Bountiful Buffet Nets Five Star ExperienceDigest On the Menu
January 26, 2014
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Those looking for top-of-the-line cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere coupled with the convenience of an all-you-can-eat buffet need look no further than Hawaii’s premier five-star destination.
Five Star International Buffet has served up flavorful cuisine to both kamaaina and visitors alike since 2012 from its convenient Royal Hawaiian Center locale in the heart of a revitalized Waikiki landscape. The restaurant’s open-air atmosphere allows cool breezes to pass through the comfortable dining area, which draws comparisons to top-notch buffets such as those found at Las Vegas Strip resorts. Five Star’s servers and buffet attendants are friendly and knowledgeable, and the experience even includes ultra-pure drinking water from the restaurant’s special filtration and purification system.
The restaurant is a smaller version of its mother location in Hokkaido, Japan. While the buffet menu is influenced by Japanese preparation and cooking styles, the bountiful spread also offers American (prime rib), Chinese (fried rice and fried noodles), “Local Style” (beef stew and poke) and even Italian (pasta and pizza) cuisine. Assorted sushi varieties are available in addition to multiple dessert options, including Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Bread Pudding, Tiramisu, Green Tea Cake, Cream Puffs and Creme Brulee.
The bright and clean buffet area features two sides that remain freshly stocked, thanks to a host of chefs situated behind serving stations. As certain dishes dwindle, buffet attendants let the chefs know, and replenishments are prepared immediately in the open kitchen.
“Everything is cooked fresh, and the setup of our kitchen allows us to prepare dishes that are usually only found at restaurants, not buffets, because we can prepare items to order,” explains kitchen manager Ryan Lai. “Our selections are favorites that our diners will enjoy, whether you’re from Hawaii, the Mainland or Japan. The menu changes throughout the year, depending on the availability of fresh, seasonal ingredients.”
The lunch buffet consists of more than 30 items, including Fish of the Day, Loco Moco, Karaage Chicken, Pork Katsu, Pasta of the Day and Pizza, as well as Maki and Nigiri sushi, salads and fruit. The superb spread nearly doubles in size at dinner, and includes the always popular Steamed Lobster with lemon butter, Steamed Snow Crab with melted butter, Miso Butterfish, Braised Short Ribs and Hawaiian Salt and Rosemary Crusted Prime Rib with Au Jus.
Five Star International Buffet also features a full bar as well as semi-private sections that can seat larger groups in comfort — a perfect option for special events or celebrations. Lai encourages guests to inquire about and make reservations for a special Valentine’s Day menu available Feb. 14.
The lunch buffet is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and costs $19, or $12 for children ages 5 to 12. Dinner (5 to 10 p.m.) costs $48, or $24 for children ages 5 to 12. As an added bonus, complimentary meals are offered to children ages 4 and under. Additionally, kamaaina discounts are available, including a free soft drink for lunch, 15 percent off the dinner buffet, or 25 percent off dinner after 8:30 p.m. A special happy hour pupu menu is available from 2 to 5 p.m. as well.
“We’ve had customers tell us that the quality of our food is excellent, and that’s why they keep coming back,” Lai says.
Five Star International Buffet
Royal Hawaiian Center
2301 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 308
Daily, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch), 2-5 p.m. (Happy Hour), 5-10 p.m. (dinner)