Getting the Inside Scoop on the Coolest of Treats
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Yes, foodies, I have a deep love for this cool and creamy treat. I’m not alone here: Statistics show the United States holds the No. 1 spot on the list of Top 10 ice cream-consuming countries in the world, and around 13 percent of men and 8 percent of women will admit to licking the bowl clean after eating ice cream. Are you one of them?
If you are, don’t be ashamed to admit it and take note. I have hot spots in store that serve up some chillingly scrumptious ice cream options — and even sorbets, for that matter (if you’re on a diet or attempting to eat healthy, that is). Therefore, get your sweet tooth ready and tell the ice cream man these following establishments serve up some steep competition.
Nothing satisfies my craving for ice cream more than the one and only mochi ice cream. Yes, that’s right, this Japanese confection made from fresh mochi with an ice cream filling is one of the best things known to man.
And to my delight, Sushi Ichiban on Waialae Avenue surely knows how to serve up dessert, along with its onolicious sushi, made with only the freshest high-quality ingredients.
With a little help from Bubbies Ice Cream, which provides the modern sushi bar and restaurant with its ever-popular mochi ice cream, customers can go crazy partaking in flavors that consist of green tea, mango, azuki bean and strawberry.
“Customers requested for it, so we had to add it to the menu. Right now, it’s definitely a favorite here,” says Manny Nakasenh, manager of Sushi Ichiban.
Diners receive three morsels of mochi ice cream for a reasonable price of $3.75. Having said that, I couldn’t resist taking a bite out of the green tea, strawberry and azuki bean. Yum! A word of caution, though, for those with sensitive teeth: Be careful with the first bite as the mochi ice cream is chilling. Beyond that, the firm yet smooth texture of this fabulous treat couldn’t be more perfect! Oishi desu!
3579 Waialae Ave.
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Romano’s Macaroni Grill
As a half-Italian gal myself, I adore Romano’s Macaroni Grill for its classic American-Italian cuisine. Executive chef Michael Longworth has 30 years’ experience in the culinary world and has worked for the restaurant since it first opened in November 2005 at Ala Moana Center’s Hookipa Terrace.
Expect hefty portions when dining here, but also keep in mind that skipping out on dessert is absolutely forbidden when playing by my rules — especially when it comes to Romano’s famous Italian Sorbetto. Chef Michael was kind enough to share some of this irresistible goodness with me, and I was more than happy to experience the sweet and soulful flavors.
“We bring the sorbets in from La Gelateria, a local company, which uses primary local ingredients,” Longworth says. “What’s unique is that we are able to obtain local flavors that are unique to Hawaii.”
I don’t know about you, but after a heavy meal of lasagna or penne rustica, savoring each scoop of sorbet as it cleanses my palate is complete heaven.
An order of Italian Sorbetto is priced at $6.59 and features six mini scoops of Italian sorbet with an assortment of flavors to choose from — be it guava, mango, coconut, Kaao orange or dragon fruit.
All are refreshing in their own right, but my absolute favorite is coconut sorbet. It’s relatively healthy, minus the sugar, and made out of real coconut without sacrificing the creaminess of ice cream.
My second-best flavor pick would have to be guava. Sweet in taste with a bit of tartness to bring the sorbet to the next level, I’m sure all you foodies would agree that these sorbettos are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Chef Longworth serves this guilt-free dessert in a pristine martini glass and tops it off with mint leaf and almond biscotti. It’s now clear why we save the best meal for last!
Ala Moana Center — Hookipa Terrace
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 4240
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Serg’s Mexican Kitchen
A little piece of Mexico can be found here at Serg’s Mexican Kitchen tucked away in the heart of Manoa Valley. Chef and owner Sergio Arellano runs this restaurant, along with a second location in Waimanalo, with the help of his wife and business partner, Claudette.
As one of Hawaii’s go-to Mexican eateries, Serg’s Mexican Kitchen offers up the best of everything South of the Border with a bit of island flair evident in his mahimahi enchiladas and horchata, which is absolute perfection.
However, being that ice cream is now on the top of my list, I had to skip all this savory good stuff and go straight for Serg’s Banana Tostada ($5.95). This decadent dessert is unsur-passed, featuring a sinfully ono deep-fried tortilla filled with creamy vanilla ice cream and caramelized banana topped with whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. This tempting tostada is big enough to share, but sorry, foodies, this one had my name written all over it and I’m still licking up the very last remnants of it. Muy, muy, muy bien!
2740 East Manoa Road (Honolulu)
41-865 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Waimanalo)
(808) 259-SERG (7374)
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