The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Honolulu, Day 6: Happy Hearts Mochi, Champion Malasadas, Waikiki Beach, Curry House, and Bubbies Ice Cream

I visited Honolulu with Kathy from May 9-16. Yeah, that was two months ago. I've been a bit sidetracked since getting back from Portland. I ONLY HAVE TWO MORE POSTS LEFT; I CAN DO THIS. You'll stick with me, won't you, dear reader? Won't. You? Okay, thanks.

sampler pack chocolate and haupia
Mochi breakfast.

I didn't plan on eating mochi for breakfast, but thanks to Reid, I did. At the previous night's dinner he presented each of his guests a variety pack from Happy Hearts Mochi, a custom order-only mochi business in Honolulu.

Is it worth ordering from Happy Hearts when there are so many places in the city that sell mochi? According to Reid and Kathy, yes. And even though I didn't get to try much other mochi during my trip, I'd concur: This mochi was damn delicious and some of the best I've ever had. The glutinous rice skin tasted especially fresh—its soft and smooth texture melded perfectly into the thick block of haupia and chocolate filling. It was like eating the perfect macaron, or the perfect cupcake—when the components of cake/cookie/glutinous rice is paired with just the right amount of frosting/filling, which in turn are flavored to have just the right amount of sweetness and...whatever flavor they're supposed to have. I've had a lot of bad macarons and cupcakes in my life though—I think mochi is more forgiving.

Champion Malasadas chiffon cakes menu
Champion Malasadas.

For second breakfast, Kathy brought us to Champion Malasadas, who, aside from malasadas, also offers a variety of mini chiffon cakes and cheap breakfast platters that come with a fresh malasada, if you so desire. And you probably desire it or else you wouldn't be there.

plain malasada innards
Plain malasada.

We shared a granulated sugar-dusted plain ($0.60) and a confectioners sugar-dusted custard-filled ($1). I don't remember much about the custard one—it wasn't as good as the plain since it didn't come fresh from the fryer. As for the sugar-dusted plain one, it burned with the heat of an angry sun. An angry sun that bestows deliciousness upon its doughy children. Unlike the malasadas from Leonard's, which were on the light and cakey side, these had a crispier crust and a chewier, denser, not-cake-like center. I couldn't say one is better than the other—I liked both and would happily eat both kinds of malasadas in mass quantities.

Buddy wants some attention
Kathy + Buddy.

We spent some time at Kathy's grandma's house to say hello and, oh, perhaaaps use the Internet. And also to see Buddy, her ailing pomeranian.

Balding. :(

His walk is a bit gimpy and he has hairless patches here and there. Kathy says they grow back, but then fall out again. :(

Of course, he's still totally adorable.

Yup, that's pretty nice lookin

And then Kathy dropped me off at Waikiki Beach. Because you can't visit Honolulu without going to the beach. Kathy's not a big fan of the surf and sun, so I walked around by myself for a few hours. It was a good opportunity to relinquish Kathy from the duties of playing host, which during this trip equated to "Driving A Lot (and subsequently memorizing the most popular songs on Top 40 radio) And Eating Too Much Food."

waves a-comin
Beach! I'm standing on you!

I didn't swim (although I dipped my feet in the water plenty of times). Yeah, yeah, whatever, I fail. Can't really go swimming when you're alone and no one can look after your stuff. I'm not a huge fan of swimming so I can't say my dreams were crushed. I do like looking at pristine blue water though. IT LOOKS MAGICAL ...Or maybe it always looks like that. I don't go to the beach very much.

I walked along the beach ended. Sort of. Then I walked through a hotel. Which was boring. And then I went back on the beach. And around the general beach area.

lonely brolly
Lonely brolly.

I passed a lot of beach chairs.

I don't think I've ever been to such a picture-perfect beach

And curvy palm trees.


And grills. (I didn't see any in use.)


And at least one sign warning swimmers about jellyfish. Translated into Japanese for the gabillion Japanese tourists.

Japanese-style mail box

Also for the Japanese tourists, a Japan Post-themed mailbox spotted at the Hilton.

spam musubi and whatnot
Spam musubi and things!

