Posts Tagged ‘chinese cuisine saipan’

The name is Roberto’s


THE flash of blue and orange signboard announcing “Roberto’s Café & Restaurant” caught my attention while driving along Beach Road in Garapan on Friday afternoon, and I knew I just had to go back and see what it has to offer two hungry stomachs.



Flying Tilapia

Fried Flying Tilapya

It was past 5 p.m. and I haven’t had anything yet for the whole day except for a couple of cups of coffee. The glass walls gave us a quick glimpse into the inside of the restaurant before we pushed open the glass door— neat walls devoid of any decorations and ornaments, wooden chairs and tables, counters filled with an assortment of nuts.

They handed us a couple of the one-page laminated menu and I immediately saw what I want—flying fried tilapia. Intrigued, I did not ask questions but just waited to see why it was called flying tilapia. My buddy decided he wanted Roberto’s version of boneless fried chicken.

The food staff served us chicken noodle soups in small bowls as we waited for our order. Then my ‘flying tilapia’ was served, answering my question. It was a big one, sliced on both sides making it look like it is flying, and deep fried to perfection just the way I like it. My tilapia set came with a serving of steamed rice, vegetable salad, pickled papaya and finadene sauce.seafood vegetables

A few minutes later, my buddy’s order was served—crispy bite size boneless chicken pieces served on a bed of vegetable salad. It came with garlic sauce and a serving of rice. We dug into our food but did not finish the tilapia. We took the remaining half of it home. For dessert, I got one of the freshly baked cheese tarts. We were halfway into our early dinner when more diners came in, including a family with kids.

Roberto’s Café & Restaurant opened just three weeks ago and they are already getting a good share of diners from both locals and tourists. As soon as the sun started to set, the food staffers pulled the blinds up, giving us a good view of the Beach Road and the IMG_7490Saipan lagoon bathed in gold, red and orange reflections from the sky.

Try Roberto’s specials like lobster which you can order grilled teppanyaki style or steamed, or pair if off with a combination of steak for the Surf & Turf option, and prawns.

Roberto’s main dishes selection include beef stroganoff, hamburger steak, breaded cutlet, breaded seafood platter, seafood vegetables Chinese style, deep fried shrimp, and another must-try—Robert’s special Pakbet Bagnet Filipino style.

The all-dbeef stroganoffay breakfast specials include omelets, local breakfast, French combo, Pinoy breakfast, fried rice in several variations, and pancakes. They also serve various noodles, salads, desserts like banana split, ice cream scoop, cakes and cupcakes.

Steaks are also available in 8 and 10 oz servings. Try Roberto’s version of Angus Tenderloin steak, Angus rib eye steak and Angus New York steak. Roberto’s also serves a variety of pizza like Hawaiian, cheese, pepperoni, four seasons, and Roberto’s Special Pizza—from $15.99 to $19.99.

The food staffers said they will start serving breakfast earlier very soon. Most of the food at Roberto’s are within the $8 to $20 range, and the servings are generous. Roberto’s Café & Restaurant is locatedBoneless fried chicken at the ground floor of the Gold Beach Hotel along Beach Road. They are open everyday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. They only accept cash for now. For reservations please call 235-BOBS (2627).


Casino Café: Your Tinian 24/7 dining option

DSC_0042    If you are hungry on Tinian, there is only one place to go 24/7 and 365 days a year — Casino Café & Roulette Bar.

Casino Café occupies the far left end of the huge hall, right behind Roulette Bar and is bordered by a single railing. It has tables for two, four and more, and attentive staffers will immediately attend to you — even if all you want is just water.Casino Café serves a selection of western and Asian dishes, and in the countless times that I’ve been here, my favorite has remained constant — bihon guisado (rice stick noodles) with chicken minus the shrimp. It requires a huge effort to even finish half of the serving. I always try but I’ve yet to succeed.Another favorite is the grilled fish of the day set which comes with a serving of rice, salad and miso soup, and the bulalo (beef shanks and marrow bone) soup which is served in a hot pot. You can never hope to finish it even if you are very hungry. The bulalo also comes with rice.In moments when I couldn’t decide what to have, I opted for beef fried rice. You can also check out the sandwiches: chicken, tuna, eggs and bacon. You can customize your own sandwich.DSC_3263

Casino Café’s dessert shelves have cakes of various flavors and a fruit platter.

