19 of the Most Sinful Chocolate Desserts in Hawai‘i
The best chocolate desserts in Hawaii restaurants, alas, bring out the worst in us.
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MAMA'S FISH HOUSE STICKS WITH ITS SEASIDE THEME. THAT'S GLOSSY GANACHE IN THE POLYNESIAN BLACK PEARL.
PHOTO: NINA LEE
If you’re one of those people who bakes a pan of brownies and then eats half before you can stop yourself, you’ll love the warm, gooey brownies at Gordon Biersch. The Triple Chocolate Brownie ($6.50) comes filled with just the right amount of peanuts, is drizzled with caramel and chocolate, and then topped off with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Order a glass of cold milk to go with this.
1 Aloha Tower Dr., Suite 1123, (808) 599-4877, gordonbiersch.com.
Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas
We fell in love with Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas’ offering, Chocolate Chocolate ($7.75). It’s a creamy-textured, flourless cake that seems to be more chocolate than cake, and is exquisitely paired with an addicting scoop of raspberry sorbet, pieces of strawberry and orange, and a smidgeon of mint-flavored whipped cream.
500 Ala Moana Blvd., Restaurant Row, (808) 533-4476, hiroshihawaii.com.
Manta Restaurant at Mauna Kea
Who knew beets and corn could taste so good? Chef George Gomes serves an Organic Beet-Chocolate Cake ($12), with a Jack-and-Coke sauce, ice cream and candied corn made from Nakano Farms’ corn, beet purée and edible flowers. Gomes is a local boy who went to a Mainland culinary school and came back to the Islands to create dishes with as many local ingredients as possible. The chocolate beet cake is dense and studded with mini chocolate chips, but it’s the Jack-and-Coke sauce that really makes the flavors pop.
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, (808) 882-7222.
Luana Lounge at the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii
We snuggled onto Luana Lounge’s lanai to watch the stars and sea while listening to some music. Oh, who are we kidding? We came for the new Dessert Tapas menu. Eleven small plates are offered; we chose the Chocolate-Caramel Tart with Kau Orange and Chantilly Cream ($5). It’s dark chocolate and caramel on a crust of chocolate and macadamia nuts, laying on a bed of sweet Kau oranges, topped with a bit of gold leaf. Wait, we’re not done. And a spoonful of Chantilly Cream studded with micro arugula and edible flowers. Every bite was a little explosion of flavors.
1 N. Kaniku Drive, (808) 885-2000, fairmont.com.
Although known for its fresh-fruit martinis and ahi ceviche, those who stay on for sweets will experience the yin and yang of desserts at The Eastside: the Flourless Chocolate Decadence Cake ($8). On the plate lies a dark, dense slice of cake, the foundation for the whispery, light, white chocolate mousse cloud delicately resting on top, accessorized with a sprig of mint. It’s a taste of opposing textures that attract each other perfectly, surrounded by fresh berries and a chocolate truffle sauce.
4-1380 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, (808) 823-9500, theeastsidekauai.com.
The Melting Pot
Move over, Harry Potter, magic is afoot at The Melting Pot. Order the bananas Foster (small $20 /regular $38) at Hawaii’s only fondue restaurant and blue flames will leap from your monk-like kettle. Our server conjured magical sparks with a sprinkling of cinnamon. At his suggestion, we swapped out white chocolate for dark. Wise choice. Once it was molten, we dunked in an array of treats. The fresh fruit—Maui Gold pineapple and strawberries—prevailed over the cheesecake and brownies, but the Rice Krispies treats proved irresistible. “There’s no wrong way to fondue,” our server assured us, though food fights “are a fon-don’t.”
325 Keawe St., Suite A202, Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center, Lahaina, (808) 661-6181, meltingpot.com.
Mama’s Fish House
Chocolate pirates: find your heart’s desire. The Polynesian Black Pearl ($14) is almost too stunning to eat, nestled in its wafer clamshell, amid a fan of chocolate, Tahitian vanilla and lilikoi sauce. The glossy ganache begs to be bitten into—otherwise hypnotized diners might stare all evening, without daring to disturb their dessert’s loveliness. Once punctured, the shimmering orb of dark chocolate mousse reveals a sweetly tart lilikoi cream center and good manners go by the wayside. We confess: We came close to licking the plate, scooping up every last smear of sauce with our delicate, coconut-y wafer.
799 Poho Place., Paia, (808) 579-8488, mamasfishhouse.com.