Posts Tagged ‘ontheraks’

JC Cafe: Still the place to be


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


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


Refreshments at The Grill

  DRIVING around Kagman one hot Friday afternoon led me and a companion to the cool confines
of The Grill, LaoLao Bay Golf Resort’s restaurant.
We had skipped lunch and it was past 4 p.m. already so we were hungry. We headed to the farthest table right beside the glass windows and browsed through the menu that a friendly wait staffer handed us.When you enter The Grill, you feel an instant change of atmosphere. Its like entering a world where everyone is in a relaxed state and all their cares have been left outside the door.


I was not in the mood for a heavy lalunch/early dinner so I decided to try the Philadelphia grilled cheese sandwich while my companion said he wanted to try the cheeseburger with French fries.

Sipping on a glass of cold water, I looked around as we waited for our orders. A long table was occupied by golf players having early drinks.

It’s one of the advantages of The Grill — it’s open the whole day so you don’t have to wait for lunch time or dinner time to get in.

When my Philly cheese was served, I gulped. It was huge and it came with a bowl of vegetable salad and French fries. My buddy’s cheeseburger was equally huge, and there was no way we could finish it all even though we were hungry. We had to ask the wait staff to put our leftover food in a doggie bag. Meanwhile, we decided to try one scoop each of ice cream. I ordered vanilla and my buddy went for a scoop of ube or purple yam. You can also order mango at $3 per scoop.



What I really would have loved was LaoLao Bay’s famous ice shave but it was only available at the Tea House, in the middle of the golf course.

We lingered for a while at The Grill, nibbling our French fries and hoping for a blazing sunset we could capture in photos but luck was not with us. It was bleak and cloudy. We left The Grill and drove back to Garapan with our leftover sandwiches.

The Grill has one of the most spectacular panoramic views on island: the blue ocean and sky and the green golf course.IMG_8131

The food prices at The Grill are competitive but the view you get to enjoy is priceless.

The Grill offers American, Japanese and Korean breakfast sets, appetizers such as spicy diced Angus Beef chaser, ham and egg sandwich with potato chips, tuna salad sandwich, fried chicken breast, LaoLao Bento, an assortment of noodles and more.

The Grill’s beverages include wines, beer, whisky, schochu, soft drinks, sodas and fruit juices.

The Grill is also known for its Angus Beef ribeye sizzling steak, Japanese style. It is a huge, juicy and savory sizzling slab of 8-pound steak whose aroma will cause heads to turn when it is brought to your table. With the steak are side dishes of salad, pickles, miso soup, rice and fruit.


The Grill offers a 10 percent discount for locals and is open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. All major credit cards are accepted. For reservations/inquiries, call 236-8888 and ask to be connected to The Grill.

First published at the Marianas Variety HERE

Oceanside Bar n’ Grill: Bringing oceanside flavors to Saipan

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THE new sign “Oceanside Bar n’ Grill” intrigued me after it went up a couple of weeks ago, raising questions about using that name when it was not at the ocean’s side.

My question was answered when I and three buddies checked the place out on Saturday evening. The restaurant owner came from Oceanside, California and wanted to bring the same atmosphere here.

We entered the Oceanside bar n’ Grill and were greeted with a brightly-lit restaurant setting with all the tables ready for diners. A few customers were playing darts, while some were seated on the bar enjoying their drinks.

Marilyn Ronquillo, Oceanside Bar n’ Grill’s owner showed us to a table for four and brought us menus. She convinced us to try their cocktails—which we did while we waited for what the restaurant has to offer in culinary showcase. 

Monthly Red

baked mussels

I ordered the Monthly Red from the cocktail menu—a pleasant blend of vodka, pineapple juice, coconut and strawberry in a tall cool glass topped with a slice of orange. My buddies ordered the Saipan Sunburn, which turned out to be a delightful blend of Malibu rum, banana, pineapple juice, cranberry and grapefruit, mango juice and Corona.