If you’re a hotel guest and too lazy to go out of your room, you can call room service and order from the Casino Café menu. I ordered a mug of hotel-brewed coffee and my jaw dropped open when the coffee was delivered to my room — it was served in a mug and included a full pot.DSC_9921

Roulette Bar is my favorite place to hang out at the casino. It’s where you can sit at the counter sipping your favorite cup of coffee or cocktail or relishing ice cream at 3 a.m. while you watch the action at the gambling machines around you.DSC_3750 (3)

You can also have refillable coffee or soda when you sit at one of the slot machines and play.

Tinian Dynasty has several dining options: Sagano Restaurant offers Japanese cuisine and is open for dinner; Broadway is open for breakfast and lunch; Dynasty Court offers Chinese cuisine and is open for dinner; Monster Pizza serves the island’s best pizza and beverages from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; BBQ Pit if you want to have dinner outdoors in an island setting; and Casino Café where time does not matter.IMG_7046

Casino Café accepts all major credit cards. For reservations or inquiries, call 328-2233 extension 45.

First published at the Marianas Variety HERE

Dining with a ‘view to die for’

WHO wouldn’t love to have a lavish dining experience at a location that offers a breathtaking view of sun, skies and jungle — with sumptuous food at affordable prices?

Check out the newly reopened Monte Vista Steak House & Restaurant located at Navy Hill a short distance away from the WIC Clinic.


A friend and I were the first to arrive when the restaurant opened on Friday, and we headed straight to the farthest seat by the window—the prime seats that everybody would vie for.

Through the huge glass window, you can see the blue stretch of the ocean and the skies, Saipan`s popular Managaha Island, and the Smiling Cove.

To our right, the blue waters of the swimming pool glistened in the noonday heat. A different setting await dinner patrons as the spotlight changes venue to the poolside where diners can watch the sunset and partake of barbeque set meals while enjoying the fresh breeze from the thick vegetation around the restaurant.

For its re-opening salvo on Friday, Monte Vista served a fusion of Korean, Western and Japanese menu and the choices of the $9.99 Monte Lunch menu.

I decided to see try the Monte Vista BBQ lunch set version and did not regret my choice. My companion went for the seafood marinara pasta which was served in a big platter—so big it was impossible for one to finish it all alone.

Monte Vista’s friendly wait staff directed us to the salad bar where we got fresh vegetables and dressings, Kimchi, and fresh fruits. Bottomless iced tea, water and hot coffee are also available along with the lunch buffet.

My BBQ set arrived in a deliciously arranged platter—a beef ribs dripping with sauce, marinated and barbequed to perfection, the meat tender and the flavors stays in your mouth after your last mouthful. The beef ribs came with a couple slices of chicken barbeque, vegetables and a serving of rice, and cream soup.

With the cup of coffee and the salad I just had, it was impossible to finish all that food.

Minutes later, two officemates arrived to try what Monte Vista has to offer and occupied the next table. I hopped over to their table to take photos of their orders—a mouthwatering sizzling hot stone bowl bibimbap and one order of Yakki Soba topped with tuna flakes.

We capped our lunch with more coffee and iced tea and had to take the rest of the food home. The servings are quite generous.

Tempting lunch items under the Korean menu includes Kimchi fried rice, Jeyuk bokum rice, squid bokum rice, bulgogi, galbitang, miso Jjigae and other Korean favorites. Choices available for those who would go for Western cuisine include beef pilaf soy sauce taste, ham and cheese sandwich, clubhouse sandwich, deep fried chicken, hamburger steak, chicken teriyaki, pork cutlet, vegetable and bacon pasta, pork katsu curry monte syle and more.

