Magnolia Ice Cream has multiple locations on Oahu. This blog post covers the spot inside the International Marketplace (Waikiki) on Kalakaua Avenue.
While walking in Waikiki with my friend, we were craving dessert and stumbled upon this spot near closing time.
In addition to various ice cream flavors that much of the mainland U.S. would do a double-take on, Magnolia also serves shave ice and halo-halo. Halo-halo is a Filipino shave ice sundae, and Magnolia's version has plantains, azuki beans (sweet red beans), coconut, sugar palm fruit, coconut gel, jackfruit, shave ice, rice cereal, and ube (purple yam) ice cream.
Yes, apparently queso queso ice cream exists. Honestly, though, it didn't taste anything like cheese. Instead, I got more of the usual milk/dairy experience one would associate ice cream with. But alas, you know I had to sample for science.
Ube ice cream is also Magnolia's most popular flavor, so I went with a scoop of that ($5.99). You can see the quality in the ice cream from the start, creamy and well made. The sweet potato/yam flavors come through, and I swear I also got a little of that starchy potato texture while eating it.
My friend got the Thai Tea ice cream, which I frankly preferred over the ube. It had a refreshing black tea and cream combination with complementing minty note.
Right after we got our ice cream, the line really started to form, so some good timing on our part.
Sure, the prices are steep (and especially because it was Waikiki), but for the unique flavors and quality, Magnolia is a kickass ice cream spot. If you want to avoid the chaos in Waikiki, their other spots in Oahu at this time are in Dillingham, Kapolei, and Waipahu. 9/10