Posts Tagged ‘Saipan bars’

Black Burger on Saipan

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 HAVE you ever tried the Black Burger served at the N@chan Café and Restaurant in Garapan? I haven’t heard of black burgers nor seen any on Saipan yet so when I saw it on the menu, I decided to give it a try on Friday evening.

I was thinking they named it Black Burger because   they overcook the patty in a certain way, or something like that but when the burger was served, I stared at it in surprise. The bun was black, like those chocolate flavored buns. They have the buns specially ordered for them. Under the bun was a slab of melted cheese, a huge piece of homemade patties, and something which I loved—baked shredded cheese which was crunchy and crispy I ate it ahead of everything.

The sauce, tomato, onion and lettuce are not molded into the burger like regular burgers anywhere, which leaves you the choice to do as you please. You can insert them all, or just choose what you want. The burger was already a whole day meal for me. It also came with French fries, mayo and catsup dip. Not bad for $9 because you can share it with others. We only finished a quarter of the burger and took the rest of it home.

My dinner buddy decided to try the fish taco and Fish Meunniere Monk Style from the special lunch. N@Chan! staffer George said it was okay although it was already dinner time. Friend Rico joined us for dinner and he ordered one of the special lunch favorites—crunchy breaded shrimp with tartar sauce served on a platter loaded with rice, garlic bread, potato, salad, fruits, and corn.

Special promoIMG_4476

As a special treat for the local community, N@Chan! Café and Restaurant is offering 50 percent discount for all draft beer, cocktails, whisky and wines for the Happy Hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

For taco lovers, head to N@Chan!5 every Sunday to have your fill of tacos for only a dollar each. Tacos are $2.50 each on regular days. Go for the fish or tacos and chicken burritos which is covered in soft shell, or the beef taco wrapped in a hard taco shell.

All lunch specials are $7.50 and comes complete with soup and bottomless iced tea

N@Chan! also offers 10 percent discount for locals everyday from the ala carte menu.

On the weekdays, you can get a taco combination of all three kinds for $9, served with nacho chips. Taco rice is also available.

N@Chan! Café and Restaurant specializes on a fusion of Oriental, Asian and local cuisine. Popular pasta dishes are the Chamorro pasta which is again on the spicy side, carbonara and meat sauce.

Meat dishes for the special lunches include choices of sauté porkloin, Menchi Katsu which is fried cake of minced meat. The fish special dishes are fish fillet served sweet and sour with chili and black bean.

N@Chan’s lunch favorites are the garlic shrimp special lunches that include choices of garlic fruity shrimp, chili and garlic shrimp, grilled prawn with lemon butter sauce, and prawns and garlic set.

For the appetizers and chasers, selections include all-time favorites like oyster bacon, spicy shrimp, calamarez, chicken or beef kelaguen, Chamorro sausage, chicken chasers and more—from $3.50 to $8.

Splurge in the Surf and Turf section and have a feast of New York steak, Ribeye SteDSC_0992ak Tenderloin steak, or burger steak and local lobster combination. Premium seafood dishes are the Maine and local lobster prepared in a variety of delectable ways. Also check out the set menus of chicken adobo, fish sautéed & shrimp, peppered chicken in coconut; Japanese curry or the local curry, noodles, grilled salmon, Chamorro fried rice, loco moco, octopus fried rice and more. Each order of the set menu comes with rice, soup and salad.

Along the sandwich lines, N@Chan!5 boasts of the regular burger, bacon cheeseburger, Chamorro burger which you have to think twice if you have a low tolerance of anything spicy, chicken teriyaki burger, New York Steak, tenderloin steak and for the non-meat eater, fish burger. These are all served in customized rectangular wooden trays and costs from $7.50 to $15.50 for the whole meal.

The comfortable ambiance at N@Chan! provides several options to diners like the main dining section or you can go up to the elevated portion with cozy sofas for your meals or drinks and enjoy a bit of privacy, or you can have drinks at the bar counter.

