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Ali Carte
Ali Carte

Whatcha want to eat

By Ali Resich Photos By Rachel Breit
March 8, 2015

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We’ve all had that conversation at some point or other with our significant others when trying to pick a place to eat. It goes something like this:

“Whatcha fillin’ like tonight?”

“I don’t know, whatcha fillin’ like?”

“I don’t know, you pick a place.”

“No, you choose one.” Thankfully, these lovers’ quarrels are being squashed for good, as there’s a new place to eat that comes equipped with enough irresistible savory and sweet treats for patrons to know exactly what they’re feeling like munching on all day, every day.

After taking the food truck world by storm in 2013, Whatcha Fillin’ opened as a permanent locale in the WZ Family Entertainment Center arcade on Waialae Avenue in January. The family venture was created by Christie Fejeran, and currently is owned and operated by her sister, Anna Fejeran.

When it comes to what they’re fillin’, the most enticing of waffle cakes are stuffed and grilled to perfection with a host of creative and utterly unique flavor combinations. The fluffy yet crisp pancake-like cakes are inspired by imagawayaki, a Japanese treat traditionally filled with azuki beans or custard. Whatcha Fillin’ reinvents this concept by putting its own sweet spin on the customary batter, and filling it with unexpected — and mouthwatering — fixings.

Even better, they’re made fresh, and are ideal for lunch and dinner, or as a convenient snack on the go. “It’s something that’s quick and easy to eat and go, nothing where you’ll need a fork. That’s one thing I like about it, it’s just something that you can hold in your hand,” says Anna Fejeran. “It’s really simple.”

French Kiss ($4) is the most popular savory waffle cake, featuring caramelized onions, ham, mayo and Gruyere cheese. On the sweet side of things, Baby Cakes ($4) is a best-selling cheesecake-filled delight, beautifully enhanced with house-made lilikoi drizzle.

As you may have noticed, the waffle cake names are just as innovative as the treats themselves, and each one falls within the realm of playful, sensual fun. This ensures sparks will fly for patrons, because how could you be mad at your special someone when they’ve just treated you to Nuts About You ($4), oozing with peanut butter, Nutella and bananas? Take note husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends — in return, you can show him or her how you feel by ordering some Hot Stuff ($4), complete with cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and zingy jalapenos.

Fejeran introduces specials to the menu regularly, such as Get A Shroom ($5.18), presenting mushrooms sauteed in Marsala wine, orzo pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Next week, guests can look forward to Cinnamon Girl ($5.18) special, as well as a brand new addition to the menu — So Corny ($5.18). “It’s similar to a Reuben sandwich. It has fresh corned beef, Russian dressing with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese,” she explains.

The owner has a recipe book full of waffle cake ideas she plans to unveil as the months go on, including a host of breakfast-inspired bites. Whatcha Fillin’ also offers savory mochi rice cakes ($4 each) deliciously glazed with soy sauce, stuffed with yummies such as salmon belly, sprinkled with furikake and finished with your choice of sauce.

Within the arcade, Whatcha Fillin’ sits next to WZ Cafe, which features a host of menu offerings to complement your waffle cake selections. Fejeran recommends Oreo Brain Freeze ($5.75 for 24 ounces) to satisfy that sweet tooth. And with that, you’ll never struggle to decide where to eat again.

Whatcha Fillin’

3457 Waialae Ave., Honolulu (Between 9th and 10th avenues)
389-0205
Daily, 112 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Note: Parking is located above Whatcha Fillin’ on the second floor of Lafite Plaza building.