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Bubba Gump: Shrimpin’ it the way you like it

P1600173SAIPAN—Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., the island’s newest food destination opened its doors to the public on June 27, 2016, bringing to Saipan one of America’s icons.

Enter Bubba Gump Shrimp’s doors and you will be stepping into a world-class space, assembled and decorated by Bubba Gump specialists to truly embody the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. spirit and brand. This is a hundred percent true to the highest standards of Landry’s restaurant group, according to Triple J Enterprises marketing manager Iliana Pacheco.

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Head out to Bubba Gump Shrimp for your total ‘shrimp and seafood indulgence’ starting off with the Shrimper’s Heaven— hand breaded coconut shrimp with dipping sauces like tangy Asian, cajun marmalade, and zesty cocktail; Seafood Trio of shrimp, veggie and mahi-mahi in a skewer; the award-winning Lt. Dan’s Surf & Turf—baby back ribs slow roasted to perfection and served with succulent grilled shrimp and fries, Shrimp Mac and Cheese which is noodles mixed with sautéed shrimp, assorted cheeses and topped with golden brown breadcrumbs.

Another must-order item in the menu is Forrest’s Seafood Feast of hand breaded fried shrimp, fish and chips, seafood hush pups and served with homemade sauces for dipping—known to be Forrest’s favorite meal after a day on the boat.grilled seafood trio

 To get a total feel of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. watch the movie Forrest Gump (if you haven’t already) and also prepare to answer trivia questions about the movie that the staffers will be asking diners.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Saipan has over 130 staffers to serve diners with mouthwatering menus using a lot of local ingredients. Like the rest of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. outlets all over the country, the restaurant’s walls are plastered with memorabilia, still photos from Forrest Gump movie, story boards, and all kinds of knickknacks Bubba Gump is known for.P1600199

Pacheco said most of the merchandise is unique to Saipan as well as a one-of-a-kind pin that no other Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. brand has.

If you want an out-door Bubba Gump experience, the amazingly large patio is also unique to this location with its state-of-the-art retractable awning. Love shrimp? This is your place.P1600213

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is located at the ground floor of Serenti Hotel in Garapan and they are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday.

 

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Reef coolers at the Hyatt’s Splash Bar

???     TUCKED away behind the poolside waterfall of Hyatt Regency in Garapan is a nook that not everyone knows about, especially if you don’t venture beyond the swimming pool. The Splash Bar is located in between artistically carved boulders with superb views of the swimming pool and the waterfall.

I have been to this nook several times but last Saturday was the first time that I stayed and decided to try something from the menu.

I decided on the Reef Cooler from the cocktail list, a non-alcoholic cocktail made of fresh banana, orange, apple and pineapple juice which was served in a tall glass. I would have preferred coffee but despite the cold rainy day, the Reef Cooler was so refreshingly tempting. I sipped on it while waiting for my cheese burger which was served shortly, a grilled burger with melted Swiss cheese, a platter of French fries, pickles, tomatoes and onion. The burger was so big for me that I knew from the start I was only going to finish half of it. I took t??he other half home.

The bartenders at the Splash had their hands full with the constant stream of hungry customers, most of them dripping wet from a swim.

The Splash Menu includes a selection of salads, starters and sides, burgers from the grill, sandwiches, pizzas and desserts. Must-try items are the Thai chicken salad wrap, Splash burger, any of the pizzas and more. Burgers and sandwiches are served with fries, sweet potato chips or a side salad, and all below the $15 mark.???

Alcohol and non-alcoholic cocktails are also available for $8 to $10. Try the Mai Tai, Golden Margarita, Blue Pacific, Banana Rama, Pina Colada, Long Island Iced tea, Strawberry Peach Daiquiri, Blueberry Bliss, Citrus Cooler, Tropical Iceberg, and Strawberry Jubilee.

