If you’ve been following along this blog for a while, you probably know by now that bread pudding is by far my single most favorite dessert in the world. IN THE WORLD. For this reason alone, it’s a very good thing I live in Hawaii, a state particularly fond of bread pudding. You’ll find bread pudding at more restaurants on this tiny island than you can count on with a dozen hands. Bread pudding is player on restaurant menus running the range from high end such as Le Bistro in Niu Valley, the Kahala Resort, Chef Mavro’s Cassis Honolulu, and all the way to casual spots such as Panya, the bakery section of Don Quijote, and most importantly Kaka’ako Kitchen.
I say most importantly because of all the seemingly bazillion bread pudding haunts that flood this island there must be one that does it best. And of course you are entitled to your own opinion because food, especially bread pudding, is a very subjective subject and there’s no sense in arguing who does what best – it’s all a matter of opinion. With that said, let me express my opinion. Kakaako Kitchen does the best bread pudding on the island of Oahu. It is, honestly put, mind blowing. And it is also simply amazing. For a mere $3.50 you can have an orgasm in the form of warm custardy pudding. With a side of creamy vanilla bean speckled crème anglaise nonetheless! It’s a small price to pay.
So here’s what happens: swing open the doors to Kakaako Kitchen and look to the right of the register. You should see a dessert case. A really awesome dessert case. Filled with wonders of carrot cake, lemon bars, banana poi bread and pumpkin bread. To the left of the register are cookies. The double chocolate walnut is best. I don’t know about the others. But what should catch your attention is the small Styrofoam container towards the bottom of the case. There should be at least a dozen of these containers. There’s no hint as to what they hold. You just have to know. Whereas the other treats are packed in clear plastic boxes, these come in silent white containers. Only the worthy can indulge.
Whisper the words “bread pudding” and hand your money to whoever’s at the register. The cashier will ask, “do you want it hot?” And you must say, “YES, YES!” And he’ll pop it in the microwave for a bit. What?! Microwave?! Blasphemy! But deal with it. Microwaving this bread pudding does wonders. And so out comes the bread pudding in a minute or so, along with a fork and napkins…and you must run to the nearest table to sit and eat because it is only good HOT.
And so…oh man, here comes the best part! You open up the container, stare at this wondrous piece of art in all its picture perfect glory, and stab the fork in with reckless abandon of joy. Make sure to stab the fork in to the top part of the pudding because as you’ll notice the top part forms this half-custard, half-pudding glory that only sounds and not words could describe (it’s the right half of the photo). This bread pudding lies on the pudding end of the spectrum, and you could easily eat it with a spoon, or glory be, just pour it all in your mouth. Mind you, it still retains the dignity of the eggy sweet bread entwined with laces of cinnamon and teasingly dotted with vanilla. If you could ever find sin in the mouth it would not be the chocolate soufflé or crème brulee, but this homely creature: the bread pudding. This creature that manages to be all at once fluffy with custard soaked innards and wickedly scandalous with a chilled anglaise which could make for a pudding all itself. I’ve already decided that at my wedding (which is no where in the foreseeable future) we will not eat cake. We will have bread pudding.
Unfortunately it is not a dish recommended for eating on a date, as it will come to be a messy affair should you chose to split it. And by messy, I mean both the fact that it is a terribly messy, most ungraceful pudding to share and also by the fact that who the heck would want to share pudding if they could have their own? However, if you insist on taking your significant other for a taste, I suggest you get one per person cause it simply works out better that way.
1200 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814