There are very few places as universally loved on Yelp as Uncle Clays House of Pure Aloha. Only Dat Cajun Guy and Uncle Clays have an overall full 5 star rating on Yelp with at least 300+ reviews. At the time of this review, Uncle Clays had a total of 432 reviews with 411 of them at 4 or 5 stars. This is an incredible 95% of customers who are extremely happy with the product and the atmosphere Uncle Clays provides. Just to give you an idea of how few people are unhappy with their visit to Uncle Clays, only 6 people out of 432 reviews on Yelp gave a 1 or a 2 star rating. This means that just 1.4% of people that visited Uncle Clays did not enjoy their experience there.. This kind of customer satisfaction is almost unheard of.
For those of you that may think the word “Aloha” just means hello and good bye in Hawaiian, this is not the case. Aloha also means affection, peace and compassion. To show aloha is treat others in a friendly and affectionate manner. This is the real premise behind Uncle Clays House of Pure Aloha. When you visit there and Clay is working, he greets you and converses with you a bit, getting to know you. He will even introduce you to other customers and tell you a bit about them and vice versa. It is really a unique place to visit. If you are a real introvert or very shy this may not be the place for you. For most, the friendly, relaxed atmosphere Clay has created at his shop should be quite an enjoyable experience. This is all great but….
Can he also deliver on his shave ice? Absolutely, he does! Uncle Clays has its own all natural homemade syrups and lots of different add-ons to choose from. The base prices for the shave ice start at $2.50 for the mini, $3.75 for the regular and $4.75 for the large. As for the add-ons, you can get fresh fruit toppings, ice cream, sauces and even homemade Mochi and Azuki Beans. All these elements are what elevates the shave ice flavors over some of the others on the island.
Uncle Clays only has about 10 different syrups but here, it is not about quantity, it is about quality. I ordered the large bowl and for my add-ons, I had strawberry, mango and guava syrups with Tahitian vanilla ice cream, mochi, strawberries, pineapple and dream sauce. All this, brought the price to a little under $10, but it was worth it. The flavors were not just sugary sweet, they actually tasted like the flavors listed.
I have tried many of the best shave ice on the island, from Matsumoto’s to Waiola Shave Ice to Island Snow and the one thing that Uncle Clays gives you that the others don’t is an indoor, air conditioned area to enjoy your shave ice. As many of you know, trying to eat shave ice outside, in the heat, can be a race with the devil. The ice melts very fast outside in the mid day heat. You want to eat your shave ice not drink it. So being able to sit inside in a nice air conditioned environment is a huge plus, for me. They do offer two benches for outdoor seating if you’d rather sit outside and enjoy your shave ice.
Overall, like almost everyone else who has tried Uncle Clays shave ice, I really enjoyed it. I liked all the flavors, the add-ons and the Tahitian vanilla ice cream as well as the atmosphere. Most of the highest rated shave ice shops are pretty far from each other so going to one shop over the other more than likely has to do with proximity than anything else. So if you’re near the Hawaii Kai area, between Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay, and want a great shave ice treat, Uncle Clays is the place to go. Even if you’re not in this immediate area, it’s worth the trip if you love a good shave ice.
If you want to visit Uncle Clays House of Pure Aloha, it is open from 11:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Thursday and 10:30am to 8:00pm, Friday through Sunday.
Here are some photos from my visit to Uncle Clays House of Pure aloha
Map to Uncle Clays House of Pure aloha