I love food and where ever I go, I try to check out the different restaurants, cafes and eateries to see what awesome food options are available, whether it’s a big city or a small country town. When I headed up to Jindabyne for the first time this season, I dragged my camera up with all my gear and snow clothes and had every intention to check out some of the restaurants. I had heard some pretty bad things about the food options around Jindabyne, everything from it’s simply bad, to it being totally overpriced, but as always, I wanted to try it for myself. However, during my first trip to Jindabyne, I didn’t get a single chance to eat out. Instead, after a long day on the slopes, all I wanted to do was sizzle up some sausages, munch on some rolls and head to bed, for another big day the next morning.
On my recent trip to the snows, I wasn’t expecting much different but out of habit, I hauled my camera into the car and figured whatever. Well, two hours into my first day on the slopes, I crashed in an awkward way and ended up spraining my ankle. Sad for me but hey silver lining, I got to check out a couple of eateries around Jindabyne, starting with Lil’ Orbits.
You’ll find Lil’ Orbits in the Skitube terminal, down on the actual platform in Perisher Valley. Its pretty hard to miss, its the only shop down in the Skitube terminal and it’s glowing red. I should mention, these donuts were actually recommended to me by a friend who goes skiing often, and after trying a random set of donuts in Thredbo and being completely blown away, I was pretty keen to sample and compare those donuts to these ones at Perisher. Said friend actually said she preferred these ones from Lil’ Orbits so I was quite excited!
The choices at Lil’ Orbit are simple, they offer a range of cafe goodies including coffees, hot chocolates, slushies, cordials, other cold drinks and of course their signature product, freshly made mini donuts or ‘orbits’ because they look like the rings of Saturn. Much like normal donuts do but…well whatever I guess.
With the donuts, there are a couple of different choices, from straight cinnamon sugar coated donuts, to iced ones and even some cool little fancy iced ones, yes they’re actually called ‘fancy iced’. You can also get a couple of different sizes from a six pack to a bigger twelve size serving. Of course, you can also mix it up and get a combination of cinnamon donuts with some iced donuts or fancy iced donuts, so there’s tons of options.
We went a few times, and before my injury, I got a mix of eight cinnamon donuts and six iced donuts for $8 but didn’t really get any pictures of it, since we were so keen on the actual snowing. This time however, I got a mix of six fancy iced donuts and eight cinnamon donuts ($8.50). I figured, hey an extra 50c for some cool extra gummies and lollies, why not? I’d already spent the majority of my trip sitting in Perisher Valley watching kids learning to use the t-bar, I might as well reward myself.
I’ve never been a massive fan of most donuts but I actually really enjoyed these. They were either really really good or perhaps after a day on the slopes, everything tastes good. I’m going to go with the former, because even after a lazy day sitting in Perisher Valley, these were still as good as when I had them after a big day on the slopes.
The iced fancy donuts were simple, some fluffy house made bite sized donuts dipped in a chocolate, strawberry or caramel glazed, followed by a sprinkling of 100s and 1000s, rainbow or chocolate funfetti and finally, topped with a lolly. These were pretty nice but to be honest, I preferred the straight iced (not pictured here) donuts over these fancy ones. The gummies added an extra gummy and chewy texture that just went against the soft, airy and fluffy donuts. But, I’m sure these would be great for kids who would love the gimmick factor. Oh also, the iced donuts (including these fancy iced donuts) are not made fresh in front of you, they’re made and stored in the front window. I’m sure they’re probably made daily but its much cooler to see the donuts floating in oil and then two seconds later given to you to munch on.
Here is the second half of our donuts, the six fancy iced donuts and eight cinnamon donuts ($8.50). While the fancy iced donuts are pretty awesome, these are so much better in my opinion. Who can say no to warm donuts that are made fresh when you order them?! Plus, you can see the whole thing unfold in front of you, from the dough being squeezed out, to the frying and finally, the very generous dusting of cinnamon sugar. Nothing overly complex, just simple, awesomely scrumptious, fluffy donuts.
My favourite part about these Lil’ Orbit donuts was the size. I’ve never been a massive fan of donuts (unless they’re Krispy Kreme donuts) as they’re typically really dense, heavy and can get boring real quick. However, as these are about the size of a 50c coin, super fluffy, really airy and light, they go down an absolute treat. Plus, you can have a whole bag of six or even twelve of these and not feel stuffed.
Overall, these donuts were tasty and I absolutely loved the texture. However, the cinnamon donuts out front at Thredbo are the winners for me, they just blew me away with how good they were. Although there was a cinnamon flavour to these donuts from Lil’ Orbits, the sugar dusting was definitely stronger, almost to the point where you couldn’t really tasty the cinnamon anymore. Even having had that said, I would still get these every time I’m heading back from Perisher.
Finally, a Snickers hot chocolate ($3.50). This may just look like an inconspicuous take away coffee cup but the content inside this little cup was anything but unremarkable.
Its actually a little strange. Both Perisher and Thredbo seem to really push flavoured hot chocolates, but not just the boring ones you see at your typical cafe or coffee shop like, vanilla, hazelnut or what not. Instead, on the slopes, they seem to like chocolate bar themed hot chocolates. Here at Lil’ Orbits, they had this Snickers flavour while at Thredbo they had Snickers, Mars, Chocolate Mint and other cool things like that.
With this Snickers hot chocolate, you get a shot of hazelnut and caramel flavouring. It doesn’t sound like much but the addition of these two flavours really does take a plain old boring hot chocolate into something really tasty, and this is coming from someone who loves plain old boring hot chocolates! Plus, when your butt, wrist and every part of your body is sore and cold, this is the perfect way to end the night.
Well, that’s all. Some awesome donuts and a tasty flavoured hot chocolate. Not bad for a place that’s meant to be super bad for food and overpriced. I’ll definitely be back next season and I’ll definitely be getting more donuts from Lil’ Orbits. Maybe next time, I’ll be able to grab some photos of the donuts at Thredbo and do a write up about that too!
Skitube Terminal, 2 Kosciusko Road, Perisher Valley