If you are into Japanese menu, try the Seafoods Pajeon, Yakki Udon and cold noodles. Monte Vista lunches are $8.99 and $9.99 with a 10 percent discount for locals. Monte Vista boasts of a comfortable bar and serving a wide variety of tropical drinks, soft drinks, vodka base or gin base drinks, beers, and non-alcoholic cocktail.

The restaurant space can accommodate up to 70 persons but the poolside can accommodate up to 200.

For now, Monte Vista is not yet open for dinner but they accept bookings and reservations for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, Christenings, and all other gatherings.

I can’t wait to try Monte Vista’s signature Monte Special Steak, New York Steak with Gravy Sauce, Rib Eye Steak with gravy sauce which will be available soon. It’s worth the drive up there.

For now, Monte Vista is open to the public for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyday but soon, when dinner becomes available, you can have a feast with their sunset barbeque sets at the poolside.

Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries and reservations,  call 322-3324 or visit

Tan Marikita’s Café: Where breakfasts are served to perfection all day long

BREAKFAST, although normally eaten early in the morning, does not necessarily have to be eaten early in the morning. Some people especially those who go to bed late and get up late, breakfast is also postponed until it can even be considered as brunch or in between breakfast and lunch.

Very few restaurants open early to serve breakfast on Saipan, and when it’s past 10 a.m. they move on to their lunch menu but here is one fastfood that serves a variety of breakfasts whole day — Tan Marikita’s Café inside Herman’s Bakery at Tun Herman Pan Road.

Driving along Airport Road took me and co-reporter Junhan to Herman’s Bakery as we were looking for a place to eat on Friday noon. He had always thought that the place was a bakery and I had to convince him there he was wrong.

We already missed the lunch specials, we were told so we decided to go for a late breakfast. I chose the Filipino breakfast of beef tapa, two well-done eggs, a serving of steamed rice, and a steaming mug of house blend regular coffee. Junhan ordered corned beef with onions breakfast which was served with steamed rice, sunny side up and Herman’s sweet bread served with butter and jelly, and a can of mango juice.

The beef tapa was tender, and the marinated flavors blended well into the meat. I thought I was not yet in the mood to eat but was surprised when I discovered I had almost finished everything on my plate.

Breakfast variety

Here is a place where you can order breakfast at 6 a.m., 2 p.m. or even 5 p.m. and nobody would care.

Tan Marikita’s Café serves 15 selections of local and international breakfast dishes ranging from the $3.85 plain soba to the $10.85 steak ’n eggs.

Jumpstart your day with any of the sumptuous breakfast selections including Tan Marikita’s Amotsa composed of fried rice and chorizos, two eggs and Herman’s Sweet Bread served with butter and jelly, or go heavy on a Chamorro Breakfast of steamed or fried rice, Portuguese sausage or spam eggs, and Herman’s Pan tuba. You can go for the Steak ’n Eggs served with rice, toast or hash browns, or the Filipino breakfast of steamed or garlic fried rice, tapa or longanisa or tocino, and egg.

Not in for a heavy breakfast? Then go continental with a Danish and croissant served with butter and jelly, orange juice and coffee, or an American breakfast of hash browns, eggs, bacon or ham, and toast served with butter and jelly. You can also go for the Short Stack or three stacks of pancakes with one egg and bacon, ham or chorizos, the Cinnamon French Toast, Omelets with your choice of Chamorro, Spanish, Western, Seafood or Vegetarian combination.

Tan Marikita’s Café also serves a wide selection of burgers and sandwiches with your choice of bread — white, whole wheat, potato, hoagie roll, cracked wheat or rye. Cap your breakfast with your favorite beverages like soft drinks, juices, espresso or café latte, hot chocolate, house blend regular or decaf, hot or ice tea.

At Tan Marikita’s Café, you get to enjoy not only the warm and inviting ambiance of the place but the pleasant smells of fresh-baked breads, or freshly brewed coffee tempting your taste buds.

