Go Green in Honolulu With These 6 Matcha-Flavored Treats
From layered desserts to a ’gram-worthy cone, we’re spilling the tea on these green tea bites.
Matcha, or green tea, is a beloved flavor in Hawaiʻi with its deep, grassy notes and smooth finish. Plus, who can resist that bright-green hue?
Here’s the latest in our never-ending quest for delicious matcha treats.
1. La Matcha
This stunning creation by La Palme D’or Patisserie alternates layers of matcha mousse with chocolate cake. My green tea preference leans bold, not bitter, and here, matcha remains in the spotlight. The cake is light, for a taste of chocolate that doesn’t overpower. The dessert is topped with a thin layer of gelatin that seals in a dusting of matcha, while a delicate chocolate leaf makes for a delectably sweet garnish.
$5, Ala Moana Center, lapalmedorhawaii.com
SEE ALSO: 5 Must-Try Matcha Cocktails in Honolulu
2. Matcha cheese tart
Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake is known for its cloudlike 7 cheesecakes that always seem to get devoured in a single sitting (is it just us?). But its menu also includes individual matcha cheese tarts that are slightly more dense in texture with a whipped filling that boasts strong flavors of green tea and tangy cream cheese. The crust is thin and tender, though there’s no flakiness to the pastry. While I enjoyed the tart, it can’t compare to Uncle’s signature fluffy cheesecake.
$2.49, Royal Hawaiian Center, uncletetsu-us.com
3. Fukuwatashi Senbei
This flavored cookie is one of Minamoto Kitchoan’s most popular matcha offerings. There’s no denying its artful presentation—two crisp, uniformly ridged cookies that sandwich a green-tea cream filling. Unfortunately, it was not love at first bite. I found the cookie a little too firm and its subtle tea flavor underwhelming. That is, until I went home and brewed my own cup of green tea. Pairing the cookie with hot matcha created a winning combination that channeled fond memories of a stay in a Japanese ryokan, relaxing with tea and a sweet treat after a long day of sightseeing.
$3.30, Ala Moana Center, kitchoan.com
4. Matcha white chocolate chip scuffin
9Bar HNL is known for its scone-muffin hybrid, and the matcha white chocolate chip is one of its most popular. Fluffy, yet chewy, the scuffin offers a robust green tea flavor accented by an abundance of white chocolate chips. Apparently, I’m not the only one who enjoys it. This particular flavor had sold out by lunchtime, forcing me to return early the next morning to claim one.
$4, Salt at Our Kakaʻako, 685 Auahi St., Suite 118, 9barhnl.com
5. Matcha tiramisu
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ is currently offering matcha tiramisu as a seasonal dessert option, but unlike a traditional tiramisu, there’s no mascarpone in the filling. Instead, the restaurant layers mousse—made with heavy cream, sugar, gelatin and matcha powder—with ladyfingers brushed in simple syrup and powdered matcha. The tiramisu will be available through May, though I suggest calling ahead. The restaurant on Kapi‘olani Boulevard didn’t have it when I tried to stop in on a Friday afternoon, though it was available in Kalihi.
$4, various locations, gyu-kaku.com
6. Matcha soft cream with shiratama azuki
Nana’s Green Tea offers a variety of matcha-flavored items, including lattes, parfaits and shave ice, but its “Must Try!” is a soft cream with shiratama, or mochi balls, and a dollop of azuki tucked into a waffle cone. I loved the combination, though the mochi and azuki disappeared quickly (there’s not much of either), and I found the soft cream a touch bitter without them. If you want to splurge, go for the matcha parfait, a glorious sundae of matcha ice cream, cornflakes, warabi mochi and whipped cream, all drizzled with matcha syrup Tip: Go during happy hour, from 4 to 6 p.m., to score 10 percent off all soft serve ice cream.
$5.50, Waikīkī Yokocho Gourmet Alley, 2250 Kalākaua Ave., nanasgreentea.com