As you should already know by now, I am a lover of desserts and a purveyor of puddings. It doesn’t matter what shape or form they take, just as long as they’re sweet. And if they also look incredible, well then I’m sold. From seeking out the best ice cream in California to finding chocolate heaven in Paris, I’m on a mission to find something deliciously sweet wherever I go. And our travels to Hawaii were no different with a quest beginning to find dessert heaven across two of the Hawaiian islands…
On our last night in Waikiki, we decided we would push the boat out a bit and go for a mid-range dinner at one of the local beach restaurants. When we found out that the Hula Grill offered perfect beach side views, we were sold on it.
The dinner itself was absolutely delicious. We’d opted for the meatiest of dishes after asking the waiter what he’d recommend but yes, I suppose we also had to include some vegetables on the side. However, despite the food being incredible, I was thinking the usual “What’s for pudding?” Now you know why my Dad calls me “Pudding” – this was always the question I’d ask from childhood and it’s nice to know I haven’t changed in that respect. My waistline probably doesn’t thank me for it but luckily I’ve found the best post travel food detox so I was all set to find out what the sweetest thing on the menu was.
And along came the Hula Pie…
Phenomenal in size, super creamy and oh so chocolatey, this pudding was incredible. It even had its own branded plate! Sadly I had to share it with my other half. Ahem, I mean luckily I had to share it with my other half otherwise they would have been wheeling me out of the restaurant in a dessert coma.
Hula Pie – I give you 4 out of 5 stars. A bit of fruity topping instead of the nuts would have seen you receive 5 stars, just saying!
Insider Tip: If you want to check out the Hula Grill, be sure to book in advance as tables get snapped up quickly. We booked a table for 6pm a few hours before as everything else had already been taken… and this was on a weekday! Whilst we were waiting for our table to be ready, quite a few couples and families were turned away due to there being no room for them. So definitely book your table to avoid disappointment.
During our travels across The Big Island, we found ourselves staying a few miles up the road from Hilo at Arnott’s Lodge. As you know, we’d booked a sunsets and stargazing tour to Mauna Kea with them and so we got some money off of our stay there. The other great thing about Arnott’s Lodge is that you can rent bikes there too, for just $20 each!
Knowing that we wanted to treat ourselves to another delicious meal, we hired a couple of bikes and made our way down the sloping hill towards Hilo itself. The bay area is the tourist trap of Hilo with lots of hotels and souvenir shops around, but the good part to that is the amount of restaurant choice on offer.
Similarly to Waikiki, we wanted another sea view so the Hilo Bay Cafe ticked all of the right boxes for us. We both opted for a burger dish for dinner as it was a late lunch for us – these burgers were divine. Juicy, succulent meat and fresh bread – just perfect! But as usual, it was the something sweet I was after.
On the menu, I spotted a dish called the Chocolate Lava Cake served with kona coffee ice cream. Not having a clue what this would be like but knowing I wanted to try it as we were on the island of volcanoes after all, I was getting excited at the possibilities! My other half, my better half instead chose the Mango Cheesecake, which did also sound very appealing.
Enter the desserts…
My cake was not at all what I was expecting. Was it chocolatey? Yes. Was it tasty? Why, yes it was. Was it shaped like a volcano? YES, YES, YES! It looked so cool arriving on the plate and I couldn’t wait to tuck in!
Chocolate Lava Cake – I give you 4.5 stars. I would have paired it with fruity ice cream such as blackberry or raspberry to match the sauce instead of coffee ice cream, but maybe that’s just me.
But I have to say the star of the show really was my boyfriend’s mango cheesecake. It was delicious as it was beautiful and clearly a lot of effort had gone into how pleasing it looked. For me, this dish summed up the essence of Hawaiian desserts. Tropical fruits, check. Bright colours, check. Hawaiian flowers, check. This dessert had it all. Or perhaps it was just the fact that this pudding didn’t belong to me?
But that aside, definitely 5 stars to the mango cheesecake! I would not have changed a thing about it and wish I had ordered the whole thing for myself.
Insider Tip: We opted for a late lunch at the Hilo Bay Cafe as part of the afternoon menu about 3pm, which may have explained why it was so quiet there. But I expect this restaurant fills up for the evenings, especially with how many hotels are nearby, so you may want to book ahead just in case.
Out of all the meals we had in Hawaii and of course out of all the desserts we tried, these three really did hit the nail on the head for me. I love a dessert that looks incredible as well as being delicious and so these desserts were definitely ones to be remembered. So tell me, where have you found the most incredible desserts? Pop me a note in the comments and I might just make my way there…
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