Going To The Hukilau

Digest On the Menu

August 18, 2015

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: NATHALIE WALKER

Polynesian Cultural Center long has been revered as a hub of island culture and entertainment, but did you know that it also is a place where kamaaina and visitors alike may have unforgettable dining experiences? Within Hukilau Marketplace, the Laie destination’s newest venture, guests are enjoying free admission and parking, complimentary WiFi, and an array of unique retail shops, specialty goods and niche eateries — including Kawika’s Kooler and Tutu’s Sweet Shop.

Kawika’s Kooler is perfect for making an al fresco pit-stop. Owner Mahealani Keo describes it as a “healthy smoothie and juice bar, where one can pull up a stool and talk story with our ‘bartenders.'”

Patrons can dig into refreshing treats, such as Da Big Kine Bowl ($12), which offers a mountain of mouthwatering acai topped with French vanilla granola, fresh fruits (banana, strawberry, blueberry, and any other seasonal special fruit on hand) and a delightful drizzle of honey.

Keo shares that the juice bar is named after her father, who she depicts as “a true ambassador of the aloha spirit.” And as diners are brought items to slurp up from Kawika Kooler’s menu, they definitely feel the love in each sip.

Guava Breeze ($5), described by Keo as a “mocktail — kind of like a mojito,” showcases shaken iced guava juice, a hint of mint and lime, and a spritz of ginger ale.

Venture around Hukilau Marketplace, which is like one large family of must-try retailers, and you’ll stumble upon another key member of this ohana: Tutu’s Sweet Shop.

“If you are looking for something sweet from local sources, this is your place!” explains manager Marilyn Mosley. Customers may mix and match goodies for $1.45 per ounce from the decadent selection in Tutu’s glass cases.

One standout is Chocolate Caramel with Red Alaea Sea Salt, as it has a taste so exquisite and unique, you’d never guess it consists of just three ingredients: caramel, red alaea salt and milk chocolate. “It’s very chewy, and the alaea really cuts the sweetness, and brings both contrast and fuller richness to the milk chocolate,” says Mosley.

Chinaman’s Hat features macadamia nut shortbread cookie and caramel rolled in milk chocolate and dusted with rainbow sprinkles. A fan favorite here, the blissful bite is named and shaped after the famous nearby isle.

With so many options to choose from, going to Hukilau Marketplace is a no-brainer.

Tutu’s Sweet Shop
Polynesian Cultural Center
Hukilau Marketplace
5-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m., – 9:30 p.m.

Kawika’s Kooler
Polynesian Cultural Center
Hukilau Marketplace
5-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m., – 9:30 p.m.

Laie, HI 96762

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