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By Steven Li on 2006-08-02

August 02, 2006

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It’s the summer heat, the sore back, starting work at 5 am, school till noon, and figuring out what the heck I’m doing with my life and why I’m gaining so much weight that seems to occupy my time. I’m rather behind on posts but I’ll do my best to catch up! Sigh. Posting. It’s really a LOVE LOVE hate relationship! You bloggers know what I mean!

Tristan came to visit a few weeks ago what is there to do in Hawaii but eat?! True. We live in paradise :) Lunch was at Tai Pan, my favorite dim sum place in Honolulu, for both price and quality. I did a review on the restaurant back in December so didn’t feel an urgent need to photograph everything ordered. Mmm. It was nice, not having to force everyone to stop and wait for me to photograph each item before digging in. We had quite a bit, from the basic har gao, siu mai, steamed char siu baos, milk and egg custard tarts to baked nai won baos, chicken mochi rice, taro cakes and spareribs. We also came to the conclusion that 3 was the perfect number of people to go “dim-summing” or “yum cha” – no leftovers and everyone gets a piece!

The Chinese snack feast was followed by a hike up Manoa Falls. Oh man. I didn’t know just how out of shape I was! I think, or rather know, this was the first time I exercised since…forever. We just leave out the part about me trudging behind and calling out “are we almost there?” (or variations on that question) every two steps. Sweaty and slightly muddy we headed to Waiola’s for an afternoon shave ice cool down

It’s here where you’ll get the best (seriously!) shave ice on the island. What makes it so good and worth the $1.75 for a small cup of ice? Most agree that it’s all in how finely the ice is shaved. And here each massive melting block of ice is shaved into little bitty minuscule bits finer than snow that literally melt in your mouth. They offer about 35 syrup flavors, many unique to the islands such as lilikoi and haupia. To “fancy up” your creation, choose among ice cream, li hing mui powder, azuki beans, chocolate syrup and mochi.

Waiola’s is pretty well known by both local and tourists. Hence the crowd of people found waiting neat the window during every open hour. People linger to order – so many options! and then hang around the nearby park, on the bench or in the car to savor their purchases. Shave ice is meant to be eaten immediately, or else…you just paid for a bowl of melted sticky mess.

I went with lychee and li hing mui syrup, steph had the lychee and mango with mochi balls and Tristan went all out with the rainbow combo, a douse of condensed milk and mochi balls. Armed with both a straw and spoon, we finished our cones within a few minutes. It’s quite sunny outside and the sweet ice is a satisfying relief. Yes, it’s summertime!

Ok, now back to statistics homework…

Waiola Shave Ice
2135 Waiola Ave
Honolulu, HI
(808) 949-2269



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