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Oct 9, 2013 10:26 AM

Shave Ice 2013 - Surprising results

We ate shave ice from 4 of the top places on Oahu with surprising results.

Ailana: Underwent ownership change this year, so we were curious how that would affect the product. The ice was still very fine and the whole fruit toppings were still stellar, especially the haupia and mango. I recomment the Tropical Trio (haupia, mango and papaya topping with Dave’s Ice Cream) They also offer pancakes and waffles served with the fruit toppings, as well as fruit bowls featuring acai and papaya halves.

Waiola: Went back here as an afterthought, and decided that the blend of fine ice and syrup was as good as any. The problem is with the size of the shave ice (tiny compared to all others) and the skimpiness of the syrup. Lots of white ice on the bottom. A real turnoff for me.

Shimazu Store: Ice was not as fine as in previous trips, though the variety of syrups was the best. Their “small” would be the same size as the small, large and extra large at Waiola. It may have been an off day.

Mountain Magic turned out to be our favorite; The combination of fine ice and syrup was as good as Waiola’s and with three times the ice and the promise of no white ice. Also Dave’s ice cream. Just outstanding. Aunt Jennie also won the personality contest of the four locations.

I also stopped by Ice Garden in Aiea, but found that it had closed. And there was a Yelp review just one week earlier. Anyone know what happened?

I wished I had more time to try new (to us) places, like Your Kitchen. But if you haven’t been to Mountain Magic (Sport Authority parking lot in Waikele) give it a try.

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  1. I'm drooling. Shave ice was one treasure I missed out on during my last trip, and I'm determined to make up for it this winter when I return. Do any of these place, or others, have natural/homemade/no coloring/low or no sugar syrups? I'm not asking for something austere, I just want fewer chemicals...

    3 Replies
    1. re: BleuBird

      Absolutely. Ailana, next to Ala Moana Shopping Center, would be your place. Their best toppings are homemade whole fruit, especially the mango and haupia. All the other places use syrups.

      Also, Your Kitchen, which I did not get to visit, uses whole fruit toppings as well. This place sounds really delicious as well.

      Happy eating.

      1. re: Ogawak

        Actually, both Ailana and Your Kitchen use syrups, just that they are made in house from fruit. I think Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha is the same as well.
        Family was in town to visit so we went to Waiola, Shimazu, Ailana and Your Kitchen for shave ice. For me, Your Kitchen was still the best of the bunch. All are fine choices though. Unfortunately, our visit to Shimazu was let down by one of the staff who must have been having a bad day as she was rude & confrontational.
        On another note, good to hear that there is a good option out in Waikele if i'm ever in the area. Now I just have to try Uncle Clay's out in Aina Haina when I'm out that way and Ice Forest in downtown when I walk around outside the office for lunch.

        1. re: Ogawak

          You've just improved my eating adventures ten fold. Thank you so much!

      2. Don't scare me like that! I went down to Ice Garden today and they were open - they have been known to take days off, so I guess you visited on a day where they randomly decided not to open :(

        3 Replies
        1. re: Argyle

          That's crazy. I saw no sign of their store at all. Thanks for the heads up.

          1. re: Ogawak

            ice garden location is not obvious
            it's almost in a hallway

            1. re: Ogawak

              No problem! BTW for anyone else, I don't mean to imply that they are not open a lot of the time - was just trying to understand what had happened on your visit, I guess it sounds like you just couldn't find it? It's on the second floor, inside a "mini-mall." There's an exterior sign facing out towards the parking lot with the McDonald's (next to Koa Pancake House) but you have to go inside the "mall" to actually order.