Shave ice is Hawaii's snack. What most people here and from abroad are familiar with, though, are the artificially flavored and colored varieties from the likes of Matsumoto's on the North Shore of Oahu, Ululani's on Maui, and so on. Lately, however, a new trend has been emerging in the islands with syrups made from all natural ingredients with minimal added sugar.
The newest of these places has to be one of the most obscure, difficult to find shops. And when I say shop, I don't really mean shop. It's more like a small, narrow alleyway just off of Monsarratt Ave. Located right next to Pioneer Saloon and across the street from a strip mall, Monsarratt Avenue Shave Ice is a micro operation with few seating options and no parking. Parking, in fact, is very difficult to find in the area, as the establishment has no dedicated lot.
Once you do find the place, though, you'll encounter a menu that's different and familiar all at once.
There aren't a whole lot of flavor choices here, but that's ok since they're all natural and there are more than a few options. The prices, I should note also include tax. This is a cash only establishment as well, so be sure to come prepared. On our first and only visit thus far, the wife arrived before they opened, so there was no line. However, a few of the flavors were already sold out, so our selection was even more limited. But thats ok. It's also important to note that only one guy works here, so be patient after placing your order. But, there are interesting things to look at while you wait.
So for our inaugural visit, the wife ordered the Mango with Condensed Milk.
I, on the other hand, ordered the Mixed Fruit with Mochi Ball
So how was the taste? It was good! It's not as strong as the artificial stuff, but still tasty and refreshing all the same. It's something different that won't make you feel like you're eating sugar. So would I go back? Of course! In fact I may return some time this week!