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First Byte: Kamehameha Bakery at City Square

As you may have heard in the last “Tasty Tidbits” post, Kamehameha Bakery has relocated from their previous digs on North School Street, to a brand spankin’ new shop at City Square Shopping Center, on Kalani Street and Dillingham Boulevard. That would be the site of the old GEM store, which is now Chuck E Cheese, and also home to the Honolulu City & County DMV, hence the name, City Square.

Kam Bakery is specifically located in the separated corner wing of the complex, right across Young’s Fish Market, just a few doors over from Pancakes & Waffles. So basically, after you eat anywhere in the shopping center here, you better have an exercise plan in place. Seriously!

Ooh, did I just say “Kam Bakery”? Why yes, yes I did. Why, bodda’ you? Whoah, watch, all da’ Kam School alumnus going be scolding me now. lol

Actually, I overheard the workers answering the phone (which was ringing off the hook!), answering with “Kam Bakery”. Which I understand. Imagine taking phone call after phone call (believe me, that phone did NOT stop ringing), and having to say the full “Kamehameha Bakery” over and over. No way, Jose.

On my way to the office, I arrived there at 5:45am on their opening day on Friday, May 30th, and the line was steady, but not ridiculous. I imagine later that morning it must have gotten CRAZY, and it’s just going to get crazier as more folks catch on to their new location.

I spoke with several folks waiting in line, and they were all regulars, noting they like the new City Square shop much better, not only because it’s more centrally located, but also because there’s lots more convenient parking, especially if you’re there early. Around lunch time, forget it, but most people come early for pastries, so parking is most definitely ample in the wee hours of the morning, when everything else there is closed.

One thing’s for sure, is there were lots of orders coming out of their hectic kitchen. We’re talking massive boxes filled with Glazed and Poi Donuts, coming out one after the other for phone order pick-ups.

Without further ado, let’s check out what stay get at da’ reopened Kam Bakery in City Square…


Strawberry Donuts


Poi Haupia Rolls


Banana Bread


Croissants


Butterhorn Danish


Apple Fritters


Banana Fritters


Bearclaw and Raisin Danish


Ensemadas


Ensemadas


Corn Bread


Cinnamon Donuts


Sugar Donuts


Apple Turnovers


Pretzel Donuts


Pandecoco


Birds Nest Cookies and Snowball Cookies


Butter Rolls


Pandesal


Malasadas


Assorted Danish


Okole Bread (Molokai style!)


Box of Kamehameha Bakery… err make that KAM Bakery’s famous Poi Donuts


Kamehameha Bakery owner Geramie Paglinawan presents a MASSIVE box of Poi Donuts

Speaking of massive box, here’s the box of Kam Bakery pastries I walked out the door with on this visit to share back at the office…


Kam Bakery’s Banana Fritters (x 4), Taro Haupia Rolls (x 4), Poi Donuts (x4) and Haupia Malasadas (x 4)


Kam Bakery pastries: (clockwise from top left) Banana Fritter, Taro Haupia Roll, Poi Donut and Haupia Malasada

You know The Tasty Island rules: we always get the “money shot”…


Banana Fritter, Taro Haupia Roll, Poi Donut and Haupia Malasada “money shot”


Banana Fritter, Taro Haupia Roll, Poi Donut and Haupia Malasada “money shot”

And? If not just as AWESOME, even AWESOME-ER than when they were on School Street. Kam Bakery did not skip one beat on their move to City Square. So, so, so ONO!


Their Banana Fritter is MO-NEY!

If you haven’t tried it yet, you definitely gotta’ hit da’ Banana Fritter. OMG, that is seriously crack in the form of dough, my friends. Fritter Frickin’ ‘MAZING!

I swear this is the best all-American meets local bakery on Oahu, hands-down. The prices are great, and the pastries are even greater-er.


Haupia Malsada

Kamehameha Bakery, now at City Square Shopping is Center is NO KA OI!!!

Related links:

Kamehameha Bakery Menu PDF download (<—this an old 2012 menu, so note that prices have increased since then, however the selection is pretty much the same)

Kamehameha Bakery moving to new location after 36 years – KITV report (including video)

28 thoughts on “First Byte: Kamehameha Bakery at City Square

  • May 31, 2014 at 11:28 pm
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    Just because you are doing well on your diet, you made me go out of mine. I will later get two boxes of pastries from Kam Bakery at 5:00. Got to be there early enough for the best. My sisters and I and mom with enjoy it.

    Reply
    • June 1, 2014 at 9:25 am
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      Amy,

      I’m not doing well on my diet at all. Totally fell off the wagon, yet not ready for a “revolution” once again yet. I’ll know when. I forgot to get their new bakery hours. They used to open at 2am at the School Street location.

      Reply
  • June 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm
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    Talk about falling off one’s diet, I remember once ordering a small box of Kamehameha Bakery pastries, and I was getting ready to pay at the register, when a fresh tray of butter (soaked) rolls came out. I told my server to put a couple of the fresh rolls into my box, and she considerately asked, “you like da ones wid plenny baddah (butter)?” Defeatedly, I hung my head and said, “Sure, let’s go with the plenny baddah.” We’re all powerless against all that yeasty, sugary, buttery yummyness, aren’t we?

