On the hunt for New Zealand's best doughnuts – Stuff

A good doughnut is the perfect sweet treat – but it can be hard to master. I travelled to every region in New Zealand, and found some so good, they’re worth the trip alone.
You’ll never look at doughnuts quite the same after a visit to this Grey Lynn shop. Two Kiwis living in Australia wanted to bring their foodie dream alive, so they started experimenting with making Cook Islands doughnuts, known for their delicate soft texture.
The pair returned home, and have established an iconic bright pink shop selling some of the best doughnuts in Auckland. Favourites include "Caramello", stuffed with creamy custard and topped with caramel cream.
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One of the best-hidden gems in Tairāwhiti is, quite literally, a ‘gem’.
Gisborne has a food company called GEM, standing for Green Eye Māori – named after chef Tihema Johnson, who has striking green eyes. But even more remarkable are his doughnuts, which are some of the best you’ll try on home soil.
One of his more popular is the Caramilk custard, with a fluffy Rarotongan-style dough packed with Caramilk ganache.
If you have an appetite, don’t miss GEM’s breakfast burger doughnut. It’s an unsweetened fluffy doughnut filled with creamy mushrooms, cheese, hash brown, bacon and a gooey fried egg.
You’ll find GEM at the Gisborne Farmers’ Market on Saturdays – among many other local treats.
One of the best places to find traditional Cook Island-style doughnuts (without any fillings or glaze) is Tanz Kitchen. This food-truck-style eatery can be found at the Auckland Night Market and serves traditional food from Rarotonga.
The markets run at a different location every night, and you’ll find TANZ at three of them: Mt Wellington, Papatoetoe and Pakuranga.
The South Island town of Motueka has become Destination Doughnut. It’s all thanks to the town’s Melbourne-esque eatery known as The Smoking Barrel, where hundreds of doughnuts are created early each morning.
The flavours are extraordinary. We’re talking R18 Naughty Snickers with bourbon salted caramel, Bounty Bar, vanilla creme brulee, Caramilk deluxe, and salted caramel popcorn – to name a few.
Then there are the breakfast doughnuts, like bacon and eggs benedict. It’s miraculously all packed inside the dough – cut it open, and a perfect egg is revealed.
New Zealand’s best savoury doughnut can be found in Christchurch, at one of the city’s top restaurants, Inati. The centrepiece of the dish is a golden-fried brioche, covered with hazelnut praline and topped with a puffed beef tendon. Cut into the doughnut, and you’ll find a hearty centre of braised beef cheek.
The slightly salty beef blends perfectly with the sweet outer layer to create a dish that’s one of the best I’ve eaten. It’s known as the ​‘boeuf-nut’, and every diner who’s lucky enough to feast here should try one.
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