Back by popular demand, the Japanese Cuisine Buffet is transporting your taste buds into the heart of Tokyo at the Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului.
The all-you-can-eat affair is presented from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings in the upstairs, open-air Rainbow Dining Room.
"We rolled it out three weeks ago and the diners just love it," says Food and Beverage Manager Carol Miyamoto. "In addition, if customers have any suggestions, we'll take it into account."
Maui Beach Hotel cook Tina Tuquero slices slow-roasted prime rib of beef for Honolulu visitor Naoto Lathrop, son of the late Maui pastor Yukio Miyokawa. The buffet is also packed with Japanese specialties.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Miyamoto is talking about the fact that diners are asking for snow crab to be added, so she's thinking of reinstating that popular item on Saturday nights.
"When we do add snow crab, we'll have to charge a little more," says Miyamoto. "For now a bountiful salad bar with spinach and bacon salad, cucumber namasu, tofu-tomato salad and, of course, you can't have a buffet without potato-mac salad, and our version is really ono."
Other regular staples are giant platters of sashimi and an array of sushi such as tempura roll, California roll, futomaki roll, spicy tuna roll and oshizzushi, packed with ebi (sweet shrimp) and unagi (eel).
Hot Japanese entrees are shrimp, vegetable and beef tempura with house-made sauce; mochiko chicken; pork with ginger; udon noodle soup; oden and sukyaki. And Maui Beach's famous fried noodles and steamed rice top it off.
"We rotate three other hot entrees through to keep it different each time," she says. "And desserts include a frozen yogurt bar with azuki beans, fresh fruits, green tea mochi and more. Traditional popcorn green tea is included."
Cost is $32.99 adults and $16 for children 6 to 11 year old. "We recommend parties of six or more make reservations. Otherwise, you can just walk in. We also have a full bar for the buffet nights and dinner music for your enjoyment."
Call 872-9315 or 872-9307.