    Reply
    • June 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm
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      Lois,

      Too funny! “Defeatedly, I hung my head and said, “Sure, let’s go with plenny baddah.” LOL! I hold up my hand and proudly confess, I’M GUILTY!

      Speaking of plenny baddah, have you noticed Nanding’s Spanish Butter Rolls have been skimping on the butter lately? Not nearly as buttery as they used to be. If they gotta’ raise the price, do it, but don’t skimp on butter in and on butter rolls!

      Reply
  • June 2, 2014 at 2:07 am
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    Pomai, I did not see bread pudding there. I since kid like to try many places bread puddings. My dad also like bread pudding.

    Reply
    • June 2, 2014 at 3:54 am
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      Kelike,

      Kam Bakery indeed has bread pudding. Like a few other main menu items, it wasn’t ready when I was there very early in the morning on their first day open. My sister’s bread pudding kicks @ss!

      Reply
  • June 2, 2014 at 6:15 am
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    Con: not being back home for 14 years.
    Pro: lucky I’m 3000 miles away from eating one of each.

    Reply
    • June 2, 2014 at 6:35 am
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      John,

      Using Google Earth’s distance ruler tool of 3k miles from Oahu, you’re either in Idaho, Utah or Arizona on the CONUS. Or in Alaska up north. Or in Micronesia, west of Hawaii. Or somewhere on a cruise ship in the southern pacific around Pape’ete (French Polynesia)… preferably at the latter!

      As for your pros and cons, tell me about it. I felt like I ate a Matson container’s worth of dough and sugar after just one Banana Fritter. As it should, these pastries are really rich and filling! So ono though.

      Reply
  • June 2, 2014 at 8:13 am
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    Wow. forget taking The Bus. Next trip, I better just walk there (at least I would feel slightly less guilty …)!

    Reply
  • June 2, 2014 at 9:12 am
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    Pomai:

    Wow another stop on my next trip home… jeeez gonna need to book an extra seat for my opu!

    Reply
  • June 3, 2014 at 1:01 am
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    Pomai, Kam Bakery have so many great pastries that my brother and sister on the mainland could not find. Wonder if they do online order? Eastern Bakery in San Francisco does it and distribution all over including Hawaii.

    Reply
  • June 3, 2014 at 10:13 am
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    Nice review. Kalihi is becoming the center of the food universe. It will be convenient the next time I fly out. Pick up some garlic chix from Sugois and pastries for the plane ride home. Oh yeah, and some turkey tails with pasteles from Youngs.

    Reply
  • June 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm
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    @ kobi – Kalihi is “becoming” the center of the (Hawaii) food universe? It always was! I totally agree about the added convenience to the airport! Can be a bound-for-the-airport one stop shop now at City Square. However can’t forget there’s also Libby’s, Chun Wah Kam and Alicia’s Market nearby along the Nimitz Highway route. ;-)

    @ Richard – No way would Kam Bakery’s pastries make it being shipped. This goodness MUST be eaten at least within a couple of hours of purchase. After that it starts getting chewy and soggy, being many of the items are deep-fried.

    @ Keith-San – Being you’re from the Kapahulu area, I’m curious how Kamehameha Bakery would stack-up against Leonard’s Bakery. Hmmm… perhaps we need a TOP 3 HONOLULU BAKERIES SHOOTOUT : Kamehameha vs. Leonard’s vs. Liliha Bakery

    @ Debbie-chan – never mind The Bus, or walking… you better RUN there, as there’s got to be that many calories and carbs that need burning off in each onolicious morsel at Kam Bakery. Pastries simply do not turn out this good without a price to pay at the scale!
    (Keith-san books extra seat on flight back home to Alabama after visit).

    Reply
  • June 4, 2014 at 6:56 am
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    Pomai:
    Yep, it’s looking more and more like the extra seat will be necessary… I’m coming home for my mom’s 90th BD, and my sisters are making Miso Butterfish (mom’s fave) and assorted desserts, plus ordering food from Natsunoya: Baked Chicken, Nishime, Tamago Yaki, Beef Teriyaki, Shrimp Tempura, Potato Tempura, Namasu, Miso or Teri or Shio Salmon, Rice w/ Furikake… yeesh.. and that’s just the second day of the trip! Aftah that, I still gotta make the Ranibow’s run, Leonard’s and Kam bakeries (Liliha too), hit the Food mart on Monsarratt for Longanisa Musubi, KCC Farmer’s Market, Yummy’s, Highway Inn, Tanaka’s, Char Hung Sut and Chun Wah Kim for manapua, City Diner… and who knows where else my sisters and friends will recommend… jeez feel bloated just thinking about it… what did you think of the spam pic I sent you?

    Reply
    • June 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm
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      Keith-San,

      Just found the eMail. I’ll include the photo in a soon-to-come review of yet another SPAM flavor (probably the Chorizo).

      Wow, your mom’s going on 90 is amazing! Certainly a huge credit to her eating healthy, oishii Japanese food all her life. That’s why Japanese cuisine is my favorite!

