Mello: a Korean-Style Donut Shop in Chinatown

After giving Mello a second chance, I am confident to provide the following review. I tried most of the flavors on my second visit, especially focusing on the mini donuts. Mello is located on East Pender Street in Chinatown, right next to Umaluma Dairy-Free Gelato. They feature Korean-style filled donuts with various flavors.

On my first visit, I visited around 7pm, and there were only the Vanilla Custard Donut left. Despite the donut is fluffy and light, I don’t think it is worth $5. The sugar-coated donut was filled with vanilla custard and was fairly sweet. However, it was nothing special as there is a similar option for Chinese donuts, Sata Andagi (沙翁). They are also deep-fried dough with no filling but have an airier and fluffier texture. More importantly, they are less expensive.

Assorted Mini Donuts

After this taste test went live on my IG story, many messaged me and asked to try the Strawberry Crème instead. So I decided to go again during lunchtime and ordered all four flavors of the mini donuts, which included Fresh Strawberry and Cream, Nutella, Creme Brûlée, and Blueberry Jam.

I tried to consume them as soon as possible, so this review would not be affected by the overnight change of texture. Each mini donut is around $2.50 to $3.50, and its size is around two-bite.

Strawberry and Cream Brioche Donut / $3.50

Since I heard many good things about the signature Fresh Strawberry and Cream donut, so I tried that first. The sugar-coated donut is airy and fluffy as usual. However, I am not sure if it is because of the size, there are no strawberries inside the donut. The cream is light and has a strong milk flavor, but I was disappointed by its minimal amount of strawberries.

Creme Brulee Brioche Donut / $3

I tried the Creme Brûlée after, and it has a thin layer of hardened caramelized sugar. The donut is denser than the Strawberry and Cream, but still fluffy. The donut is filled with the classic vanilla custard. I enjoyed this more, probably because I had a high expectation of the strawberry creme donut. It is not too sweet, and the caramelized sugar adds a nice crunch.

Blueberry Jam Brioche Donut / $2.50

The Blueberry Jam one is the densest of all. Instead of a custard or cream filling, it is filled with just blueberry jam. I think it would taste better with a blueberry cream cheese or blueberry yogurt filling. So the flavor is not as flat. This is also my least favourite donut.

Nutella Brioche Donut / $2.50

Lastly, I grabbed a bite on the Nutella donut. The sugar-coated donut is the fluffiest of all, and I would love to take another bite, only if the Nutella filling is smoother. The filling is chunky and hardened, which is surprising to see. Otherwise, its sweetness is perfect, and I would enjoy it more.

Overall Impression

I might be slightly biased in this review, as I am not a donut lover. However, after my second visit at Mello, unfortunately, I don’t think they met my expectations, in terms of price and taste. As they are a newly-opened cafe, there are definite improvements in the consistency of the donuts’ texture, regardless of the flavors. One thing that I like is that their donut is not too sweet, which is great to pair with tea as an afternoon tea treat. I might not return for a while until their quality is more stable.

Taste: 3/5 • Service: 4/5 • Ambiance: 4/5 • Quality-Price: 3/5


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