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Chew On This

Reeling in a buffet of all-you-can-eat favorites

By Phoebe Neel Photos By Anthony Consillio
January 11, 2015

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For indecisive diners, indulgent eaters and anyone who likes buffets and a bargain, Makino Chaya is the ultimate paradise.

“We’re everyone’s favorite buffet on the island,” says manager Jo Makino, who shares a statement of fact rather than hubris.

Famed for its all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, Makino Chaya in Aiea is a longtime local favorite and three-time first-place winner of Hawaii’s Best People’s Choice Awards.

The restaurant features an all-access pass to lunch and dinner buffets with local and Japanese flair daily.

The lunch buffet, priced at $13.98 weekdays and $19.98 weekends, features an assortment of options, including shrimp tempura, miso butterfish and chicken teriyaki. At the teppanyaki station, chefs cook entrees to order on a flat-top grill. Sushi rolls and a full salad bar round out the offerings.

“Lunchtime is super busy,” says Makino, who notes that reservations are recommended for larger parties.

The dinner buffet goes above and beyond, with all-you-can-eat clams, poke and sashimi. Steamed snow crab is another dinner favorite that’s available daily, and thick calamari steak and American Kobe beef sizzles on the teppanyaki grill. Lastly, a dessert station with cake, fresh fruit and more satiates any final cravings.

For those who know exactly what they want, Makino Chaya also offers an a la carte menu with scrumptious preparations of local favorites that patrons can choose from. Lobster with cheese sauce and bacon-Cheddar oysters are definite must-trys.

While the dinner buffet comes at a great value ($29.98 Monday-Thursday, $30.98 Friday-Sunday), the happy hour special (Monday-Friday, 5-6:30 p.m.) is a steal, priced at $19.98 for the buffet.

“I have a lot of customers who say they didn’t eat all day just because they knew they were going to come here and wanted to save their appetite,” says Makino.

For the past decade, Makino Chaya has been serving up all-you-can-eat delicacies at unbeatable values, and lucky for us, it’s not going anywhere.

Makino Chaya

Westridge Shopping Center
98-150 Kaonohi St., Aiea
486-5100
Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 5-8:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 5-9 p.m.
makinochayahawaii.com