MoDo Hawaii opened in July of this year in the MItsuwa Marketplace (a Japanese supermarket), located in the Waikiki International Market Place.
Specifically, Modo Hawaii is located in the back of Mitsuwa in the food court area next to Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.
You’ll also find Iyasume Musubi back there (da’ best musubi on the island!) and an expansive obento-ya.
With Watanabe Bakery being its parent company, MoDo Hawaii is essentially a Japanese Mochi Donut shop, also serving Illy Italian coffee to go along with that if you like (I usually don’t drink coffee).
I heard about this place through fellow Hawaii Mom Blogger Gem Nishimura, who published a post on several places on Oahu to get Mochi Donuts. Where along with Modo Hawaii in Waikiki, you can also get them direct at Watanabe Bakery on Beretania (again, the parent company of MoDo Hawaii), Duke’s Lane Market & Eatery Bakery and Liliha Bakery.
Note, the display of Mochi Donuts at the front counter as shown above are for display purpose only. While they are real, actual Mochi Donuts (not plastic fake ones called “sampuru”), they don’t give these out to customers. They have large baking pans full of the mochi donuts for customers on baking racks in the back. Thus, there shouldn’t be any issue with being sold out, unless of course someone comes in and hordes.
So I went in this morning to try three MoDo Mochi Donut flavors for the first time: Matcha Green Tea, Cookies & Cream and Kuro Black Sesame. Sounds like a diverse enough variety, which even the manager on duty said those were excellent first time choices.
Before we get to my choices, lets see the the entire selection, where here above we have Hawaiian Honey Glaze, White Chocolate and Kurogoma (Black Sesame) and Illy (Italian Coffee) Espresso, ranging from $1.50 to $1.95 each.
Moving along, above we have Chocolate, Key Lime, Cookies & Cream and new Pumpkin Spice, ranging $1.65 to $2.05 each.
Rounding it up, Lilikoi Passion Fruit, Strawberry, Earl Grey and Matcha Green Tea, ranging $1.75 to $1.95 each.
If you buy 4 or more, they put them in a nice Modo Hawaii Mochi Donut box, otherwise you get them in individual packages like this.
Here I have my choices, which are again Matcha Green Tea ($1.75), Kuro Black Sesame ($1.95) and Cookies & Cream ($1.95). They each measure 3-3/4″ in diameter x 1-1/8″ in thickness of each “ball” the 8-section mochi donut is made up of. As you can tell, they’re cooked in a special mold that gives Mochi Donuts this unique shape. Looks kinda’ like something kinky you’d find in a sex shop, if you ask me. To do what with, I don’t know. LOL!
Its bead bracelet design makes them easy to neatly break off a section at a time for sharing and to pop in your mouth in one easy bite.
Speaking of sex, here I have the “money shot” cross-cut view of a section of the Kuro Goma Mochi Donut. Looking at that, being they use Mochi (rice) flour, as you’d expect, they’re a little more chewy than your typical American donut. Just a little though, where you have to chew it a bit more, but not too much more. In reality, the “mochi” part of its name is more a novelty than the reality of what its texture is like. I suppose it kinda’ tastes more “starchy” than a standard donut, however that starchiness gets pretty much masked by the thick coating of sweet glaze coating the entire top half of it. Like exactly 50% of one side each donut.
Above you can see when I cut it in half using a kitchen shears, the hard-like-a-shell Cookies & Cream glaze easily dislodged itself from the mochi donut section. So its best you pop each section in your mouth in one bite or it falls apart like this.
And which did I like best? Hands down the Kuro Goma (Black Sesame) Mochi Donut was the best of the three. It has a nutty, earthy, sweet ‘n salty “twang” to it that really complimented the slightly chewy ‘n starchy donut. Very unique and oishii! Second place goes to the Cookies & Cream, which tastes pretty much identical to the Hershey’s White Chocolate-based Cookies & Cream candy bar. The Matcha Green Tea was the weakest of the three, where I could only faintly taste the green tea. All it tasted like was a “something earthy” ‘n sweet glaze.
Like any doughnut or anything deep-fried for that matter, I think these Mochi Donuts have potential to be great if you can get them pipin’ hot right after they come out of the fryer. As it stands at the MoDo Hawaii location in Waikiki, the manager told me they’re made off-site at Watanabe Bakery on Beretania Street and brought to the Waikiki shop every morning. So by the time you eat them, they’re already cold. That’s pretty much the only gripe I have. Fortunately he told me they’ll be getting their own fryer soon, so when that happens I’ll return to try more flavors.
They’re definitely a conversation piece and a great idea to bring a box to the next office meeting and wow your coworkers. Make sure whatever ones you choose, you get the Kurogoma (black sesame seed) flavor. That one tastes very unique and total bomb dot com!
As it stands, I give MoDo Hawaii Mochi Donuts 3 SPAM Musubi. Very good!
2330 Kalakaua Avenue
Suite #250 (International Market Place; in Mitsuwa Japanese Market)
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
The Tasty Island rating:
• MoDo Hawaii – Yelp user reviews