Zippy’s and Nisshodo Mochiya

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.

Above is a photo of the Mini Zip Pac which is essentially a Zip Pac minus the Spam and Mahi Mahi. Easier on the calories, however much less exciting.

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 :).

Our indecisiveness resulted in a lot of variety – taste everything! That’s the way to go.

First, good luck sugar peaches for Grandpa’s birthday.

Azuki bean jellies.

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.

These are also sold by weight. Above, a half pound box…

…in signature shades of pink and white.

Gorgeous little bites…



Various Locations

Nisshodo Mochiya

1095 Dillingham Blvd Ste I5

Honolulu, Hawai’i 96817

(808) 847-1244

  • KirkK
    January 5, 2009

    Hi Kathy – Is Zippy’s Chicken still as good? I’ve been told by most of my friends back home while the prices at Zippy’s has gone waaay up….the quality and flavor have taken a nosedive.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    January 5, 2009

    Hey Kirk!The chicken is still as good, but the prices are ridiculous. I think the Zip Pac was $8-ish, which is crazy imo. My cousin worked at the Hawaii Kai location one summer, and the things he said about their sanitary standards were ::shudder:: scary to say the least…but that’s a whole nother matter. Either way, sometimes you just get those intense chili cravings that just won’t go away! ^_^

  • anonymous
    January 5, 2009

    We were at the scary HK site last night. It was convenient for us, mom, visiting CT friend to meet there. We had saimin, Zipmin, Hawaiian beef stew and chicken long rice. Quality was better than usual – for a place where most meals come with rice, can’t they do a better job? It’s not rocket science! – but, yes, prices too high. We were talking about the chili being for sissies, but then so is Rainbow Drive-In’s!Of course, we saw friends there, too. And DH left with apple Napples for each of us!

  • K and S
    January 5, 2009

    chili napples sound like they could be addictingly dangerous…I miss the $3.50 zip pacs…

  • Kathy YL Chan
    January 6, 2009

    Hey Soos!I agree, the prices drive me away, esp when you can find so much better food on the island at a lower price. So sweet of DH to leave you with apple napples – I’ll have to get one on my next trip home! ^_^Hey Kat!$3.50?! Oh boy, now those really were the days! :)

  • OkiHwn
    January 6, 2009

    Nice post on the usual favorites from Zippy’s. But getting too, too pricey, especially in the dining rooms. See how much their so-so oxtail soup goes for nowadays?

  • anonymous
    January 6, 2009

    The first time I ever ate at Zippy’s (Ala Moana), I had eggs. They ruined two fried eggs with rice. While other family members still wax nostalgic over the place, I could never get over that terrible breakfast, probably because I was so hungry at the time!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    January 7, 2009

    Hey OkiHwn!Yeah! Prices are crazy…I’d rather make oxtail soup at home ^_^Hey Madam Chow!LOL, sometimes they do screw up the most simple dishes…but I can’t help but forgive any past errors when I sink my spoon into a hot bowl of chili rice! :D

  • Shasha
    January 9, 2009

    I’m so jealous you got to eat Nisshodo mochi! I tried to get some when I was at home for the holidays, but they were closed :(My mom brought me 3 lbs when she came to visit one time, and I ate it all in a couple days :)

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