A selection of snacks are available for kids include grilled cheese, grilled ham and cheese, chicken nuggets, kid’s burger, chopped salad and peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The food selections at the Splash Bar include just your regular favorites but the ambiance is priceless. You can relax at the bar counter with a cold beer or a refreshing tropical cocktail as you watch a basketball game on the flat screen TV mounted on the wall, listen to the soothing sounds of the waterfall, or soak up the sun in one of the loungers at the poolside with your drink.

You can also have your o??rders delivered at any of the tables near the poolside. It’s one bar where no dress code exists, where the chairs are designed for wet diners. Although majority of their customers are hotel guests or pool users, anyone can walk in and order anything from the Splash Bar.

The Splash Bar is open from 10 a.m. to 5 .pm. everyday. Cards are accepted, and hotel guests can add orders to their room tabs. For more information please call the Hyatt at 234-1234 or visit http://www.saipan.regency.hyatt.com.

Authentic Italian cuisine at Giovanni’s Restaurant

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZs-UHioHwQ

 

HOW do you know that the Italian pasta you are eating is genuinely Italian? With the emergence of thousands of restaurants in the wo??rld advertising Italian cuisine in their menu even without using Italian ingredients or preparing a certain dish the traditional Italian way, Hyatt Regency Saipan is inviting the community to get a real taste of authentic Italian cuisine.

In observance of the International Day of Italian Cuisine which is being celebrated by over 1,700 Virtual Group of Italian Chefs in over 70 countries in the world of which Colombo is a member, Giovanni’s is serving spaghetti al dente with tomato sauce and fresh basil, a simple but emblematic dish starting last Friday night and all the way to January 31, 2014.

For this special celebration, I got the rare chance to watch Hyatt Regency’s executive chef Gabriele Colombo whip up a special sample of the signature pasta for the next two weeks right inside Giovanni’s kitchen.

Watching Chef Colombo at the stove from start to finish was a feast to the eyes and the senses. I watched him through my camera lenses as he tossed the spaghetti, arranged them on warmed plates, and until when he sprinkled fresh basil leaves from the Hyatt gardens and finally grated a bit of cheese on top of the pasta.

Colombo said the authentic spaghetti al dente doesn’t have any meat but you won’t even know it. Cheese is not also included in the original recipe but some Italian families use it.

The spaghetti plates were served to our table a few minutes a*?way, and it was hard to wait till we took photos of it before we dug into it. The spaghetti was a bit crispy, and the flavors of tomatoes and fresh basil blending well into the pasta.

We also shared a plate of Caesar salad and tasty bread sticks, as well as dishes from Giovanni’s regular menu—roasted Australian rack of lamb in thyme crust, artichoke and kalamata olives ragout. I split half of an order of medium rare Certified Angus Beef sirloin steak with Hyatt’s Luis Villagomez, knowing I could never finish one by myself.*?

Check out Giovanni’s selection of the finest Italian cuisine including grilled Certified Angus Beef rib eye steak, the hotel’s popular whole baked Maine lobster, veal tenderloin escalope, and baked Onaga red snapper; and Giovanni’s genuine Italian pasta selections, appetizers and soups, and a good selection of pizza.

Enjoy the soft, cozy ambiance of Giovanni’s Restaurant with its subdued lighting and glass walls that offer a spectacular view of the landscaped ponds and gardens outside. It’s one place you want to linger after dinner and relax.

We declined dessert but ordered a cup of the hotel’s famous Macchiato coffee. Don’t miss out on the remaining days and try authentic Italian spaghetti al dente with fresh tomatoes and basil only at Giovanni’s and learn to distinguish authentic from the counterfeit so the next time you go out to eat at restaurants labeled as Italian, you will know if you are being given the real thing or not.

For more information about itchefs-GVCI, visit www.itchefs-gvci.com.

Spaghetti al dente and other authentic Italian cuisine is available for dinner from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant. For inquiries or reservations, please call the Hyatt at 234-1234.

 

 

 

American-Mexican lunch at the World Café

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An impromptu lunch on Saturday led me and a buddy to the World Café at the Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saturday noon. The plan has always been there to try out the theme lunches at the World Café but somehow each time we plan to go it always never materializes.

