Today was a gorgeous sunny day in Waikiki, so after the beach I decided to cool off with a Rainbow Shave Ice from Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice stand, just up the street on Kapahulu avenue.
The menu board was a bit confusing, as it only lists their “fancy” shave ice concoctions, including Azuki Bowl, Ice Cream Bowl (more than plain vanilla), Sunday Shave Ice Bowl, Custard Bowl and Mocha Bowl. Looks interesting, but all I wanted was a basic shave ice with vanilla ice cream on the bottom. So I told the girl to give me exactly that in a large size, and she rang it up @ $3.01. Cool. Literally and figuratively!
In less than a minute I was sitting down on the counter inside the store digging into my shave ice.
Let’s talk texture, which is where Waiola nails it. Notice how the ice is holding, even over the edge of the spoon…
It’s Superfine, yet not too powdery. Just enough where the syrup evenly coats every cubic inch of it, from the outside in. This superfine texture also almost convinces you that this is ice cream, and we haven’t even reached that point yet!
After a little digging, you reach the rich, milky goodness of the vanilla ice cream at the base, which is a fantastic contrast to the lighter syrup-flavored ice…
Scoop a little vanilla ice cream, along with the rainbow-flavored shave ice….
and my friends, it doesn’t get any simpler, yet any better than this! Hit da’ spot! Hit the spot.
I thought this would make a funny photo…
A Rainbow Shave Ice in front of Rainbow Drive Inn! Rainbow Drive Inn is just a block down the street, which is near where I parked.
The “melt factor” was also impressive. I ate about a third of it in the shop, then by the time I walked back to my car a block down, took all the photos shown here, then sat in the car to finish the rest, that had to have been at least 15 minutes. This in scorching Hawaiian sun.
I must make a comment about the bowl, which I think is much more user-friendly than the traditional paper cone. But there’s something nostalgic about the paper cone, with the finely-shaved ice packed in a bulbous top-heavy heap on top that makes it that much more fun to eat. Especially with the classic flat wooden spoon. Ya’ know? When the ice starts to melt, and some of the shave ice falls to the ground, you feel a little bummed, yet laugh about it at the same time. Perhaps they got tired of mopping up those messes in the shop and decided to play it safe by using bowls. Fine. Fine then. Be like that. lol
Here’s a picture chart showcasing some of their “designer” creations…
On the wall to the right of the shop are shave ice syrups, crack seed, chips, candy and Waiola logo T-Shirts for sale…
As you see, the syrup flavors available include Li Hing Mui, Mango, Pineapple, Coconut, Lemon-Lime, Banana, Vanilla and Strawberry.
My sister used to run a lunch wagon a long time ago, and they used to get their syrup from Harders, who even back then had some wild flavors such as Pistachio and Bubble Gum. Excellent shave ice syrups.
To the left of the shop is a counter to sit on and some shelving to display their baked goods…
Although there were no baked goods on this Saturday afternoon visit. At least none that I noticed. Just Shave Ice.
There were a steady stream of customers though. This place does very good business here. Every time I drive by there’s folks standing outside eating their shave ice.
Waiola is located several blocks mauka of Waikiki (easily within walking distance), on the Diamond Head side of Kapahulu avenue in a building that faces the corner of the intersecting street…
Here’s what you need to know…
Is there ever NOT a perfect day in Hawaii for shave ice?
Waiola Shave Ice
525 Kapahulu Avenue
The Tasty Island Rating:
(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)