a cloudy day, and enhances the appearance of the doughnuts behind the giant glass wall. There are two entrance doors to facilitate the movement of foot traffic through the place. Unlike other dessert houses, Jelly Modern invites you to stay and enjoy their delectable offerings with ample seating room. Clearly, everything about JM has been designed to enhance the experience of doughnuts. Brilliant.

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Everything about this establishment is different from what you have seen in Calgary. Indeed, even their ordering process is different. Instead of ordering and paying upfront, you order first and then pay the next counter over where your order is fulfilled. There was some heated discussion in our group if this system actually increased efficiency and turnover, but like most arguments, ended with two of us ganging up on the third engineer and berating him for being a bitch. Yes, engineers can be assholes too (this should come as no surprise to anyone who has met Kiran -Richard).

Richard throws his  Asian "gang sign"

The above picture makes more sense if you watch this video:  POSER! – The history and evolution of the "Peace Sign"

Richard and I ordered the marshmallow doughnut, whereas Matt went for the mini-doughnuts. I also decided to get an espresso to complement the sugar rush I was about to receive. The doughnuts come in this paper box that is clearly designed to leave the option of taking a portion of your doughnut home. Biting into the doughnut is like biting into a cloud – your teeth simply cut through the doughnut without any resistance whatsoever. The marshmallow glazing wasn’t too sweet and complemented the doughnut. I wasn’t that impressed with the espresso though – it came in a paper sippy cup and was simply too weak. In fact, it was so unmemorable that I don’t even remember what it tasted like.

Richard’s Notes

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Upon hearing about Jelly Modern, I immediately thought that doughnuts are the new cupcake – no doubt the place is drawn along the same lines as boutique bakeries such as Bliss, Crave, and Buttercream, though with a doughy, deep-fried twist. Their menu features some rather unique options such as marshmallow, carrot cake and maple-bacon (!), as well as having a special creation every Saturday.

With both Jelly Modern and the Big Cheese opening in the past little while, sales of wax-lined cardboard boxes in Calgary must have surely exploded.  In my opinion, a plate would have served better given that we were staying to eat, and might have cut down on the time it took from the order to receipt of fatty deliciousness. Despite the awkwardness of eating a doughnut out of a box, the marshmallow doughnut proved quite tasty.

I also ordered an organic pomegranate-limeade (can you get a more pretentious juice?), which cost nearly twice as much as my doughnut – not quite worth it, in my opinion.  In general, I felt that the regular doughnuts were of reasonable value (at $2.25) given how large they were, while the mini doughnuts were relatively steeply priced at $1.95 each despite being less than half the size of a regular doughnut.

Summary

JM is apparently Canada’s first and only gourmet doughnut bakery-cafe that makes hand-crafted doughnuts (I didn’t realize not all doughnuts aren’t hand-crafted). This is gourmet doughnuts at its finest. In fact, this place is so gourmet and boutique, it deserves an ‘e’ at the end of ‘modern’. The doughnuts are so gourmet that they are, in fact, healthier than regular doughnuts (to be honest, that doesn’t seem like much of an achievement 😛 -Richard). Amazing.

JM is definitely garnering its share of attention. The place is amazing and definitely caters to the young, hip, socially-conscious clientele. Only time will tell if Jelly Modern survives the initial hype and excitement, but considering the success of other gourmet dessert houses like Crave, I don’t think it is going to go away anytime soon.

Ranking

  Kiran Richard
Ambiance 5/6 5/6
Service 4/6 3.5/6
Plating N/A 4/6
Taste 5/6 5/6
Originality 5/6 6/6
Value 5/6 Depends (3.5/6)
Overall 24/30= 80% 27/36 = 75%

Jelly Modern Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

2 responses to “Review of Jelly Modern Doughnuts

  1. rita May 19, 2011 at 20:55

    Hi guys. Thank you for taking the time to review Jelly and your very thoughtful comments. Would love to meet you and treat you to a doughnut on one of our new bamboo trays, the small ones have come in…still waiting for the large, buy you a cup of our organic house roast coffee , see how you like our new chairs and debate the ordering system.

    Kind Regards,

    rita@jellymoderndoughnuts.com

    • kiransomanchi May 20, 2011 at 07:12

      The bamboo trays sound awesome. Looking forward to meeting you to. Dropped you an email.
      Thanks!

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