On the way to Waikele the other week, Grandpa, Michel, Aunt Sylvia, Madeline, Victor and I stopped by the Kalihi Zippy’s for an early lunch.
Zippy’s has gone downhill in the last decade, it’s a fact. But despite that, it’s still good, especially if you’ve been gone from the islands for a long time. I think the peak of Zippy’s wonder was the mid-late 90s. Man, those were the days. I distinctly recall that year when were doing construction on our home kitchen and were thus “required” to eat out every night, for a solid three months. In search of comfort, one table inside the dining room at Kahala Zippy’s became the family dinner table as we were there a good four or five times a week. Zip Min, Pork Saimin, Chili Dog…all good, as long as you close the meal with cream cheese jello squares, hehe.
Nowadays, we patronize the takeout counter more often than the dining room. Lunch on the go seems to be the norm. The Zip Pac – Zippy’s signature dish, is always the most tempting option. From top down, fried chicken, fried mahi mahi, Spam, and teriyaki beef. What not to love? Some of my friends here in the city have commented on the absurdity of this dish. But no, it’s perfectly normal. Rice + meat + fish. Some deep frying. Furikake. One slice of daikon. Perfectly balanced to me At the very least, it gives you a good idea of local food.
This might not look like much, but Zippy’s does awesome spaghetti. It’s the sauce, or rather, the mayo they add in the sauce! Mayo is also added to the chili, which happens to be just as incredible. So incredible that all the kids on the mainland for college have frozen chili and apple napples shipped to their dorm. Downing local food in the freezing chill of the east coast is one of the best feelings in the world. The magic is in the mayo. Who would have thought, huh?
I was tempted to have either an Apple or Chili Napple, from the adjacent Napoleon Bakery counter (there’s one attached to every Zippy’s on the island), but decided to exercise caution/sensibility as we were off to Nisshodo – more mochi time ^_^
I wrote about Nisshodo a few posts ago. But it’s the best mochi shop on the island, so it deserves another post (and perhaps many more to come :).
The two big greens ones are Uguisu Mochi. There’s a mini version in the middle minus the kinako dusting, and stuffed with lima beans. At the bottom right is a quarter pound of chichi dango with kinako (I swear, kinako makes everything taste better). I personally prefer this version over the plain chichi dango, which is their bestseller.
1095 Dillingham Blvd Ste I5
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96817