It was just past 12 noo??n and a friendly wait staff took us to only available table at the center of the dining room. Not a very ideal spot for one who wants to observe the general lunch atmosphere but there was no choice.

We headed to the buffet section to check on what the American-Mexican theme has to offer. A chef was busy flipping burgers and rolling burritos with Mexican-inspired stuffing. I skipped the burritos and made myself a cheeseburger before heading to the section for main entrées. I skipped the noodles and the soup section for later, inhaling in the tantalizing aromas rising from the pots.

My buddy tried the Mexican favorites before loading a plate from the hot entrée section. Available were chafers of fried chicken, short-ribs in gravy, and a seafood medley with calamari, mussels, shrimp, and more. I only picked out a few items to sample since I was saving space in my stomach for something more.??

The salad bar is one of the can’t-be-missed sections at the Café World. It is in a small enclosure with mirrors on the wall reflecting the simple yet appetizing items like chicken kelaguen, mixed greens with different seasonings, tomatoes, corn, cucumber slices, kimchi, pickles, salad, and fruits like watermelon, papaya and more.

The dessert section groans with a delectable array of cheesecake, fruit, pastries, a bread basket, fresh-baked desserts and more.??

My buddy was not surprised when I lit up upon seeing the Halo-Halo section at the dessert bar. He knew at least more than half of my lunch will be from there, or more likely crushed ice and he was right. I made several trips to fill my glass with crushed ice and ate until my throat started sending signals to stop. World Café offers several choices of beverages like bottomless coffee, soda and more.

Lunch everyday is a different theme at the Café World but you can check out the ala carte menu to order your favorite food if you don’t fancy the theme lunches.

 

If you want to splurge, pick out any of the live lobster swimming in a cold aquarium just beside the salad bar and prepare for a real lobster treat.

The World Café offers diners a contemporary casual ambiance, with its rattan tables and seats adding to the comfortable aura. For some privacy, a section with glass walls facing the small pond is available but be sure to make reservations if you want to secure that spot.?

If you are going to have the American-Mexican theme lunch on Saturday, or any of thelunch themes on any day, go on a hungry stomach to do justice to all the food. Stumbling in there in a half-asleep state will make you miss much, take it from me. The theme lunch costs $22 for each person, $18 for locals.

??The World Café is open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner is from 6 p.m. to 9:30 pm. For reservations and inquiries please call 234-7171 extension 1585 or call direct line 233-6414.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A feast of grilled delights at Gekka Teppanyaki & Bar

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Chef Jay Adarve ‘plays with fire’ at the Gekka Teppanyaki

YOU can see the Gekka Teppanyaki Bar right across from the main restaurant near the poolside when you step into the lobby of the Mariana Resort & Spa in Marpi, its polished counter tops and comfortable chairs around the bar enticing one to come and explore the mouthwatering temptations in its menu. The Gekka Bar is dead in the daytime, but at 6 p.m. the lights go on and the bar springs to life. It was my first time to be at the Gekka on Saturday night, and my companion was convincing me to go for the BBQ Buffet.

Baked Prawns

I convinced him that we try the Gekka Teppanyaki & Bar when Marianas Resort & Spa when Executive Chef and 2013 Taste of the Marianas Chef’s Competition grand champion William C. Retardo stepped in with a brand new menu and it was not hard to give in.

On William’s recommendation, we started off with a hot appetizer—tofu steak mixed with mushroom and I got my fill taking photos and video clips as our appetizer was being prepared by Chef Jay Adarve.

Ceviche ala Mariana

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I am not a big fan of tofu or mushrooms but it tasted so good the plate was clean after a few minutes. Chef Jay next prepared fresh prawns called Kuruma Eb Ougon Yaki on the grill— three large prawns which he grilled and glazed until they turned golden orange, and served with vegetable salad and half a slice of lemon. My companion almost finished all the prawns, while I dug into the salad. It was our second dish and I was already getting full. The best was yet to come. Our Sirloin Steak salad medium rare was next and again gloried in watching how it was prepared before it was all ready to eat.

