Walking up to a buffet and filling your plate is so 2019. Because of coronavirus, restaurants with buffets have had to change the way they do things. A Fort Lauderdale staple is known for their mid-week freebie food fest, and instead of cancelling their buffet, they made it COVID safe.

Fort Lauderdale’s Mai-Kai is a Polynesian foodie escape, and their hump-day happy hour has been bringing in folks for years.

Kern Mattei, Mai-Kai: “Every Wednesday here at the Mai-Kai, here in the Molokai bar, we do a sushi buffet.”

The buffet is free. Just spend $10 on food and drinks from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on what they call sushi Wednesdays.

Kern Mattei: “Our sushi buffet, which features fresh hand-rolled sushi as well as dumplings and spring rolls, we try to rotate that each week.”

Because of the pandemic, the all you can eat experience changed a little.

Kern Mattei: “Right now, you cannot touch the buffet at all, which is part of the requirements for the COVID-19. We have our regular sneeze guard we always had in place, but we also covered the front of the sushi bar, so you can’t touch any of the food.”

There are always at least three types of sushi, and now, someone hands it to you.

Kern Mattei: “Once you approach the buffet, we have an attendant that will let you pick whatever sushi you want.”

You get a few pieces of sushi at a time and can keep going back for more.

Chase Moore, customer: “I’m really critical of the COVID and everything else. They’ve got everything blocked off, so I feel perfectly secure here.”

Head to Mai-Kai and grab a tropical drink like the barrel of rum or pina passion, or go for the pu pu sampler platter, but if you go on Wednesdays, save room for sushi.”

Chase Moore: “I think it’s amazing. I love their sushi, and I love coming in on Wednesday to enjoy the sushi bar.”


Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show
3599 N. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

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