A Classic Eatery Welcomes New & Tempting Grinds

Features Inside Feature

July 2, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

As Zippy’s Restaurants continues its mission of serving Hawaii as it has for the past 45 years, an important ingredient in the local staple’s success is its ability to add menu items that keep hungry guests coming back for more. Zippy’s diverse menu appeals to all ages and tastes, and with the addition of a new set of specials for this month, customers can treat their taste buds to some soon-to-be favorites.

  • Teriyaki Beef Salad ($9.95 dine-in restaurant only)
  • BBQ Smoked Turkey Drumsticks ($10.95)
  • Sweet & Sour Boneless Chicken ($7.95 fast food counter, $8.95 dine-in restaurant)
  • Shift leader trainer Melina Rubasch and restaurant cook Trevor Luke
  • Apple Pop Salad ($8.75 dine-in restaurant only)
  • Sweet & Sour Boneless Chicken is great for those on the go.
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In July, Zippy’s is featuring Sweet & Sour Boneless Chicken ($7.95 at the fast food counter, $8.95 in the dine-in restaurant), a new item that pairs a hearty portion of the boneless chicken with a tangy sweet and sour sauce. The dish is available from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and comes with white or brown rice and macaroni salad when ordering from the fast food counter, and includes hot vegetables in place of macaroni salad when ordered in the dine-in restaurant.

The deal gets even sweeter as, with each purchase of the boneless chicken, diners will receive an entry form for a chance to win a host of prizes in Zippy’s Back to School giveaway. Two grand-prize winners will take home an Apple MacBook computer, and five winners per week will receive a $200 gift card from Office Max and a $50 gift card from Hawaiian Island Creations.

So where does Zippy’s get the inspiration for its tasty menu offerings? According to Charlene Kim, the restaurant’s administrative director, suggestions for new items come from customers, employees and product vendors, and are passed on to research and development chef Wayne Komamura and the menu planning committee. After samples are created, they are tested and tweaked until being deemed ready for the menu. “It’s really neat,” says Kim of the process. “(Komamura) will come up with a lot of ideas for items that aren’t on our standard menu. The items also are designed to be prepared and served easily by our staff.”

As part of Zippy’s continuing health and wellness initiative, the restaurant is serving up two new salad choices available 24 hours a day through August in the dine-in restaurant only. The Teriyaki Beef Salad ($9.95) includes strips of broiled teriyaki beef topping a bed of Nalo greens with grape tomatoes, cucumber medallions and chopped egg served with Zippy’s house dressing. The Apple Pop Salad ($8.75) includes Nalo greens, apple slices, grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and kettle corn popcorn served with a zesty lilikoi vinaigrette dressing. The latter creation is the brainchild of Zippy’s Kahala Restaurant cook Trevor Luke and former employee Brandon Lee who won a salad making challenge at a recent employee picnic.

“We came up with (the challenge) as part of our health and wellness initiative,” Kim says. “One of the prizes was putting the winning salad on the menu and introducing it to the public. Chef Alan Wong was the celebrity judge, and he called the salad ‘refreshing and really creative.’ The combination really sold the judges.”

Luke, who was trained at the Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts Program, got the idea for the unique salad combination while flipping through one of his many culinary books. “I read that lilikoi and champagne vinegar go really well together,” he says of the salad’s tangy dressing. “Then, I threw in some li hing powder, and added the popcorn as a crunchy element. It all just came together and it works really well.”

Just in time for the Independence Day holiday, Zippy’s has another special worthy of fanfare. The BBQ Smoked Turkey Drumsticks ($10.95) includes two large drum-sticks tossed in a tangy barbecue sauce, and is available now through July 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the dine-in restaurant only. The drum-sticks come with hot vegetables and a choice of white or brown rice, mashed potatoes or french fries.

Stop by one of Zippy’s 24 Oahu locations, many of which are open daily, and enjoy the old favorite’s new and delicious offerings.

Zippy’s Restaurants

  • Where
    • 1725 South King Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96826
    • (various other locations)
  • Call
    • (808) 973-0877 (South King)
  • Hours
    • Open 24 hours, seven days a week
  • Website