1- main photo Mariana Resort & Spa executive chef William Retardo is flanked by chefs Jay Adarve and Arnel Patio.

Halfway into our steak, our seafood feast on a plate was served. Sumptuously arranged on a white platter was a colorful mix of fish slices, octopus, shrimps, prawn, mussels, and scallop with tomatoes, mushrooms and greens. This, too, we cleared off in a short time.

Try the other items in the hot appetizer section like the mixed sausage Sauerkraut, grilled duck sushi roll, scallop with mixed mushroom, spicy garlic shrimp and chicken wings teriyaki from $10 to $14 per order.

The cold appetizers menu includes new style salmon sashimi, beef carpaccio, prosciutto with fruits from $15 to $18 bracket.

Noodles and rice are also available like Yaki Udon, eel fried rice, garlic rice and steamed rice. Certified Angus Beef sirloin steak and tenderloin steaks are available in different sizes.

The highlight of the Gekka Teppanyaki Bar are the items in the Gekka Special Combo menu which includes the Chicken Wings Teriyaki and Baked Shrimp Combo, Angus Beef Sirloin Steak and Baked Shrimp combo, Scallop and Angus Beef Tenderloin combo, and the lobster tail and Angus Beef Sirloin Combo, all served with pickled vegetable, soup and rice.

Complete your Teppanyaki experience with the salmon steak with shoyu butter sauce, mussels with shoyu butter sauce and garlic, lobster tail Shoyu butter sauce, and live lobsters Shoyu butter sauce.Live Lobster Shoyu Butter Sauce

The couple beside us ordered a live lobster and it was grilled fresh and live and served right out of the grill. It was stunning to watch chef Jay preparing eel fried rice like he was just playing, and before you know it, everything was ready and set.

Tofu Steak wit Mixed Mushroom

Dig into the delights of homemade cake, sherbet and ice cream for $4 and fried

ice cream for $9 for dessert at the Gekka Teppanyaki Bar.

Cap your dinner with beer, whisky, wines, cocktail, no alcohol cocktail and soft drinks and juices from the beverage menu. Watching the chefs at the Gekka Teppanyaki and Bar expertly flipping, juggling, tossing and slicing ingredients mid-air with samurai-style knives is a feast to the senses. You smell the heavenly aroma wafting from the griddle making you anticipate your meal all the more. Everything at the Teppanyaki happens so fast but the memory of the food and the taste will linger not only in your mouth but in your memory, teasing your salivary glands and make you come back for more.

You can have dinner at any of the tables around the Teppanyaki if you want but the thrill of watching everything is at the counter. You can also bring your drinks and have it leisurely at the pool side as you watch island dancers and fire dancers perform during the weekends.

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Gekka Teppanyaki Bar opens at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. everyday. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations please call 322-0770 or visit http://www.marianaresort.com.

First published at the Marianas Variety

JC Cafe: Still the place to be

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Kimchi fried rice

IF hunger pangs strike and you’re on Tinian, JC Café in San Jose village is your destination. JC Café is the local equivalent of “everybody’s second kitchen” and that’s where I and my companion headed to last Monday when we had an afternoon off.

We had been driving around the island for an hour or so and were getting hungrier and thirstier by the minute so we decided to head to JC Café for dinner. And that’s where we got lost.DSC_5791

Tinian is such a small island but if one considers my sense of direction below excellent, I’d rate my companion’s sense below sea level. We were driving from the dock and suddenly, I didn’t even have an idea where to turn. We ended up driving any visible road and ending in dead ends, backing out and going in circles until we asked someone the right directions, and got more confused. In a place with no proper DSC_5773street names, it always remains a mystery how one can follow directions like take the right turn three streets down, then left, and right and another right. Yeah, right. We ended up where we started but finally, our patience paid off and we saw JC Café’s brilliant lights from afar.

