Comeco Foods is a vegan and gluten free donut and sushi store on King Street in Newtown. There couple Yu and Masa craft hand made donuts using a gluten free sourdough mixture with a remarkable dedication to making sure that their sushi and donuts are free from additives and allergens. Donuts come in flavours like salted caramel custard, passion fruit custard or matcha custard or if you're feeling like something savoury, a curry donut!
Tip: the best time to visit Comeco Foods is on the weekend. The donuts are available during the week and weekends but if you want to try their vegan sushi this is only available on the weekends. Also, the curry donut is also a weekend only special.
Yu Ozone and her husband Masa Haga are the team behind Comeco Foods. Prior to Comeco, Yu worked as a sales representative in the food industry for 9 years supplying imported food to restaurants in Sydney but it didn't sit well with her. "I was shocked by the amount of imported food that had been injected with substances to enhance their appearance, sometimes artificial and containing lots of additives to enhance the taste. I did not sample these myself since I knew it, but customers at restaurant did without realising. That made me feel bad," she says.
At the same time Yu developed allergies to gluten, dairy and eggs and a naturopath told her to look after bowel health by avoiding food additives, GMO ingredients and agricultural chemicals.
"This experience has made me passionate about making tasty food which is allergy friendly, choosing the ingredients carefully and with our customers in mind. I realised not many restaurants are mindful of people with allergies," Yu says. When she couldn't find an additive free rice flour they decided to grind their own rice flour. The word Comeco means "rice flour" in Japanese.
It's a sunny winter's day when Mr NQN and I visit Comeco Foods to pick up our order. Trying to stay as socially distant as possible and minimise my time in crowds, I had ordered and paid for my sushi and donuts ahead of time so all I needed was to pick it up. At the moment people can't eat in and can only take away.
At home we start on the sushi. The eggplant teriyaki is both of our favourites. Taking on an unagi or roasted eel texture and taste it is also slightly smokey too. It is made with organic pumpkin tempura, onion rings, cucumber, carrot, pan fried eggplant and teriyaki sauce. To make their sushi gluten free they use organic brown rice vinegar & tamari soy sauce.
Having said that, we actually like all of the sushi rolls. The sukiyaki curry roll has a dollop of curry mayonnaise on top and lotus chips. Inside the roll are konnyaku noodles and shiitake mushroom seasoned with sukiyaki sauce, spring onion, and carrot.
The mushroom chilli roll has mushroom tempura, carrot and cucumber inside and chilli mayonnaise and crushed organic corn chips and crushed chilli on top. They make their chilli mayonnaise differently. Yu explains, "Many other sushi restaurants use Sriracha sauce for chilli mayonnaise, but it actually contains Xanthan Gum and preservatives. So we mix 4 kinds of spices to make chilli mayonnaise."
For the donuts they use organic brown rice flour for the sourdough donuts made from bio-dynamic brown rice grown in the Northern Rivers of NSW. The dough is gluten-free, vegan and nut free.
It took Yu about a year to get the sourdough gluten free donut recipe right. "I adjusted the water amount, rice flour roughness, and fermentation time so many times," says Yu.
If you're expecting something like the Demochi mochi donuts, they're not like that. They're more dense, chewy but still with air bubbles with a wholesome slightly sour flavour to them from the sourdough starter.
The curry donut is the only savoury donut. It's filled with a filling made with 20 organic spices and fruits and veggies like carrot, apple, onion and tomato and are rolled in rice breadcrumbs from their rice bread. It's pretty damn delicious.
The salted caramel custard, matcha and passion fruit donuts are the same donut dough but rolled in sugar and filled with an organic soy milk based custard that just oozes out from the centre. It's hard to pick a favourite but for me it's probably passion fruit with that wonderful sweet tang.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you got any allergies? Are you a vegan or gluten free eater?
This meal was independently paid for.
524A King St, Newtown NSW 2042
Tuesday to Friday 12–5pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am–2pm