Thursday, June 9, 2011

Leonard's Bakery

Leonard's Bakery, located on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a bakery known for one thing: malasadas. Malasadas are basically Portuguese doughnuts that are topped with lots of sugar. They can also be plain or have cream filling (various flavors).

It's past 2:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, and there's still a line. Damn.
You can even get Leonard's apparel here!
What the...? Um, sure.
My father and I hit up Leonard's around 2:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. Leonard's small parking lot was still filled with cars. A decent-sized line formed inside the bakery. Pretty impressive.

Leonard's offers special cream-filled malasadas each month. This month, it was banana-flavored cream.

Simple malasada menu here

Being in an experimental mood, my father and I got three different malasadas: the original plain malasada, the special banana malasada, and a li hing mui sugar malasada.

Li hing sugar (left), original (back center), banana-filled (front right)
First of all, all three malasadas, in terms of the doughnut itself, were perfect. In fact, they have gotten better since I last ate them. In the past, the original malasada would be hollow in the middle, a big ball of air leaving me wondering what the heck happened. Now the doughnut is filled all the way with cooked, light, airy dough, as it should be.

The li hing sugar flavors got mixed reviews from my family. Li hing mui powder brings a salty, tangy taste to food, so when you combine it with something sweet (sugar), the taste buds can be sent into overdrive. I personally enjoyed it, appreciating all the flavors engulfing my mouth.

I also enjoyed the banana-flavored cream filling. The banana flavor was definitely present, but it again was controlled in a way so the mass sugar coating on the malasada doesn't send you into a sugar high.

But you can't beat the original, plain sugar malasada -- especially after they improved on the malasada from my previous experiences.

Perhaps the only thing wrong with this is its poor nutritional value. Fried dough, sugared up, with possibly more sugar, butter, cream, and various flavors for a cream filling. Same thing really goes for all desserts. You won't pay much to get these treats, so if I were you, I'd stop in to get one of the original malasadas. Or even a dozen. Give them to your friends. If you and your friends are adventurous, try some of the other offerings as well. After all, they sell other pastries and cakes as well.

But there's a reason why Leonard's has been in business so long, winning tons of awards along the way for their malasadas: they are just plain awesome. 8.25/10

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