      Speaking of the Longanisa Musubi at Aloha Island Food Mart on Monsarrat, don’t forget to hit KCC Farmers Market right up the street on Saturday morning from 7:30am to 11am. You’ll be very impressed, I guarantee it!

      Reply
      • June 5, 2014 at 5:08 am
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        Pomai:

        Natch, KCC is a go-to whenever I’m home since it’s just down the street from mom’s. I hope to find some Goteborg sausage to bring back to ‘Bama along with the portugese sausage that I usually return with. By the way, I tried the black pepper Spam last night; sliced about 1/4 in thick and fried crisp. The texture was similar to what you experienced with the teri spam… somewhat softer than the regular spam, maybe because of the black pepper in the product. It does have a distinct fresh ground “rawness” sort of aftertaste. Not in a bad way, though some might not like it. It wasn’t peppery spice-wise as you might expect by the amount of pepper you see in it. Overall. an interesting change of pace from basic spam… will let you know about the Tabasco and jalapeno versions soon

        Reply
  • June 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm
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    Now those are some magnificent-looking baked treats – them malasadas look plenny ono-licious!

    Reply
  • June 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm
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    @ Midge – Agreed!

    @ Keith-San – I love the Kapahulu-Diamond Head area. I’d love to buy a home in that area. Close enough to Waikiki and the beach, yet still has that relaxed suburb vibe.

    I tried the Salt and Pepper SPAM and actually had a different opinion about its texture, finding it similar to the regular SPAM, having some fibrous texture to it, unlike the Teriyaki flavor, which was more mushy. I’m really curious how the Chorizo SPAM is going to taste.

    Reply
  • June 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm
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    I use to share almost the same tele. # w/ the Bakery – if you had transposed one digit there was MY #. I would field calls at 3 – 4 – 5 a.m. w/ ppl ordering mostly cakes. I got freakin’ pissed. If you gonna call a # at that early in the a.m. DIAL CAREFULLY. And no I was not gonna change my # either. It was EZ to remembah. So I got nasty and I would “take” their orders. Confirm it and say “thank you, see you at ‘whatevah gawd early hour” they wanted. Oh what a surprise they would get when they went to the bakery. No moe da birthday cake. Darn.

    The really weird thing was one day I came home to my answering machine blinking. I pressed play and for some Twilight Zone moment, it actually RECORDED a phone conversation between the bakery and a customer! No joke. I called Haw’n Tel but they could not explain it to me somehow our phone lines really did cross and the customer somehow rang both our lines at once? Weird.

    Oh sorry Kam Bakery for the yellings you got from those customers. BTW the calls did eventually stop.

    Reply
    • June 14, 2014 at 3:52 pm
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      Stormy Blue,

      I remember calling some business one time and mistakenly dialed the wrong number and got this guy who answered the phone frickin’ PISSED when I asked for whatever service it was. He yelled into the phone something like “One more time, this isn’t f#&kin% ABCD, you f#&kin% @$$#ole!” and slamed the phone on me.

      I totally understand the situation on your part, and not wanting to change your number because it’s easy to remember. Still, I’d think Kamehameha Bakery would have caught on if they kept repeatedly having customers come in who swore they got their orders taken by phone.

      Was/is your number 845-3811? If so, I going call you up at 5am tomorrow morning and order 2 dozen poi donuts. Nah, brah, just kidding! LOL!

      BTW, dig the screen name “Stormy Blue”. Sounds like either a really catchy name for a Jazz Band, or the stage name of some super hot stripper at Femme Nu. lol

      Reply
      • June 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm
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        Nope heh heh and that numbah was their old location. I no stay in town so someone else got that numbah. I notice their current # is different from the one we similarly shared. I’m not rude, I just get revenge.

        Reply
      • June 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm
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        BTW Femme Nu would pay me big bucks NOT to work there. Cool, I always wanted a stripper name.

        Reply
        • June 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm
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          Stormy Blue,

          I tried calling you at 5am yesterday morning to place my order for 2 dozen Poi Donuts, but you nevah like answah da’ phone. Whas’ up wit’ dat? Avoiding me? lol

          Back in my 20’s when I was a male stripper, I used to go by the stage name “Mustang”. Nah, just kidding, my stage name wasn’t “Mustang”. He he.

          Reply
      • March 20, 2015 at 8:40 am
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        Kamehameha Bakery’s phone number has always been 808 845-5831.  They retained the same number when they moved from School St. to City Square.

        Reply
  • June 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm
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    Hey I thought you looked familiar !!!! But wasn’t it Mr. vIenna?;)

    Reply
    • June 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm
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      Ron,

      Ha ha! Actually, I had alter egos, depending which venue I was stripping at. Other stage names I used included “Cobra”, “Buzz” and “Mackie”. For some reason, the ladies loved “Buzz” the most. lol

      Reply
    • June 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm
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      Ron: you have a guy’s name so assume you are male. Why you following male strippers and know their names for? Even my gay friends dunno strippers.

      Reply
      • June 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm
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        Let me clarify, a few are trannys but NOT strippers. big diff

        Reply

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