Hungry beyond belief, I placed an order for sizzling beef, my favorite in their menu, as soon as I sat down. My companion took a longer time browsing through the menu before settling on Kimchi fried rice, whatever that was.

JC Café has not changed a lot since my first visit to the restaurant in 2008. After two decades of being everyone’s second kitchen, or kitchen away from your kitchen, they have maintained being everyone’s favorite and expanded their menu and introduced a lot of new dishes.

 

 

Allen’s order was served first—a huge red platter of fried rice mixed with vegetables and kimchi, and topped with a sunny side up. My order followed right after, served the way I remember it each time—sizzling hot beef slices with carrots, corn and green chili. It also came with a serving of steamed rice. For the next few minutes, we dug into our food in total silence until I raised my hand in surrender halfway into my meal. Allen tempted me to try his fried rice, but I resisted. I have never ever finished one serving of food from JC Café ever, no matter how hungry I was.

Another popular favorite at JC Café is the breaded shrimp and

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the JC signature buttered chicken—crunchy slices of chicken served with finadene sauce for dipping.

JC Café’s menu includes a wide selection of local and international dishes. Choose from Western, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Chamorro and Filipino cuisine which are all available for dine in or take out.

The best thing with JC Café is you never have to wait for them to open or hurry before they close. They are open everyday so you have the option and the luxury of time for a leisurely breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner or even a midnight or early morning meal.

If you just want to hang out, JC Café serves coffee or tea, pearl shakes in different flavors, chocomilk, or sodas. They also have beers you can enjoy if you want to hang around and dance to the latest beats at the dance floor.

At JC Café, it’s not just about eating. It’s also about hanging out and catching up with friends and family in a comfortable setting with a blend of modern and traditional decoration. For smokers, a section with tables and benches outside is set out for you.DSC_5814

JC Café accepts credit cards, delivers food orders in the island, or picks up diners. For orders or reservations, call 433-3413.

First published at the Marianas Variety

Kinpachi Seafood: Dining under the sea

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Crab with coconut milk. Photo by Kinpachi Restaurant
A NEW dining destination has opened in Garapan and it not only offers the best seafood dishes you can think of, but will also make you experience dining “under the sea” without the inconveniences that involves.
Kinpachi Restaurant has transformed its souvenir and grocery store into new blue world with a giant dolphin as a centerpiece on a round table at the center of the room.Geraldine Cordero, who manages Kinpachi Seafood, said they opened last week and are already getting a fair share of diners, not only tourists but locals as well.3 LOCAK FISH w SOUCE

Local fish with sauce. Photo by Kinpachi Restaurant

Try out Kinpachi’s Seafood specialties such as Dungeness Crab with coconut milk, local reef fish with oyster sauce and lobster roll.

There’s also sashimi, salmon sashimi boat, sashimi mix special, surf clam, live lobster sashimi, teppanyaki seafood deluxe, seafood kelagen, shrimp tempura, fried shrimp, scallops, oysters, seafood barbeque, grilled turban shell, grilled prawns, king crab, unaju or broiled eel, and more.

Diners can also order food from Kinpachi Restaurant’s main menu and have it delivered to Kinpachi Seafood.

A small cubicle that seats up to four people offers some sort of privacy for couples who would want to dine in private.1 ROBSTER ROLL

Lobster Roll. Photo by Kinpachi Restaurant

Kinpachi Seafood provides a very relaxing ambiance. Fish and other marine life are painted on the blue walls and ceilings. It’s like being inside a huge aquarium.IMG_6411

The Kinpachi Seafood main entrance is on the Paseo de Marianas across from the Saipan Store, but you can also use Kinpachi Restaurant’s main door on Coral Tree Avenue across from the Fiesta Resort & Spa parking lot.

Kinpachi Seafood can seat up to 90 persons and is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations, call 234-6900.

First published at the Marianas Variety

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