After the Great Kanto Earthquake of ‘23, something strange happened at the Manseibashi Station. What had been an inelegant structure, reminicent of a 1890’s armory building became a crumbled facade. A ghost building. The offical reports said no one was injured or killed in the quake. Incredible, as the roof completely collapsed. However, the government reports left out one man. Kazu was busy setting up his cart for the day in the station when the ground began to shake. He always arrived early. Fry oil takes ages to heat up. Kazu knew that no one likes a greasy pastry. It had to be delicately crispy on the outside, perfectly fluffy on the inside and light, like the summer clouds above Mount Aino. Kazu had just lit the brass alcohol burner under his oil when he felt the first tremblings of the ground. A dull roar filled his ears, like an incoming subway train. He thought nothing of it. Early runs were routine as the system prepared for a day of heavy traffic.
The roar increased. It filled his ears, as if the noise had a density to it. Like being at the bottom of a pool. Plaster flaked from the ornate ceiling. The oil in Kazu’s fry tank jumped about like a tiny angry ocean. Kazu knew then that it was not a train.
The lights flickered out right as the ground beneath Kazu opened up. For a moment, Kazu and his cart remained, suspended as if by invisible wires. Poised above the chasm. Before gravity recalled it’s duty, Kazu saw a green light emanating from the void. And then he and his cart fell soundlessly.
A musicial silence enveloped Kazu as he fell. Like a church choir singing with the mute button pressed. He could feel the pulses of sound, but no sound came. Not even the rushing of the wind. The fry oil lay still. The flame of the burner remained lit and steady. The green light hugged him and carried him down.
The world has seen many many donuts since Kazu fell. But to this day, no donuts have surpassed the quality of Kazu’s donuts. There have been short poems written about them. Stories passed from grandfather to grandchild. Blogs have been posted. Legends have arrisen. Kazu left no recipes. No photographs exist. His simple, perfect donuts remain unrepeatable. Unknowable. A state of donut enlightenment that one could only achieve on the early morning train south bound out of the Manseibashi Station prior to 1923.
It is in honor of Kazu and his lost craft that we offer these Japanese Donuts. They are not as good as Kazu’s donuts. But they are much much better than every other donut we have experienced. Like all good donuts, they are small, understated, perfectly round. They do not crumble. They do not try to impress with fun colors or strange needless additives. They are small, well made, Japanese Donuts. You can not get these just anywhere.
Put them on your brake cable as it runs along the top tube. When you squeeze the lever, think of firm yet forgiving feeling of freshly fried dough, served hot on a small napkin in a crowded subway station almost 100 years ago.
$0.40 for a triple donut.