Bubbies: Homemade Mochi Ice Cream Balls, bite-sized and addictive
1010 University Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii
There’s a huge Japanese community in Hawaii. That explains why you can get mochi just about anywhere from the local farmer’s market to a mall food court. I absolutely love mochi: the bouncy, chewy texture of the rice flour and the multitude of flavours it comes in. My all-time favourite type of mochi dessert are mochi ice cream balls. These are delectable little balls formed out of rice flour filled with ice cream. It’s impossible to eat just one.
I found Bubbies on Yelp Hawaii’s Instagram page, stumbling upon a drool-worthy picture of a plump, frozen mochi ball one night right when I had an ice cream craving. Bubbies has been on my list to try ever since. The name Bubbies comes from the Yiddish word for Grandma. The founder and owner of Bubbies, Keith Robbins named his shop after his grandma, who first sparked his love for ice cream.
Bubbies not only serves ice cream mochi balls, they also offer pies, cakes and ice cream with tongue-in-cheek names and unique flavours.
Since my heart was set on mochi balls, we decided just to order a half dozen of those to share. The flavours we picked were: lychee, guava, strawberry, seasonal flavour pumpkin, my favourite flavour, chocolate peanut butter and my staple flavour, vanilla.
My boyfriend claimed that these mochi balls still tasted exactly the same as the frozen, packaged ones we buy from T&T but I thought they tasted a lot better. First off, they’re not smushed like the T&T ones, and the mochi batter was chewier and softer. The strawberry and guava flavours were pure in fruity flavour and not the least artificial and syrupy sweet like the T&T ones. My favourite fruit flavoured one was the lychee, with its refreshingly sharp and tangy lychee flavour cutting through the creamy ice cream texture and bouncy mochi shell.
The pumpkin flavour tasted like pumpkin pie filling: nutty, slightly spicy and sweet. It was the perfect rendition of a Thanksgiving staple in a tropical place.
I loved the vanilla mochi ball too, sweet, classic and simple.
My absolute favourite was the chocolate peanut butter mochi ball, it tasted just like a mochi ball version of Reese Pieces.
Mochi balls are such whimsical little treats, offering just enough ice cream to hit the spot but not induce a brain freeze. We noticed that Bubbies supplies ice cream mochi balls to many of the local restaurants we visited and even some touristy shops along the Waikiki beach walk. We were craving the little round frozen treats so much one afternoon while we were shopping that we bought another half dozen to snack on while we wandered around Waikiki.
We have to go back to try some of their pies and cakes.