Farmers Market Finds: Mochi and Sourdough Belgian-Style Waffles in Kailua and Kaka‘ako
Brand new ‘Aiwi Waffles serves up the texture-rich breakfast treat in two satisfying styles.
Farmers markets are breeding grounds for food innovation and some of Hawai‘i’s most successful restaurants. Frolic’s series spotlights some of these ‘ono finds.
What: Mochi and sourdough waffles
How much: $16 for a mochi waffle, $15 for a sourdough waffle
What markets: Saturday Kaka‘ako Farmers Market, 919 Ala Moana Blvd.; Sunday at Kailua Town Farmers Market, 1090 Keolu Dr.
Vendor schedule: Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
I’m back at the Sunday Kailua Farmers Market for a ceviche tostada and the ever-present hope of discovering something new. A lot of things look good, but nothing really compels. Then a slipstream of toasty butter pulls me in with its comforting smell. My pace quickens until I’m standing in front of ‘Aiwi Waffles.
I immediately order both waffle selections and feel really good about my decision. Since they come with a choice of toppings, I order the mochi waffles with the Berry Medley of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, local butter, pure maple syrup and a choice of whipped cream or coconut whipped cream. The sourdough waffles I get with a topping of apple banana, macadamia nuts, local butter, raw rose apple honey and the same choices of whipped cream.
We spread out the waffles on the hood of my car and go to town. The mochi waffle is out of my dreams: crunchy on the outside and pillowy, stretchy and spongy on the inside. The waffle itself is not sweet but between the mochi flour and what sugar it does have, it has a layer of extra crunchy caramelization. The ripe berries on top bring pops of juicy tang, balanced nicely by a dunk in lightly sweet whipped cream. The maple syrup is not necessary, but fun to have. When I say this waffle hits the spot I mean I’m stomping my foot and making noises. The sourdough waffle is also tasty and definitely sour—I might like it better with the berry topping or even just maple syrup and whipped cream. It also has a nice toasted texture but for me lacks the depth of the mochi version, which ranks as one of the the best I’ve ever had.
‘Aiwi, it turns out, is a mother-daughter team. Ivy Vibar and Xi’an Kline debuted their waffles at the Saturday Kaka‘ako Farmers Market and Sunday Kailua Town Farmers Market this month. Their mochi waffle is gluten-free, made with rice flour; and the sourdough version uses ancient Einkorn wheat. From the looks of their menu ‘Aiwi also usually makes vegan mochi waffles, which is cool. I’ll definitely be back for my new weekend fix.
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