Entering the newest “House” of fine seafood
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After waiting patiently for years, local diners finally are able to enjoy a new, all-you-can-eat seafood extravaganza. It comes in the form of Crab House Makino, an experience previously available only to those traveling to the “Ninth Island.”
After building successful buffet ventures in Hawaii, California and Las Vegas, restauranteurs Toru and Kaku Makino have collaborated again to unveil Crab House Makino to the 50th State. The restaurant held its grand opening May 1, and the brothers introduced a host of buffet choices to local diners at the prime location on Ala Moana Boulevard near the gateway to Waikiki (formerly occupied by Todai).
Kaku Makino, who oversees the Las Vegas operation, specializes in sushi.
He helped craft 50 different types of sushi available on the buffet line, and notes that the brothers want to offer the “best quality” cuisine possible while putting “happy faces” on diners.
“As the original sushi buffet owners, this is the ‘final touch’ on the concept we’ve been building over the past 20 years,” Toru Makino explains. “This is the first time my brother has joined me (in such a venture), and we’re trying to bring Las Vegas-quality sushi and seafood to world-famous Waikiki. We welcome our kamaaina diners and serve the customers with the highest quality cuisine possible.”
Customers definitely will be smiling when hearing about Crab House Makino’s prices, which the Makino brothers say are comparable to 15 years ago. As a special scoop for Dining Out readers (make sure to bring the coupons from this issue on page 13), kamaaina may enjoy the lunch buffet for just $12.98 ($9.98 for seniors), the dinner buffet for $23.98 ($19.98 for seniors) and the Sunday brunch buffet for $22 ($17 for seniors). These stellar savings — which are available with the coupons only and are not combinable with other specials and may not be used on holidays — amount to $10 off the regular price per person in some cases.
The buffet features succulent roast beef, prime rib, shrimp tempura, snow crab, garlic shrimp, the aforementioned selections of sushi, as well as fruit and dessert bars. The dinner buffet features those favorites in addition to sought-after king crab and stone crab. To provide an idea of how popular king crab is among local diners, Toru Makino explains that he brought in 22,000 pounds of the tasty crustaceans in time for the restaurant’s opening.
Executive chef Richard Lee brings more than 20 years of experience in the kitchen to Crab House Makino after initially honing his craft in Miami, Fla. He anticipates diners enjoying his masterfully prepared “steamship round” cut of beef, which is slow-roasted for 14 hours at 220 degrees until it “cuts like butter.” The medium-rare beef is prepared with what the chef describes as “old-school techniques, like how it might have been served on the Titanic.”
Diners also receive two free hours of parking when visiting Crab House Makino. The parking structure is accessible from Ena Road.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner — customers are encouraged to call now and make reservations — and other special events such as graduation parties quickly approaching, Crab House Makino is poised to please kamaaina of all ages.
Crab House Makino
1910 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Open daily for lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner: 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Sunday brunch: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free parking for two hours, enter parking structure from Ena Road.