Tan Marikita’s Café is named after Herman Pan Guerrero’s wife. Established in 1944, Herman’s Bakery has been serving the island with the best-tasting breads like the famous Herman’s Bakery Pan Tuba, Sweet Bread, Pan Toasta and other pastries that has become a favorite among many.

Tan Marikita’s Cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries and reservations, call 234-1726 or email sales@hermansbakery.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Tan Marikita’s Café: Where breakfasts are served to perfection all day long | out-to-eat.

Dynasty Court: A taste of authentic Cantonese cuisine

DYNASTY Court-Chinese Cuisine at the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino offers the only first class Chinese dining experience  in the commonwealth.

braised sea cucumber with assorted seafood

Dynasty Hotel & Casino general manager Tom Liu invited me and a buddy recently to one of the VIP rooms named after the different Chinese dynasties for a dinner which he said defined  real, traditional and authentic Cantonese cuisine.

Among the restaurant’s most popular dishes are deep fried spareribs with garlic, piled temptingly on a platter no one could resist — crispy yet tender and with the flavors blending right into the meat.

We also ordered other favorites: sweet and sour pork, and stir-fry scallops with broccoli. We also tried shrimp dumplings as well as dimsum with egg yolk and milk.

Under the supervision of restaurant manager Feng Sun, the wait staff at Dynasty Court served us the ceremonial hot tea in tiny teacups, which they quickly refilled each time we emptied them.

I got the chance to sample the restaurant’s famous lemon chicken during a second visit on New Year’s Eve with a friend and casino promotions and marketing manager Chell Funtanar, who recommended it.

The Dynasty Court menu has a dazzling array of dishes: fresh seafood, sumptuous dimsum treats prepared by the hotel’s expert chefs, and more specialties that you don’t ordinarily see in other Chinese restaurants anywhere in the CNMI.

shrimp dim sum

Grab the chance to sample  braised sea cucumber with assorted seafood, roasted duckling, deep fried crab in spicy salt, baked fresh scallops with taro, shark’s fin and braised bird’s nest with crab meat, sweetened bird’s nest with coconut cream, abalone, fish maw and sea cucumber.

Enter  a world of culinary delights as you take a bite of the roasted pork Macau style, roasted duckling with plum sauce, barbecued pork, poached or marinated chicken, baked chicken in rock salt, marinated pork knuckles with jellyfish, assorted seafood soup, and more.

Four uniquely decorated VIP or private rooms named after the different dynasties are available for private meetings and can seat from six to 12 people each.

The restaurant can accommodate up to 200 persons. The Dynasty Court is located in the hotel lobby and is open every night from 6 to 10 p.m. except Wednesday and Sunday. All major credit cards are accepted. For reservations, call 328-2233 extension 40.

This article was first published HERE

Mura Ichiban: Your all-night food shack

FINALLY, here’s a new destination in Garapan if you get hungry during the most unearthly hours of the night, or if you want to just hang out for a few drinks.

Lemon chicken

Fat rain drops dripping down the windshield of my buddy’s van put a stop to our driving around on Saturday evening to look for a place to have a late dinner. It was almost 10 p.m. and I knew that finding a restaurant would get harder when it hits 11 p.m.

A text message from a friend directed me to a newly opened place in Garapan which she said was open all night.
The bright lights of Mura Ichiban Restaurant and its yellow-orange-red painted posts and floors, green tables, and lanterns provided us with a cheerful welcome.

Mura Ichiban has no walls, which means if you’re looking for privacy or an intimate dinner, this is not the place for you.

A cheerful wait staff member handed us sheets of laminated menus. Not much of a noodles person, I skipped the first page and browsed the seafood section, and decided to try the restaurant’s deep fried fish with sweet and sour sauce for $10. I also ordered a serving of fried rice minced beef for $5.

My buddy ordered the fried chicken in lemon sauce for $7, a good choice as the vinegary flavor of the lemon sauce penetrated the fried chicken slices and was a pleasant contrast to the sweet and sour taste of my fried fish.