While waiting for our food, staffers served us nacho chips to nibble on but we pushed it aside when our first appetizer came—a flaming dish of baked mussels and a special sauce to go with it, an appetizer which Ronquillo said is one of the early favorites of diners. The flame had not died out yet when a delectable dish oftuna sashimi was served on a bed of fresh greens.

loco moco

A big plate of seafood linguini with cream sauce followed, which we all shared. What makes Oceanside’s seafood linguini stand out from all the other pasta we had tried before was a distinctive flavor of herbs and cream sauce with each bite we took. Served with toasted garlic bread and a variety of seafood for $9, this is something pasta lovers will come back for. Marinara sauce is another option.

Loco Moco, a rice-based Hawaiian inspired dish topped with a thick slab of hamburger patty and a sunny-side egg with rich, thick brown gravy was our next course. We were not yet halfway into it when staffers served us a plate of grilled beef short ribs with a serving of rice and salad followed by another dish with a huge slab of juicy chicken teriyaki bathedin a heavenly-tasting sauce.

seafood linguini with cream sauce

Everything looked and smelled heavenly.

No one touched the rice—we had no more space in our stomachs, but we attacked the food with gusto. It was almost scary to think we almost finished everything when we just came from a wedding reception. We felt guilty like we were eating our last supper.

Oceanside Bar n’ Grill had a soft opening a couple of weeks ago, but they will have a grand opening on March 17. The growing list of sumptuous selections on their menu is definitely something to try.

“We are serving an international fusion to cater to the varied tastes and preferences of our diners,” Ronquillo said.

Check out the other appetizers in Oceanside Bar n’ Grill’s menu such as buffalo wings, calamari, chicken kelaguen, French fries, fried chicken wings, hot pepper poppers, onion rings, poke, tuna, cheese quesadilla with chicken, and nachos con Pollo, all within the $6 to $8 price range.

A wide selection of Oceanside’s original cocktails and traditional cocktails, shooters, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and shakes are also available. Darts and a pool table are available for sports enthusiasts. Wi-Fi is also available.

Oceanside Bar n’ Grill is located at the former Flair Bar in Garapan and is open Mondays to Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight, and from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Food items at the Oceanside Bar n’ Grill fall below the $10 mark and the servings are generous.

Happy hours are from 5 to 7 p.m. where domestic beers are only $2.50 and imported beer costs $3.50 per bottle.Only cash is accepted for now. For reservations/inquiries please call 233-6724 or email

bringing-oceanside-flavors-to-saipan [44682] | Out to Eat.

Say cheesecake

Baileys cheesecake

WHEN you hear the word “cheesecake,” two popular destinations would immediately pop up that serve the most sought-after cheesecake on Saipan—Hyatt Regency and Shenanigan’s Restaurant, both in Garapan.

An hour of unadulterated indulgence over cups of coffee and heavenly slices of cheesecakes for two consecutive nights at these two outlets rekindled the sweet cravings that I have shelved for some time.

Shenanigan's cheesecake

One night last week took two buddies and me to Shenanigans Restaurant for coffee and a slice of the restaurant’s most popular and addicting cheesecake. It was not my first time to try their cheesecake which come in several variations but with cheesecake, one could never have enough.

Shenanigan’s cheesecake comes in a heavy rectangular platter with splashes of chocolate syrup, whipped cream and orange slices—presented in such a way that would make you forget how to say no. Shenanigan’s cheesecake is made of chocolatey and fluffy soft sponge cake topped with a thick layer of fresh cream cheese. My buddy finished his cheesecake and wiped the whole plate clean down to the last morsel in minutes.

Shenanigan’s cheesecake variations are Pana Cotta cheesecake and Mascarpone Cheesecake with blueberry sauce, for $6.

On Friday evening, my two buddies and I sampled the Hyatt Regency’s famous cheesecakes with coffee at the Lobby Lounge. My buddies opted for one slice of the hotel’s blueberry cheesecake each, while I decided to have the Bailey’s cheesecake. A cheerful staffer from the DJ Corner delivered our cheesecakes at the Lobby Lounge where we were comfortably seated and we lost no time in digging into it.

The blueberry cheesecake dripped with a generous topping of blueberry puree, its sweet taste blending with the light and fluffy texture of the cake and making every bite melt in your mouth.

