Nani Mau reopening with reservation-only buffet on Feb. 3

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Tables are separated more than six feet in preparation for the buffet reopening at Paʻina at Nani Mau Gardens on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald The buffet is ready to be used at Paʻina at Nani Mau Gardens on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Paina at Nani Mau Gardens will open for buffet reservations on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

After almost one year of closure, Nani Mau Restaurant and Garden will open a buffet beginning Wednesday, Feb. 3.

The restaurant, which is normally used for banquet and private events, will use its dining room and outdoor seating for the buffet.

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“When push came to shove, we realized we had to recreate what we’re known for in a way that is COVID-19 safe,” said general manager Mark Mattos. “This is a new concept for us. We have a new chef on board, and we’re excited to see how it goes.”

To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, Nani Mau will allow patrons to go up to the buffet from one table at a time. Masks will be required each time a person leaves their table, and some tables have been removed to accommodate social distancing standards.

“I think we have a great environment that can service indoor and outdoor dining, which sets us apart,” Mattos said. “We received approval from the Department of Health and have a safe plan in place.”

The Paina Buffet at Nani Mau will offer options in Asian fusion, Mediterranean grill, paniolo barbecue and island flavors. There also will be a carving station in the buffet line, as well as beverage service and desserts brought to the table.

Nani Mau also is offering add-on grilled seafood options, which will be an extra cost.

People interested in dining at the Paina Buffet at Nani Mau are required to make a reservation beforehand. The restaurant will operate Wednesdays to Saturdays.

The restaurant will be open on Valentine’s Day, which falls on a Sunday.

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“We have ambitious ideas, like a Sunday brunch, but we want to see how it goes first,” Mattos said. “We have nothing but space here.”

Email Kelsey Walling at kwalling@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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