Sign up for news and special offers from Dining Out
On the Menu

Power Up With Tropical Goodness

By Michelle Lee
December 8, 2013

See more articles from

From humble beginnings running a quaint lunch wagon on Kapiolani Boulevard to now operating a full-service shop from inside Discovery Bay Center, Tropical Tribe has quickly become the gold standard for quality acai bowls, shakes and drinks.

Made from a higher-grade quality of acai berries directly imported from Brazil, Tropical Tribe’s menu items follow the example set forth thousands of years ago by the ancient tribes of South America. “Back then people didn’t have vitamin pills or supplements they could take,” says Andre Alves de Moraes, owner of Tropical Tribe. “They relied on fresh fruit and herbs to maximize nutritional value.”

In today’s oversaturated market of smoothie shops and juice bars, Tropical Tribe offers a truly one-of-a-kind acai bowl experience. Originally from the city of San Paulo, Alves de Moraes prides himself on using acai berries the way his family does back home. “After relocating to Hawaii, I was disappointed to see that the acai bowls and shakes here were greatly watered down,” says Alves de Moraes. “Most places here also use a low-grade quality of acai berries, a grade commonly used for salad dressing.”

Another key factor that differentiates Tropical Tribe is the shop’s use of another Amazon superfood: guarana berries. “To prepare an acai bowl the authentic way, guarana berries are absolutely necessary,” says Alves de Moraes. “They help balance out the bitterness of the acai berries and are a great source of energy.”

Whether you are energy hungry or just plain hungry, Tropical Tribe’s menu has something for everyone. Popular choices include the Tropical Tribe Bowl with Tropical Topping ($9.20 regular, $10.70 large), a blended mix of acai and guarana berry juice topped with granola, banana, strawberry, blueberry, raw honey and bee pollen. “A lot of people will choose an acai bowl as a meal replacement,” says Alves de Moraes. “We use very little ice in our blends, which keeps the level of antioxidants, vitamins and proteins very concentrated.”

Famous for its various health benefits, acai berries are known to prevent against aging more than any other fruit through a plethora of antioxidants proven to promote cell turnover and growth.

In addition to acai bowls, the Tupi Tribe ($6) shake is ideal for those on the go desiring a more portable version of the blend. Strawberry lovers will also enjoy the Strawberry Tribe ($6), which infuses acai, yerba mate tea and strawberry ice cream.

Although the availability of acai bowls may seem plentiful, Alves de Moraes encourages customers to do their research beforehand. “A lot of companies claim to have the best acai bowl in town, but in actuality they use a lot of ice and frozen fruits like pineapples and grapes with not enough actual acai berries,” says the owner. “Really then, you are selling the idea of an acai bowl instead of the actual product.”

With access to the highest quality fruits straight from the source, Tropical Tribe aims to serve up acai bowls and shakes the authentic way. “Much like how I fell in love with Hawaii because of how living here made me feel, a true acai bowl will have that same effect,” says Alves de Moraes. “There is so much these ingredients have to offer.”

As a special deal for Dining Out readers, customers may take advantage of the Tropical Tribe Hot Deal, which runs until this Tuesday, December 10. Diners may purchase an $18 voucher for $10 to be used for up to six months (limit one voucher per party/visit, may not be combined with other specials/discounts/coupons). Visit www.hotdealshawaii.com.

Photos courtesy of Tropical Tribe

Tropical Tribe

1778 Ala Moana Blvd. Ste. 100, Honolulu
366-8226
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9 A.M.-6:30 P.M.