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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 21, 2010

Hawaii eats section

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

If it ain't broke ... Zippy's fried chicken is still on our list for 'ono fried chicken.


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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

At Nolbunae, the Korean-style fried chicken is made according to a secret Seoul recipe — and it's some of the best on the island.

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Nolbunae serves up Korean fried chicken, uniquely seasoned with a thin, non-greasy coating. The first bite is a revelation in cinnamon. No soy sauce, no sesame oil, no garlic, not sweet and not salty, just an exotic fragrance that perfumes the steaming, fresh, juicy meat.

Nolbunae, 1526 Makaloa St., 947-4070


Max's calls itself "The House That Chicken Built," and it's no wonder why. The restaurant's specialty is its whole (or half) fried chicken, and it's moist, with skin that's been fried to a delicate crisp. It gets even better when it's topped with Jufran banana sauce for a sweet-sour-salty kick.

Max's of Manila, two locations: 801 Dillingham Blvd., 951-6297; 94-300 Farrington Highway, 951-6297


This Kaka'ako hole-in-the-wall is a magnet for lunchers with a taste for 'ono plate lunch — and the Queen's signature fried chicken. The fried chicken plate comes with three massive pieces of chicken, battered and fried to a golden crisp.

Queen's BBQ, 730 Queen St., 596-8274


Ray's Cafe is no easy find, tucked away in Kalihi, but it's worth the search. Ray's fried chicken is packed with flavor. The skin is extra crisp and perfectly salty, and the meat is succulent and — surprise ! — also nice and salty, which leads us to believe that they take the extra step to brine the chicken.

Ray's Cafe, 2033 N. King St., 841-2771


There's nothing like the old standby. We still love Zippy's ultra-crispy fried chicken — and with an order of chili, it's pure comfort.

Zippy's, locations islandwide


India Market, this city's go-to spot for hard-to-find Indian ingredients, has moved up the block into a new, bigger space that's easier to spot on the corner of Isenberg and Beretania streets (it was formerly located in a dingy, two-story walk-up, downstairs from the now-closed Well Bento). And being more visible means that we can't drive by without dipping in for a package of naan or sack of cumin. Also irresistible: the samosas ($1.50 each), made fresh daily with a savory, spicy potato filling and crisp, flaky crust.


2357 S. Beretania St.
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily



It doesn't look like much, but one bite, and you'll be hooked. Satura Cakes' Swedish-style profiterole ($2.75) has a fresh whipped-cream filling, dotted with crunchy caramelized nougat bits. It's just sweet enough to satisfy your afternoon craving, but light enough to make you want more.

— Melissa Chang


Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (931-6286), and d.k Steak House (931-6280) are now offering a weekly Wednesday night lobster special. Get a four-course Maine lobster dinner for $39 at either of the sister restaurants. Dinner service starts at 5:30 p.m.

A group of premier wineries — all members of the national Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) organization — will be staging a Hono­lulu tasting from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Hale Koa Hotel (2055 Kalia Road). Food will be provided by chef Michael Kurch of Hale Koa Hotel, chef Jon Ng of Hale Koa's Bibas Restaurant, chef Robert Denis of Don Ho's Island Grill, chef JJ Luangkhot of JJ Bistro & French Pastry and chef Elmer Guzman of Poke Stop. Tickets are $59 per person and can be purchased online at www.zinfandel.org. Some tickets may be available at the door for $69 per person.

Kahala Hotel & Resort is holding a wine tasting with winemakers from the Central Coast. Chef Wayne Hirabayashi will create a summer-themed menu and cigar expert Michael Herklots will share his knowledge over Davidoff cigars. "Symposia — A Celebration of Wine" will take place tomorrow from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Kahala Hotel, pool side. Tickets are $60 per person. Reservations are recommended: 739-8760.