Sign up for news and special offers from Dining Out
Now Plating

A near-endless buffet equates to paradise on your plate

By Andy Beth Miller Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
May 10, 2015

See more articles from

For those lucky enough to call Hawaii home, the price of living (and eating) in paradise shouldn’t be an arm and a leg. Makino Chaya agrees, which is why the popular Aiea eatery provides a delicious break for Oahu diners with its buffet packed with near endless options — without the accompanying eye-popping price tag.

Makino Chaya general manager Chris Mitchell meets Dining Out at the door, and from the initial handshake to our final exit, the gregarious host provides the utmost in customer service, filling our bellies with good food (and much laughter), as we explore all that his establishment has to offer.

We arrive ready for dinner, and Makino Chaya doesn’t disappoint. Before we dive in, Mitchell explains evening pricing options: An “Early Bird” dinner buffet is offered at $19.98, Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 p.m., while Friday-Sunday, diners looking to indulge in both the buffet and mouthwatering menu items pay just $31.98 to enjoy plate after plate of primo grindz.

Among today’s impressive array of accompanying dinner menu items is a tempting trio of the most tender and juicy delicacies land and sea can supply. The restaurant’s Wagyu Beef, with its trademark marbled markings and indulgent appeal, is “the highest quality of beef around,” Mitchell assures us.

Fresh Miyagi Oysters, served chilled on the half-shell, are dotted with radiantly hued roe that perfectly complement the relish-worthy taste that these known aphrodisiacs evoke.

Not to be upstaged, Makino Chaya’s BBQ Ribs also pack a wallop when it comes to pleasing patrons’ taste buds. Just the right balance of tender texture and satisfying substance, these ribs will remind you of just the way Mom made them.

As we depart, Mitchell reminds us, “Graduation season is just around the corner, and now’s the time to start booking your reservations to ensure your spot at Makino Chaya,” as the restaurant is very popular among the celebrating scholars and their loved ones. (Parties of 30 or more require at least one to two weeks notice, along with a signed contract and deposit, and are subject to availability).

Makino Chaya

98-150 Kaonohi St., Aiea
486-5100
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch)
Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5:30-9 p.m. (dinner)
makinochayahawaii.com