Something for Everyone

Columns Veg'n Out

May 5, 2013

Story By: Terri Hefner | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Chef's Salad Table

Chef’s Salad Table

You’re with a crowd of hungry friends, there’s a family celebration or you just want a nice variety to choose from, so it makes sense to head for a buffet, because there’s something for everyone … well, almost.

Makino Chaya is well known for its bountiful buffet, but if you don’t eat seafood or meat, you may just sail right by the Aiea eatery, assuming you’ll be disappointed with a few side dishes and maybe a salad among all those famous crab legs.

Don’t let it make you crabby, veggie lovers. Come out of your shell, crack a smile and claw your way past the seafood and meat to load up your plate with the good stuff.

On the buffet line you’ll discover nishime — Japanese-style stewed vegetables that include carrots, mushrooms, onions, lotus root, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and bur-dock root. And don’t miss the crisp, light vegetable tempura, which features carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, eggplant, squash and green beans. Makino Chaya president Jo Makino assures customers that everything is cooked fresh and replenished often, so not to worry about cold, soggy tempura.

Yakisoba — noodles laced with cabbage, carrots and green onions — is a popular choice, and the sauteed choi sum is simply healthy and delicious.

The salad bar also offers a variety for non-meat eaters, including water-cress salad with homemade dressing, spinach salad, tomato-spinach salad, mixed greens and more, as well as an assortment of freshly cut-up fruit.

Fresh, good-for-you and affordable (see buffet prices at left), Makino Chaya definitely floats above the ordinary buffet when it comes to offering something for everyone — including veggie lovers. So dive right in.

Makino Chaya

98-150 Kaonohi St., Aiea
Lunch buffet: week-days, 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ($10.98 per person); weekends, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. ($18.95)
Dinner buffet: Monday-Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. ($25.98), Fridays, 6-9 pm. ($25.98), Saturday, 5:30-9 p.m. ($27.98), Sundays, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Aiea, HI 96701

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