Artisan doughnut shops are getting more and more experimental with their treats these days, mixing things like bacon, everything bagel seasoning, and even fried chicken into their recipes. But all those doughnuts are still, ultimately, meant to be dessert.
Not so for Forbidden Donuts, a pop-up shop in Manhattan. There, Chef Richard Farnabe serves up strictly savory doughnuts, with out-there flavors like lobster roll and caviar that are clearly more ‘appetizer’ than dessert.
If the concept seems like a prank, that’s because it actually started as a joke — but the buzzy doughnuts have become a popular snack for New York City foodies and regularly sell out.
That’s new! Forbidden Donuts in New York City sells savory, not sweet, doughnuts
Something fishy here… The idea came about when Chef Richard Farnabe was joking about putting caviar in a doughnut — but he really did it (pictured)
Limited: The doughnuts sell for $5 to $18 and are only available on the weekends at the Bowery Kitchen Supplies counter in Chelsea Market
Got a kick: Other offerings have included the kimchi doughnut (left) and the Bloody Mary (right)
Quick! The doughnuts regularly sell out and have caught the attention of city foodies
‘Everything came out of a joke, but we just turned that joke into reality,’ Chef Farnabe told Delish. ‘We were making sweet donuts in the kitchen and someone said, “Why won’t you put caviar on those?”
The French chef, whose resume includes the famed New York restaurants Daniel, Petrossian, and Jean Georges, found that the unexpected combination worked better than expected and soon began selling them to customers at the Bowery Kitchen Supplies counter in Chelsea Market every weekend.
The menu is certainly not for traditionalists — or the cash-strapped, as prices range from $5 to $18. Options are mostly meat (with a focus on seafood) and vegetable-based.
There’s the flagship caviar doughnut, which is filled with an oscetra caviar cream filling filling and topped with ream fraiche glaze and vodka jelly.
Nope, that’s not citrus! This doughnut has a smoked salmon mousse filling, a cream fraiche glaze, and salmon roe on top
An acquired taste: Other items have included the Sweet Pea and mango with green peppercorns and crab salad
Mixing it up: The foie gras doughnut (right) has a chocolate glaze
Past menu items have included smoked tomato and mozzarella (right) and green olive tapenade (left)
Also from the sea is the the lobster roll doughnut — made with lobster meat and a lobster bisque glaze — as well as a pastry made with a smoked salmon mousse filling, a cream fraiche glaze, and salmon roe on top.
The foie gras doughnut has the most familiar ingredient: In addition to the foie gras mousse filling, it has a chocolate glaze.
Vegetable fans have the sweet pea doughnut (made with sweet peas, ramps, and a mint glaze), the cauliflower doughnut (stuffed with peanut, ginger, and roasted cauliflower), the artichoke doughnut (artichokes and Matcha green tea glaze), and the kimchi doughnut (filled with Korean fermented cabbage dish kimchi and glazed with sriracha).
‘You can start with something sweet and finish very spicy — and there’s protein and vegetables,’ the chef added.
Get your veggies: Other past menu items have included doughnuts with broccoli and garlic
‘You can start with something sweet and finish very spicy — and there’s protein and vegetables,’ the chef said
Interesting… The doughnuts are definitely Instagrammable (Yuzu sake gelé and uni pictured right)
Impressed: A customer who ordered the kimchi wrote on Instagram: ‘This donut was savory and has bit of kick it, different but delicious
Since it first opened back in April, there has also been flavors liked garlic, Bloody Mary, broccoli, smoked tomato and mozzarella, green olive tapenade, Yuzu sake gelé and uni, Thai coconut with carrots and ginger, and mango with green peppercorns and crab salad.
Fans who snap up the doughnuts each week admit they’re unique but seem to like them.
One who ordered the kimchi wrote on Instagram: ‘This donut was savory and has bit of kick it, different but delicious.’
‘Amaaaaazzzziinnnnggggg,’ wrote another.