The fried rice was more on the oily side but the beef meat strips were tender.

One table was occupied by a group of Japanese tourists who were getting jollier and merrier as they emptied beer bottles but it all added to the cheery ambiance of the place.

Mura Ichiban Restaurant serves a wide selection of handmade noodles, udon noodles, and fried noodles for $5. You can check out their porridge for $4, cold dishes from $2 to $12, various soups from $7 to $12, hot pots, dim sum, rice dishes, vegetables and bean curd dishes, mouthwatering array of choices for seafood lovers including lobster, shrimp, fish, crabs, prawns, squid, mussels and more, as well as chicken and duck delights, and pork and beef dishes within the $7 to $12 range.

On a cold, rainy night you can sip a cup of hot tea for a dollar, or down your favorite beer, soft drinks, juices, wine, liquor and sake to pass the time.

Mura Ichiban Restaurant, located across from the Fiesta Resort & Spa, is perfect when you need a place to satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst.

And oh, by the way, on a rainy night, sit somewhere in the middle of the restaurant. Mura Ichiban Restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. All major credit cards are accepted.

This article was first published HERE .

Chinese food at Happiness Restaurant

fried beef spare ribs

IF you crave for Chinese food on Saipan, you have a lot of places to go, as long as you choose the right dining hours. We were not looking for any specific cuisine early on Friday night but when we passed by Happiness Chinese Restaurant in Garapan, we decided to try it out.

The restaurant is one of the few surviving establishments in the area that have not put up a “Closed” or “For Rent” sign.

We went in and headed to a corner table. A food staffer handed us menus. Not hungry yet, it took us forever to browse the menu until I decided to try the $12 fried beef sparerib with spicy salt and a serving of rice. My buddies ordered the $9 fried chicken wings with hot pepper and the $9 fried rice Fujian style.

The food staff served my fried beef spareribs first on a small platter — all business and without any frills whatsoever. The rice followed after several minutes. The fried chicken followed, and after more waiting, the fried rice. In fairness, the spareribs tasted good albeit way too spicy.

When only two slices of the fried chicken slices were left, we ventured to ask the food staff if they had some sauce to go with it. She immediately shook her head.

“Some catsup?” we tried again, trying to suppress laughter to which she said “oh we have.” So my buddy got some catsup to dip the last two slices of chicken in. After having eaten in so many restaurants, I guess I took it for granted that fried foods always come with sauces.

We were the only customers but it took some time to get a refill of water.

As I said, the food is okay, but don’t expect generous servings if you’re used to sharing. One serving is good for one not-so-hungry person.

The restaurant’s interior is a mix of traditional and contemporary décor, with Chinese characters sprawled on the walls between wood and brick designs. A long shelf on one wall was filled with Chinese jars and ceramic pots for sale.

Happiness Chinese Restaurant serves a variety of soups from the $8 tofu with vegetables to the $48 braised shark fin and club miso, appetizers, fish and seafood specialties such as boiled abalone, boiled sea cucumber with mushroom, steamed fresh fish, lobster, and other seafood, poultry dishes which includes the $55 Happiness original duck with soy sauce and chicken dishes, meat dishes including pork and beef dishes. You can also check out the hot pot choices such as the seafood or beef shabu-shabu, seasonal vegetables, and tofu covered crab sauce — all within the $9 to $45 price range.

Vegetarians are not left out as the restaurant offers a wide variety of egg and vegetable choices from $8 to $18 per order, cereals and noodle dishes within the $5 to $18 range.

Cap your meals with any of the favorite Chinese desserts such as bean pudding, custard, steamed egg, tapioca with red beans, almond jelly, and steamed edible bird’s nest.

Happiness Chinese Restaurant is located on Cpl. Derence Jack Road in Garapan — follow the road going to the Fiesta Resort & Spa passing Winchell’s. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner daily. For reservations, call 233-9468. This article was first published HERE

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