Winning Me Over with Waffles

Columns Ono, You Know

September 4, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Good morning, Ono readers! What’s for breakfast? How about some scrambled eggs, French toast, pancakes, fresh mixed fruit and … waffles? Yes, waffles please! May I reveal that when it comes to all things breakfast, I live for waffles. There are many variations of this breakfast favorite, based on the type and shape of the waffle iron and desired recipe. You can personalize each and every waffle to your heart’s content and adorn this blank canvas per se with as many toppings as you wish, whether it be strawberries, chocolate, powdered sugar, syrups, ice cream and more.

So, this week, while wishing for waffles, I took my cravings and my gigantic appetite to some of the best waffle joints in town. With all due respect, Eggo waffles, while I do adore you, you just didn’t cut it this time. The following establishments are undoubtedly “Ono, You Know” worthy!

IHOP Hawaii

  • The editor sits back and enjoys a cup of joe with IHOP's delicious Belgian Waffle Combo ($13.19).
  • IHOP Hawaii president Sarah Espino with the Belgian Waffle Combo.
  • IHOP's Belgian Waffle Combo ($13.19)
  • Kit n Kitchen's Waffle Suzette ($6.95)
  • Kenny's Restaurant's Managers special ($8.19)
  • Kit n Kitchen's Waffle with Mixed Fruit ($6.95)
Image of

One thing comes to mind when you think of International House of Pancakes. Yes, mouthwatering Original Buttermilk Pancakes, of course. And although this pancake franchise makes its pancake batter fresh daily, only utilizing the best ingredients, this week I only had waffles on the brain. Mind you, I love a heaping stack of pancakes, but when IHOP’s famous Belgian Waffle Combo ($13.19) is sitting right in front of my very eyes, how can I resist?

“Our Belgian Waffle Combo is served with two eggs and your choice of two bacon strips or two pork sausage links,” says Sarah Espino, president of IHOP Hawaii.

“You also can choose from a cool strawberry topping, warm blueberry topping or cinnamon apple compote to complete the dish,” she adds.

This is definitely a meal fit for a queen. Seriously, there’s nothing better than savoring a crispy strip of bacon with each bite of sweet Belgian waffle. Absolute perfection! Better yet, pair your waffle with butter or a variety of syrups, like maple, strawberry, blueberry or butter pecan. Coconut syrup also is available upon request. The syrup will nestle into the pockets of the waffle, resulting in pure waffly goodness.

Just FYI, you may not want to make plans for a big lunch after devouring this magnificent creation, you’ll be stuffed for days a kanak attack for sure!

IHOP Hawaii
1850 Ala Moana Blvd.
(and various locations)

View the Map

Kit n Kitchen

Known for its Eurasian cuisine, Kit n Kitchen has made its mark in the stomaches of hungry diners for years. And while I may not be the earliest of birds, to say the least, I’ll wake up at any hour if it means sinking my teeth into the fluffiest of waffle delights.

Beginning earlier this year, this University Avenue establishment owned by Kit and May Yiu began serving up a New England-style breakfast Wednesday through Monday from 8 to 11 a.m. The menu is diverse and will satisfy any craving indeed, whether it be Strawberries Crepes that you’re after or Huevos Rancheros. Better yet, how about Waffle with Mixed Fruit ($6.95, additional $1.50 for mixed fruit)?

Believe me, this decadent awe-inspiring waffle creation is a match made in heaven. May serves as head chef here and takes pride in her homemade waffles.

“Our waffles are very fresh. We serve them right away and cut it into pieces so it’s not soggy,” she says.

Waffle with Mixed Fruit features one melt-in-your-mouth, crispy waffle cut into quarters and topped with whipped cream, hints of powdered sugar and chocolate, a caramelized banana, and an array of seasonal mixed fruit on the side. Delicious! Sure, it may seem rather decadent, but really, there’s no better way to start your day.

Now, if you’re a night owl, but can’t get enough of Kit n Kitchen’s winning waffles, you have got to order the Waffle Suzette dessert. According to May, the Waffle Suzette ($6.95) is a play off of the original Crepe Suzette.

“We originally started with the Crepe Suzette and when I tried it myself, I thought the crepe was a little too thin and I wanted to offer something with more texture,” May explains. “So now customers can choose from a waffle or crepe.”

The Waffle Suzette is an exquisite masterpiece, presenting patrons with a flambe waffle drizzled with a caramelized sugar sauce with orange zest and a hint of Grand Marnier. To add extra zest to the dessert, top it off with fresh fruit (additional $1.50), such as an orange, or ice cream for something cool.

Kit n Kitchen
1010 University Ave.

View the Map

Kenny’s Restaurant

The whiff of luxurious waffles led me to Kenny’s Restaurant in Kamehameha Shopping Center, where loyal patrons flock for a taste of all things in local cuisine and American classics. Open for the past 45 years, this Kalihi eatery specializes in one thing in particular its famous Manager’s Special.

Let me just say, don’t judge a dish by its name, because for the reasonable price of $8.19, you and your hungry appetite will be treated to a sinfully delicious strawberry waffle topped with smooth whipped cream and four irresistible scoops of vanilla ice cream.

“The Manager’s Special is most definitely a customer favorite,” says Kenny’s Restaurant manager Rory Sandobal. “We’ve been serving it for years and people never get tired of it.”

Chef Ernesto Yeban is the man behind the magic and attributes the success of this onolicious dish to the perfect combination of ingredients.

As the sweetest of morning treats, the strawberry puree is divine when drizzled over Kenny’s light and fluffy waffle. And as a full-fledged ice cream lover, you mention ice cream for breakfast and I’m one happy camper. Finally, the mountain of whipped cream presented with this alluring dish is a wow-factor in and of itself. Bring on the napkins!

Better yet, The Manager’s Special is available at all times of the day, not just for breakfast! It’s a sweet thing here at Kenny’s Restaurant.

Kenny’s Restaurant
620 N. School St.

View the Map

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best