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Buffet offers delicious, affordable deals

A La Carte

January 21, 2018

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Snow crab legs, live lobster and live stone crab offered at the dinner buffet

In the dining out scene, the name Makino has become synonymous for an affordable, all-you-can-eat buffet that is tasty and extensive.

At Makino Waikiki, customers will find more than 50 food items on the buffet line, including its popular sushi and sashimi bar, ramen/ udon bar, tempura bar, and fruit and dessert bar. There also is cook-at-your-table seafood shabu shabu.

For dinner, the menu expands to include snow crab legs, and, most recently, live lobster, live stone crab and teppanyaki steak.

On Valentine’s Day, guests can enjoy their dinner with music and entertainment by Arsenio Productions, including a comical magician (dinner only, 5:30-9 p.m.; reservations are recommended).

Makino Waikiki owner and chef Toru Makino has been in the food industry for more than three decades, operating restaurants throughout the mainland and Hawaii. But for the past few years, his focus has been on Makino Waikiki.

Cook-at-your-table seafood shabu shabu

“I started (my first restaurant) on the mainland over 35 years ago, but Japanese food was not popular at that time,” recalls Makino. “So, I’m thinking, what kind of business would be more popular for Japanese food, and I thought buffet.

“We had shrimp tempura, sushi and Japanese fried chicken already set up on the counter. They come and take a look at the food, it’s all-youcan-eat — very simple. It was easy for customers to understand, and (was) priced cheap,” he said.

The concept took off, and as more customers discovered Makino, the menu continued to grow while prices stayed low.

“Makino is volume,” explains Makino, noting that he is able to keep prices down by buying fresh in bulk.

Kamaaina dinner buffet prices are $25.98 (Monday-Friday) or $26.98 (Saturday, Sunday and Valentine’s Day). Kamaaina lunch buffet prices are $9.98 (Monday-Friday), or $10.98 (Saturday and Sunday). Bring in the Dining Out coupon on page 15 (one per party), and a valid Hawaii ID.

Regular buffet prices are $16.98 for lunch, and $35.98 for dinner. Free for children ages 3 and under, and half off regular price for children ages 4-11. Parking is available behind the restaurant (parking entrance located off Ena Road) for $4 for up to two hours (show your receipt and Makino Waikiki will reimburse $2).

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