International Market Place
2330 Kalakaua Avenue
Tel: (808) 971-2080
Open Daily 10:00am-10:30pm
Smack dab in the middle of the tourist and hotel district of Waikiki, is an outdoor shopping centre called the International Market Place that has its own little food court area.
It is a reprieve price-wise, from all of the other eateries and restaurants that market to out-of-towners milling around on the nearby streets. This eating area is no different in setup from any standard food court you find in a North American mall – only that the food tenants are all mom-and-pop and represent a wide variety of cultures. Surprisingly, no commercialized McDonald’s or Starbucks inside. Just rattling a few off from memory, I recall seeing food offerings that were Chinese, Korean, Greek, Mexican, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Hawaiian, and a few others.
As reported earlier, I was already in the area and wanted something cool and refreshing as the summer heat was still bearing down hard and I needed to rehydrate some more after my quick meal at Ono. The photo above was taken after the sun went down, facing the main entrance of the International Market Place.
Now I’d heard of Hawaiian-style Shave Ice before coming to the islands (and got some recommendations from my Honolulu-based friends of some of the best ones to try during my stay – look for future posts), and I headed straight to the Island Freeze. I wanted to get a quick introduction to the various types and flavours that are part of this ice cold treat.
Here is a bare bones shave ice, undecorated by any other ingredients aside from some liquid flavourings. Island Freeze allows you to choose up to three flavours to add, and I went with strawberry, lychee and pineapple. As you can see, it came served in this flower-shaped, light plastic cup container, with a spoon and straw to help you eat it.
Now I realize its just ice, but the texture of it was different from say a 7-11 Slurpee or if you were to slash off fine layers of ice with a sharp blade. Its neither too flaky so the flavourings aren’t absorbed, or too soft such as in a Slurpee where the liquid dominates. I think its a combination of the way its shaved and the temperature of the ice that keeps it just so. The trio of tastes made eating this interesting, as you could just shuffle the cup around to another section and scoop up a new flavour sensation.
All in all, a very refreshing treat!