Amuse Your Taste Buds
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When April Whiting-Haraguchi, owner and manager of Island Cafe & Amusements, set up shop in June 2015, she knew exactly what she aimed to accomplish.
“I wanted to create a place where people could come and enjoy not just a great cup of coffee, but sit down and have a healthy meal, too,” she says.
One look at the menu affirms that Whiting-Haraguchi has achieved her goal, as the eatery is filled with an array of items ranging from specialty coffee to gourmet sandwiches, acai bowls, soups, salads, scratch-made pastries, smoothies and even bubble drinks.
“Nearly everything on the menu is customizable,” says Whiting-Haraguchi. From create-your-own bubble drinks and smoothies — choose your preferred flavors, toppings, milk type (vegan-friendly soy is available) and desired level of sweetness — to sandwiches and more, customers can have it their way.
As Island Cafe & Amusements’ name suggests, it also offers an on-site entertainment center with several arcade games, computers and free wifi for guests’ enjoyment.
While patrons take advantage of all the entertainment possibilities, they also can go ahead and try the popular Thai Tea Milk Tea ($5) — a layered concoction of honey tapioca topped with Thai tea, cream and house-made milk black tea.
When looking for a full meal, go for Alii Black Forest Ham Club ($7.95, $1 additional for side salad or chips), featuring high-quality Boar’s Head products, including Black Forest Ham, Turkey, Bacon, Swiss Cheese and Honey Mustard. These goodies are enhanced with tomato and lettuce on bread that’s baked fresh daily on-site, a pickle on the side and last, but not least, the option of adding salad or chips for $1 extra.
Pretty in pink, Watermelon Smoothie with Rainbow Jelly ($5) blends up another blissful offering, showcasing a layer of rainbow jelly followed by a smooth cream base made with watermelon jam. To top it all off, the shop adds a cloud of whipped cream. “Watermelon is our newest flavor,” says Whiting-Haraguchi. “All our drinks are made only with real fruit jam or pulp — never powders.”
For those who need a little caffeine jolt, Iced Cappuccino ($4 medium, $4.50 large) hits the spot. It’s made with espresso shots sourced from local premium coffee beans and steamed alongside an exquisite layer of expertly puffed foam.
The cafe also hosts fun events regularly, including weekly open-mic nights on Fridays and appearances from Augie T. on Wednesdays. You even have a chance to “paint your paradise” with a local artist. To find out more, visit Island Cafe’s website or give the shop a call.
Island Cafe & Amusements
94-615 Kupuohi St., Waipahu
Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., except Fridays: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.