My Baileys cheesecake told a stronger story. Topped with macadamia nuts, each bite of the sumptuous velvety Baileys cheesecake gives you a slight flavor of Baileys in every bite—not overpowering but just a tinge of Baileys.

Cheesecakes have become a special favorite for all occasions and are available 24 hours a day at the Hyatt for $6.

Check out Shenanigan’s Restaurant and the Hyatt Regency Lobby Lounge to get a heavenly bite of cheesecake and join the growing throng of cheesecake addicts in the island. For inquiries, call Shenanigans at 233-8324 and Hyatt Regency at 234-1234.

Published here

360 Revolving Restaurant: Dining at the top

Incredible food, great panoramic views, ample parking, convenient location, and home to Saipan’s Photo by Raquel C. Bagnolbest steaks — this is how the Revolving Restaurant 360 can be best described to anyone who is looking for that perfect place for an enjoyable lunch or dinner.

360 Revolving Restaurant Consulting Chef Hubert S. Friedle said that a lot of changes has been done to the lunch and dinner menu for the past weeks.
“We have so many new items on our menu to suit the tastes of all individuals from all age groups,” Friedle said.
Dining at the 360 Revolving Restaurant is like dining at the top of the world where the best of everything is at your fingertips.
Highly recommended are the Chef’s specials (from $17 and up) including Chicken Chop, Pork Tenderloin in Vodka sauce, blackberries and orange fillets, Fillet Mignon, Mediterranean Spiced, Roast NZ Lamb Rack, the 360 steak “Steve,” beef tenderloin tips “Stroganoff”, Pork Loin Cordon Bleu. You can splurge your way up to the delectable $80 “surf and turf” live Maine lobster and CAB tenderloin steak. All specials are served with rice, French fries, baked or mashed potatoes, and vegetables of the day.
For $9.95, diners can avail of the daily 360 Lunch Club specials which include choices of Breaded Mahi-Mahi sticks in the basket, French fries and tartare; Double-layered ham, peppers and Cheese Quesadilla with salsa and sour cream and Jalapenos; Ceasar salad with grilled chicken or Mahi-Mahi, or Spaghetti Bolognese with garlic bread.
I ordered the grilled Mahi-Mahi with Spaghetti. It was served in a huge platter, the servings so generous that there was no chance I could consume everything by myself no matter how hungry I was.
Add a few bucks more to avail of the super deal ($14) for lunch and get hamburger steak with mushroom sauce, fried egg, rice and vegetables with soup or salad starter.
The 360 Revolving Restaurant menu also carries a wide selection of starter soups and salads, appetizers, burgers and sandwiches, pasta and pizza, special menu for the kids, and seafood creations. Go for the superb steaks from $15 Sirloin steak to the 360 favorite — the 16 oz. Certified Angus Beef Rib Eye for $38.
After a satisfying meal, you can’t say no to any of the sweet temptations – ice cream scoops or the 360 Chocolate Mousse for $4, Peach Melba for $4.50, rainbow ice cream cake at $5.5 or fruit and sherbet as available.

Customer service a priority

Food and service at the 360 Revolving Restaurant gets better all the time as the management focuses on instilling on its its staff the importance of customer service.
“Everyone in the restaurant has specific functions but we instill to them that whatever they are tasked to do, we share the common goal of giving customer satisfaction because that is what counts the most,” Friedle said.

Quality in every bite

The 360 Restaurant serves only Certified Angus Beef.
“We serve only high quality meat with a distinct taste in every bite that customers come back for again and again, and we never fail to satisfy our customers,” he said.
He added that the 360 Revolving Restaurant stands true to its commitment of serving only the best.
“If its steak, it should be Certified Angus Beef and the 360 Revolving Restaurant is the place to go to,” Friedle said.
With the approaching holidays, Friedle said the 360 Restaurant is coming up with tailored packages to help families and groups celebrate and fit the budget. The restaurant can accommodate a minimum of 75 persons to a maximum of 110 persons.
The 360 Revolving Restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5-10 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 5-10 p.m. for dinner on Saturday.
For reservations or inquiries, visit the 360 Revolving Restaurant at the 8th Floor of Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe, call 287-4639, 285-0360 or 234-3600 or visit

This article was first published HERE

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