I quite liked the offerings in the heated display case at the ABC Mart (local chain of convenience stores): various Spam musubis, and one lonely plastic-wrapped cheeseburger.

Great New Rates

And there was this puzzling sign. $300 is a great rate? No, it's a "great" rate!

The Moana Surfrider
The Moana Surfrider.

I didn't go inside the Moana Surfrider, the oldest hotel in Waikiki, but it looks pretty sweet from the outside.

Hank's Hot Haute Dogs.

You may have noticed that I didn't eat lunch. There was little temptation in the ways of food while walking along the beach, but when I came across Hank's Haute Dogs in the International Marketplace, my stomach was all like, "EATAHOTDOGNOW."

These aren't just any hot dogs; they're haute dogs. OH, PUNNY. Hank's was started by Henry Adaniya, a restaurateur who switched from opening award-winning fine dining restaurants in the Chicago area to serving Chicago-style dogs in Honolulu, among loads of other classic and creative hot dogs.

hot o doggu Hot O Doggu
Let's keep the Japanese theme going.

I tried the Hot'O Doggu ($4.25) the Japanese-themed hot dog topped with zigzags of miso-ginger mayo and hoisin ginger mustard, slivers of takuan (pickled daikon), and a light sprinkling of furikake, named after how you would say "hot dog" in Japanese (ホットドッグ; okay, more like "hottodoggu"). Overall, I thought it was...alright. More interesting than a regular hot dog and it made a good snack, but after looking at the photo on the menu, I wanted more stuff on top. And mayo. I love mayo on hot dogs.


After I got my fill of cavorting around Waikiki, Kathy and I met up with Kathy's friend Noelle to eat at Curry House. This excited me greatly because I love Japanese curry about as much as I love sleeping. And watching cats do funny things on YouTube. I've been eating Japanese curry ever since I was a kid, and while I once feared that eating too much would give me palate fatigue, MY LOVE FOR THE THICK BROWN GOOP RAGES ON. (For an intro to the brown goop of deliciousness, read this post by Aya Tanaka on Serious Eats. She describes it better than I could!)

shit this menu is huge

The menu is huge. I don't mean in length—I mean its physical dimensions notably exceed those of your average menu. How could anyone not be excited after reading the copy on the cover?

extras chicken curry, yeaah corn cream croquette


pork katsu and kimchi
Pork katsu and kimchi.

We played it safe by splitting two plates between the three of us. Unless you're on the verge of eating a baby, this is the way the go. The standard plates are quite large, and they fill the plates to the brim.

First off: pork katsu and kimchi. It was the first time I tried kimchi in curry, and...I think...probably the last. It didn't really go together in my mind, at least not when the kimchi is coated in curry sauce. I think I'd be fine eating kimchi on the side. I do like pickles with Japanese curry (each table came with a container of crunchy pickle bits, what kind of pickle I'm not sure), but not so much when they're large flaccid cabbage chunks.

chicken katsu with corn and cheese
Holy fug.

Second was chicken katsu with corn and cheese. You think Japanese curry looks bad in its unadorned form? Wait till you see it mixed it with gooey cheese strands and corn nubs. But you don't have to wait, because it's right up there.

I've never had cheese or that much corn in Japanese curry before, but it's quite good. I liked the corn more than the cheese—the cheese would take me some getting used to. The chicken katsu was better than the pork. ...Or vice versa. I know one was more moist and meaty than the other. It's been two months since I ate this; memory is poopin' out. :(

If there were a Curry House in New York City I'd eat there way too often. CURRY HOUSE, PLEASE COME HERE.

Thumbs/wings up chicken

Before I move on to the dessert portion of the night, look at this awesome Japanese egg carton, seen at the neighboring Japanese grocery store, Nijiya. That hen is giving you the green light to eat her unborn babies. Hen of Approval + a rainbow backdrop = you know those eggs are going to blow your mind.


