Battle of the bubble waffle sundaes

Pipeline Bakeshop goes head-to-head with Foodland Farms in a bubble waffle showdown
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Q: Which bubble waffle sundae is worth the $8 price? 

My fascination with bubble waffle sundaes began when Double Three opened in Kalihi. The dessert shop opened in late January but Kalihi isn’t the only place you can find these sugar-loaded sundaes.  

Kaimuki’s Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery introduced mochi bubble waffle sundaes last July for national ice cream month but availability was limited. Pipeline then added them to their menu the following September in honor of the bakery’s anniversary but it wasn’t promoted because bubble waffle sundaes are labor intensive – each one takes upwards of seven minutes to build. At the end of the 2018 holiday season and with enough manpower to match the demand, Pipeline began posting their bubble sundaes regularly. 

Foodland Farms Ala Moana debuted its bubble waffle cone when the supermarket celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2018 but only recently it has gained attention. You can find their bubble sundae at the milk tea bar near the front of the store. 

Here’s the inside scoop on these sundaes:  

Bubble waffle sundae: Coffee and birthday cake gelato, Oreo cookies, sprinkles, whipped cream, chocolate chips, Pocky sticks

Foodland Farms Ala Moana: Bubble waffle sundaes

Cost: $7.99
Availability: From 10 a.m.
Wait time: 5-7 minutes
Ice cream: Two scoops of Il Gelato gelato
Choose from six Il Gelato flavors: Vanilla, chocolate, green tea, coffee, birthday cake, or flavor of the day 
Choose two toppings: Pineapple, strawberries, mochi, Oreo cookies, azuki beans, lychee boba and more
Choose one sauce: Peanut butter, Nutella, condensed milk, honey and more
Garnishes: Unlimited sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, bubu arare and chocolate malt crisps 

Mochi bubble waffle sundae: Avery's Chocolate Avalanche ice cream, single scoop

Pipeline Bakeshop: Mochi bubble waffle sundae 

Cost: Around $8, depending on ice cream scoop size 
Availability: 9 a.m.
Wait time: 5-7 minutes
Ice cream: Pick from 10-plus housemade ice cream flavors like Avery’s Chocolate Avalanche, M&M Overload, Vavanilla Beanie, Chocolate Money, She’s So Strawberry and more
Choose scoop size: Keiki ($3.50), single ($4.50) or double ($6.50) and add that to mochi bubble waffle cone price ($3.50)
Toppings: none

A: It depends how much you like ice cream or gelato 

Here’s what these sundaes have in common:

  • Same amount of cooking time (about four minutes in waffle maker)
  • Both made to order
  • Waffles are chewy on the inside, slightly crispy and crunchy on the outside and all-around fun to eat 

If you want a treat that’s not too sweet, get the Pipeline mochi bubble waffle

  • Customers are advised to get a single scoop so the waffle-to-ice cream ratio is proportional. This dessert is delicious but not overpowering
  • Insider tip: balance between sweet and tart and pair the mochi waffle with a puckery ice cream flavor like She’s So Strawberry or any of the seasonal flavors like Nothin’ But Raspberries 
  • Mochi lovers: This one’s for you. Pipeline’s waffle is slightly chewier than the Foodland Farms one and it’s served borderline hot. Its texture is unmistakably reminiscent of mochi but watch out: the ice cream melts fast so keep up!
  • No extra toppings = the homemade ice creams hold their own

If you're a sugar fanatic, go with Foodland Farms

  • Each sundae gets two generous scoops of gelato
  • If you can’t stand melted gelato, this one’s also the ideal. There’s more gelato than cone but the creamy scoops don’t melt quickly. 
  • The toppings give this sundae added crunch and height 

Note: There's third bubble waffle sundae option available at Kailua's Let's Toast Cafe, which opened in March. The bubble waffles are sold for $4.50, but for 50 cents to $1 more per topping, you can add extras like vanilla ice cream, fresh fruits, boba, azuki beans, chocolate, caramel, honey, condensed milk and more.

Bubble waffle plus toppings from Let's Toast Cafe. - Photo credit Melissa Chang

Foodland Farms Ala Moana
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Ala Moana 
949-5044
Open daily 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
https://www.foodland.com/stores/foodland-farms-ala-moana

Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery 
3632 Waialae Ave.
Kaimuki
738-8200
Open Thurs-Sat 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-9 p.m. 
https://www.pipelinebakeshop.com/