Hawaii’s iconic shaka made its debut as a delicious snack in the Royal Hawaiian Center in September 2018, thanks to Kokoro Cafe. The Spoon Hawaii team got to meet the owners, go behind-the-scenes of the magic in the kitchen, and got to sample their most popular sweets.

Corina Quach


Owners Gill and Lisa Shin opened Kokoro Cafe in September 2018 to bring “local” back to Waikiki. Kokoro, which means “heart” in Japanese encompasses the couple’s vision to touch the hearts of their customers through delicious desserts.

Their main focus is to create experiences through their exceptional customer service that keeps tourists coming back to Hawaii.

Corina Quach


We love our local businesses, and so does Kokoro Cafe! Almost everything on their menu includes ingredients that are sourced locally – everything from their Shaka Boom and Mochi Waffle mix, to the honey and granola, are sourced from Oahu and neighbor islands.

Bottom line, when you support Kokoro Cafe, you’re supporting local businesses.

Corina Quach

The Food:

Shaka-Boom ($6.50): This taiyaki-inspired shaka cone comes with a chocolate cream, coconut cream, or sweet red bean filling, with your choice of a delicious soft serve flavor and endless topping combinations (you get two for free!).

Corina Quach

Mochi-Pop ($3.50): This warm and chewy mochi waffle is covered in different house-made glazes and topping. You can choose a combination from their menu, or create your own with three toppings.

Corina Quach

Original Mochi Pop ($2.50): A simplified version that comes with a light glaze and powdered sugar for the minimalist that wants to savor the mochi waffle by itself.

Dole Whip Float ($7): POG, which stands for Passion-Orange-Guava, is an island favorite. This slushie is a perfectly refreshing treat for the hot sunny days that Hawaii is known for. The frozen slushie by itself ($5) is delicious, but pair it with the famous Pineapple Dole Whip & fresh pineapples to enhance your taste buds to the next level.

Corina Quach

Our Favorites:

Contrary to many yelpers, tourists, and locals, our #1 pick from Kokoro Cafe was their Mochi Pop! We got the Sand Castle (for cinnamon lovers), Paradise Dreams (for the coconut fanatic), and Over the Rainbow (for the #InstaInfluencer).

While Over the Rainbow was definitely the most photogenic with the pops of color that come from the Fruity Pebbles, the flavor of the cereal overpowered the delicate taste of the mochi waffle.

Paradise Dreams was my number one, as the sweet coconut flakes & sauce paired perfectly with the tart passion fruit sauce. 

Corina Quach

Every soft-serve flavor that we tried on the Shaka Boom was a hit. The Chocolate and Vanilla were very gentle (so you can eat as much as you want without getting a sugar rush) and the Pineapple Dole Whip never ever lets us down, with its sweet and tangy flavors that emulate the taste of biting into an actual pineapple (plus, you can feel good about it because you’re technically eating fruits, right?).

The soft, mildly sweet cone complemented the soft serve and toppings, and it was so cute that we almost couldn’t eat it.  Key word, almost.

Corina Quach

That’s another thing; these cones are SO cute and you’ll definitely wanna take a bunch of pics to post on your Instagram and Snapchat to show all your friends, but they melt fairly quickly, so enjoy the moment. You’re in Hawaii eating soft serve from a shaka.

Snap it, then savor it.

#SpoonTip: Ask for Pocky sticks with your ice cream, free of charge!