Lillikoi, Malasadas, Coco Puffs, Shave ice and Pie (Oahu with kids)


February 18, 2014 by Terumi

lilikoi and rambutan

Who am I kidding with that Lillikoi in the title? Our travels are usually full of food adventures of the bakery and dessert kind and while we did stop at a lovely roadside fruit stand near the Turtle Bay Resort (recommended by the Gypsy Guide app I bought that had a running commentary/tour of the island) the most memorable Lillikoi (passion fruit) we tasted was on a chocolate dessert that my three boys inhaled after dinner at House without a Key. We also enjoyed some Lillikoi pancakes at Cinnamons in Kailua.  We always have a lot of fun finding and revisiting lovely bakeries and sweet spots all around Oahu island.

lilikoi and rambutan

Every time we visit, we look for malasadas in Oahu. They’re a type of pastry like a donut and they’re usually served hot and sprinkled with sugar. I usually like the malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery and though we missed stopping there this time I’m still convinced they’re my favorite. We tried another place I’ve heard about called Champions which had a neat takeout breakfast with eggs and rice that included a hot malasada but these ones had an aftertaste that kind of coated our tongues.

champions malasada

Our favorite malasadas this trip were some made-to-order delights from Agnes Portuguese Bakery in Kailua that were still hot when we enjoyed them back on the lanai at our hotel.

coco puffs from Liliha bakery

And I don’t know how to explain what a coco puff is except for that it should come from the Liliha bakery and you should try one in Oahu. We managed to eat IN that place for the first time at their coveted counter-you have to take the first seat that opens up or you forfeit your spot.  Fortunately for us a group of 4 got up and we were the first in a lineup of about 10 people. The fried bun with jam that comes with many of the meals is a decadence in itself.  As for real food, I really enjoyed their Mahimahi and I wanted to try their saimin too. Their coco puffs (the real reason we went) come in many flavors depending on the day and we were lucky to try green tea the day we stopped in.

shave ice
We love shave ice and we usually eat this more than ice cream when we go to Hawaii.  This time, the boys were not impressed with the one we got at “Notsumotos” at the Heli Huli Adventure Center Turtle Bay but that didn’t stop them from devouring it. They explained to me that the guy who made it should have poked it full of holes with a toothpick (they saw them do this at the real Matsumotos) so that the flavor could get everywhere-there were patches of plain ice and no flavor.  We remedied the problem by going to the actual Matsumoto Shave Ice too (our favorite Haleiwa stop) and loved the yuzu flavor with melona and ice cream. (Ps they even have sugar free shave ice here!!!)  I always get mine with azuki beans and ice cream and the rest of the family refuses to try it but it is DIVINE!
Haleiwa always brings a stop at the Coffee Gallery and we noticed it’s fancied itself up over the past couple years. I really like they’re “new” packaging and logo but  I was glad to see they still carry this taro/Haupia/macnut bar-a treat I can’t imagine finding anywhere else except Hawaii.

haupia taro bar from coffee gallery

We also found some lovely treats (like a banana bread bread pudding) at the nearby Waialua Bakery and I can’t believe we had never stopped in.  (I think we’ve eaten at almost every restaurant in Haleiwa!)  Apparently their ice cream sandwiches are pretty yummy too.

And we can’t come to Oahu without a stop at Ted’s Bakery near Sunset Beach on the North Shore.  Their chocolate haupia (coconut) pie is a dream and the lemon katsu chicken portion is big enough for my two boys and I to share and still have leftovers.

ted's bakery chocolate haupia pie

All these lovely treats sadly offset all the energy we expend at the beach and hiking around the island but these are definitely the memories we dream about when we get home.








  1. Love your new header! We were in Oahu last November and sampled most of these hawaiian goodness. Although, there are some here that we’re going to try next time. My brother got stationed there and I’m so tempted to ask him to send me some express packages of malasadas and coco puffs. 🙂 We tried Ted’s chocolate haupia for the first time and I wish I had taken some home. Have you tried pineapple with lihing powder? We are so hooked now! Always enjoy your food posts even though I’m hungry now.

  2. malaysianmeanders says:

    I like the new look of your site. You grabbed me at “Lillikoi and Malasadas…” I really enjoy fresh passionfruit while living here in Malaysia and am going to miss it when we return to Texas. I also like azuki beans and ice cream with my shaved ice while the rest of the family shuns the beans. Reading this is making me want some yummy Hawaiian desserts.

  3. Cassie says:

    This all looks so delicious! My favorite thing about hawaii is the exotic fruit, lilikoi and rambutan are my favorites! And your sons are incredibly observant of proper shave ice making technique! I’m not sure I’ve ever pegged the hole poking as an essential step, but he’s absolutely right! 🙂

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