Another pre-dessert photo: BLAZIN' STEAKS. I like the name. Makes me think of steaks encircled in flames, flames that propel the steaks at high speeds to nowhere in particular, accompanied by some rock guitar riff and sunglasses-wearing (the flames are really bright, ye know) dude screeching, "BLAAAZIN' STEAAAAKS!!" while waving the sign of the horns with both fists. You see it too? Yeah.

SOOOO back to dessert. Remember how I visited Bubbies on my second day in Honolulu (which in blogging days was over a month ago), but was too full to eat anything? We made up for that by getting this:

Eat My Balls
EAT THE BALLS. Of ice cream.

EAT MY BALLS ($17.50), the suggestively named bowl of 16 fetal dip-sized ice cream scoops, which covers every flavor on their current menu. One and a half pounds of ice cream, all for us.

Uh huh...uh.
The 16 flavors

I'm not sure which was the best flavor. They all kinda...melded. It was fun to each because we didn't know what we were eating half the time. Or they melted together to create new flavors like banana-coconut-green tea.

The remains
Ice cream soup.

After 20 minutes of becoming increasingly tired of ice cream (I mean, the first five minutes were awesome, but you'd get tired of eating any gross amount of ice cream no matter how good it is), we gave up. Not that we were trying to finish the bowl. I think we did a pretty good job considering that we were already sort of full. (There's also room to cram in ice cream. It's just liquid! Frozen, churned liquid.)

Spam! Do stuff with it!

And to cap off the day, here are some Spam cookbooks spotted at Longs Drugs (where we went after Bubbies so I could buy lots of snacks and gift-y things).

Only one more Honolulu post awaits! THE END, IT IS NEAR.


Champion Malasadas
1926 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96826 (map)

Hank's Haute Dogs
2330 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
Another location at 324 Coral Street (map)

Curry House
1009 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96826 (map)
And...a whole bunch of other locations.

1010 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96826 (map)



Nicholas / July 18, 2010 5:26 AM


So... the most, the max, everything? It seems like a poor business decision to ask Asian people to select the amount of rice they wish to consume...

Steph / July 18, 2010 9:21 AM

Poor balding Buddy! I just want to give him a squeeze and tell him everything is going to be alright. Your trip to Hawaii looks like it was WONDERFUL, and I'm jealous beyond belief. Can I come next time?? :P

Marvo / July 18, 2010 5:31 PM

You'll stick with me, won't you, dear reader?
>Yes, I will. You are super awesome. AWESOME! LIKE CURRY HOUSE!

Had to compensate for the comment above.

Anyhoo, I have yet to visit Champion Malasadas, despite wanting to eat their breakfast special. My problem is that I have a tendency to get up too late. For example, it's almost 11:30 am. I just got up 10 minutes ago. Maybe someday when I don't hit my snooze button so much.

I heart Curry House. It's a three minute walk from my apartment. They used to have a deep fried breaded tofu curry, which was my favorite, but it is no longer on the menu. I was deeply saddened by that.

I have a funny story about Blazin' Steaks. One time while walking to the particular location you took a photo of, I was walking behind two college girls (I promise I was not stalking them) and one asked the other "What do they sell at Blazin' Steaks?"

Angeline / July 18, 2010 7:05 PM

It's not just Vanilla, it's the Ultimate Vanilla. People say my personality is a tad vanilla, ultimate vanilla that is. Okay I'll stop now.

I actually had mochi last night too, but I thought it was tapioca pearls until I ate it. Damn you molecular gastronomy!

Shine / July 18, 2010 7:30 PM

You have ruined curry chicken for me (tee hee). It was my #1 comfort food - but now I am disappointed when it isn't served in a cauldron the size a small human could fit into - like at Kathy's Grandma's.

Sweet Buddy. Thanks for sharing pics of him.

I hadn't heard of Hanks 'haute dogs'. Reminds me of Japadog here in Vancouver. I'll have to compare someday...

(By the way, it's easy to 'stick with you'...your Hawaii posts are a TREAT!)

Shine / July 18, 2010 7:40 PM again. Just went to Hanks site and I see his enterprise is a whole 'nother dog altogether. Japadog is more of an Asian focus. Neato!

