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Thursday, May 2, 2013

First look: Mango Days Sweets Cafe

A cafe devoted to mangoes? Sounds like bliss to a mango maniac like me.

Mango Days Sweets Café just opened on Makaloa Street by Walmart, in the former Korean video store. There's an entire shiny trailer parked inside, serving as the kitchen where mango madness is made: mango pudding, mango ice cream and mango smoothies.

Honolulu is no stranger to specialized Japanese eateries centered around one thing (i.e. ramen, udon, tonkatsu), but this, well, this tops them all.

Except it's not perfect. The mangoes are imported and underripe. Like the cafe, which is still pretty new, the mangoes hold so much promise. But ultimately, the mangoes lack the sweet lushness and fragrance that I love from the fruit.

Right now, the menu is slim, with just four mango items and coffee. The cafe plans on adding more sweets down the line, perhaps some sandwiches, but the idea is still being fleshed out. I have an even better one, a pipe dream: Turn the concept into a fruit café, and change the menu as different fruits come into season. Each week or month, or however long the season lasts, can be devoted to jackfruit, soursop, figs, poha berries, guava, pomelo, Surinam cherry, starfruit. I could go on and on. Pair up with Ken Love, the exotic fruit grower on Big Island, a walking catalog of fruits grown in Hawaii and a treasure trove of recipes.

Sounds a bit crazy, but so is a mango café.

Mango Days Sweets Café, 1425 Makaloa St.

Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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