Thanks for always providing the links to addresses and sites Robyn!

Judy / July 19, 2010 11:50 AM

You just make me totally because you get to eat such a lot of good things. I love mochi - my mom makes a really awesome one with peanut filling and one with another bean filling...which reminds me - she hasn't made this in a while...I need to con her into making me some :D

Eileen / July 19, 2010 12:32 PM

a;lskdjf;alskjf omg the perfect mochi?! That sounds way too good to be true. You are one lucky girl Robyn!!

And kimchi Japanese curry sounds like pure genius, although I'm not too sure about cheese curry haha. Can't wait for the final post of epic Hawaiian eating!!

roboppy / July 19, 2010 11:10 PM

Nicholas: HAHA, we didn't max out on everything, but maybe because we were planning on getting GIANT ICE CREAM BOWL OF DOOM after.

Steph: I wanted to squeeze him too, but I was afraid of killing him. Cos HE IS SO LITTLE.

Next time, I should hold a TGWAE meetup in honolulu. YES EVERYONE COME HELP ME EAT.

Marvo: Wake up earlier! Fulfill your breakfast destiny! And tell me if it's good.

Omg 3 min walk from Curry House = awesome. Bummer about the no fried tofu thing. FRIED TOFU IS AWESOME!

I hope that college girl got through college!

Angeline: I have a feeling the ultimate vanilla was not SO ultimate. But it was probably masked by a gazillion other flavors. ;_;

Shine: Glad you're enjoying these posts. :)

I've heard good things about Japadog! Alas, never been to Vancouver..someday, hopefully.

Judy: Aw man, I've never made mochi! I doubt my mom has ever made it. Maybe I can suggest it next time I go home for a while; I think she likes eating it.

Eileen: I am one lucky, constantly expanding girl!

jiuyen / July 20, 2010 11:04 AM

I normally come here for the food pr0n (and this post has plenty of yummy), but I am commenting to mention that the photos of the beach are stunning! Now I want to go to the beach. And eat ice cream.

Allix / July 21, 2010 12:20 AM

A Bubbie's? In Hawaii? HA. Too bad I can't visit my bubby in Hawaii instead of cataract-ville Florida.

Emma / July 21, 2010 12:57 PM

Cries...I went to Honolulu in June '07 (high school graduation present) and these lovely posts make me miss it like burning. I did not do nearly as much culinary touring as you, so this is doubly fun to read. Plus, your writing style is hilarious--I about fell out reading the BLAZIN' STEAKS thing (guitar riff!!). So yes, I will keep on reading these, because they are awesome--or in BLAZIN' STEAKS parlance, RAAAAAAD \m/ rock on

Carrie D / July 21, 2010 10:16 PM

Oh man... the fried mahi mahi & cheese curry my husband ordered at Curry House STILL has me drooling. It was just a random choice -- such a TASTY random choice!

roboppy / July 22, 2010 12:22 AM

Danny: Hawaii is full of food and win!

jiuyen: I mostly want ice cream. But I'll go back to a beach..if it's as nice as Waikiki!

Allix: My grandma lives in Florida too! When she's not in Taiwan. ...Yaay..florida...

Emma: YEAAH break out the \m/ (guitar riff)!

Carrie: Fried mahi curry! I wanna try that. Doooh another time.

Denise / July 26, 2010 7:23 PM


this is random, but I feel like everyone forgot about il laboratorio del gelato?

roboppy / July 26, 2010 9:44 PM

Denise: Aw, Il Lab...has fallen off the radar. Hm. I stopped eating their gelato after I got more hooked on L'Arte, but the other big reason is that they're only open from 10am to 6pm. Which means I could only go on the weekend. Which isn't convenient at all. If they opened late I'd probably eat there more often.

Elletoday! / September 21, 2010 4:53 PM

I LOVEEEEEE your blogs! :D i read your one post about the japanese gummi type jellybean things and pizza bread and omG!!! ive never read anything that makes me smile sooo much! :D ♥♥XOXO Elle

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