For smokers and those who prefer the natural breeze, the tables outside provides the perfect place. N@Chan! general manager Lee Sungnam runs the place.

N@Chan! is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. WiFi is available. Only cash is accepted for now. For reservations, call 233-5233.


Saipan’s Volcano Bar rises


fish fillet

FROM an abandoned structure sitting idle for some time rose the island’s homegrown volcano right in the Garapan, nestled between the DFS Galleria and I Love Saipan malls.

A buddy and I hurried to the Volcano Bar on Wednesday past 1 p.m. for a late lunch, hoping we could still catch up with the lunch hour. It was scorching hot outside but when you push open the heavy wooden door of Volcano Bar, you will be greeted with a relaxing coolness that makes you want to stay forever, or at least until it gets cooler outside.??

We headed to one of the bamboo sofa sets inside and browsed through the two laminated menus the food staffer handed us. There were no more diners as it was almost closing time but we were still accommodated.

From the Volcano Bar specials menu I decided to try the Volcano’s version of Fillet of Fish while my lunch buddy ordered the beef curry.??

Shortly after, the food staffer served a rectangular plateful of fresh green salad, followed by a bowl of mushroom soup topped with croutons. I pushed the salad to my lunch buddy and started on the soup, stopping when the bowl was half-empty. I had to wait for my fish fillet, or else I’d be too full.

The fish fillet—three flaky succulent slices of fish in classic crunchy coating it, was served on a bed of sautéed tomatoes and vegetables and sprinkled with chopped greens for added flavors. The sauce was a perfect dip for the fillet, and I found myself scraping my fish on the sides of the plate to get all the flavors. I ordered at serving of rice to go with my fish fillet. My order also came with a glass of iced tea, not bad for $9.

Served on a round platter, my buddy’s beef curry includes crispy beef cutlets on top of a serving of steamed rice and the curry filling up over a third of the plate. I am not much of a curry lover but I took a spoonful of it to taste, then another and another. It was good, without the usually strong flavors and aroma of curry that I always associate curry with.??

Other must-try dishes in the Specials menu are seafood fry, seafood curry, spinach-bacon carbonara, clam spaghetti with toast, pasta Mentaiko with salad, Caesar salad and chili mushroom spaghetti with toast, all from $8 to $12 per order.

Volcano Bar’s appetizers range from $6 to $9 including chicken wings, chili beef, potato wedge, tortilla chip, onion rings, squid rings, tuna poke, galic octopus and seared diced tuna with tomato.

One best feature when you dine and drink at the Volcano Bar is airy, comfortable ambiance it provides. You can sink in the deep cushions of the bamboo sofas and enjoy happy hours drinking. The Volcano Bar is like an indoor garden, with a mix of native decorations including bamboo seats and tables, thatched ceiling giving you the feel of being inside a native hut. The French windows give diners a view of what’s going on in the busy street outside.??

For those who just want to stop by for a quick coffee or a drink or two, the bar is the best place to hang out, or in one of the two tables shaped like beer barrels and stools near the door.

As an option, you can also occupy the tables outside the bar if you want to be in the open-air.?????? H

Volcano Bar serves lunch from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and happy hours are from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. Cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations please contact or call K Family LLC at 989-6242.

First published at the Marianas Variety Out to Eat Section.

Oleai Beach Bar & Grill: Your seaside dining place



Photo by Patrick Horton

IF you’re looking for a restaurant with the best waterfront and sunset view, Oleai Beach Bar & Grill still tops the list on island.After it reopened under new management three months ago, Oleai Beach Bar & Grill has again become an ideal venue for parties and get-togethers, and a place to hang out and enjoy the food and the view.I was there on Saturday for an early dinner with a friend and we were lucky there were still some unoccupied tables near the open windows. There was also a long table at the waterside where you could eat barefoot and let your feet get wet.



Browsing through the menu, I decided to try grilled mahi-mahi while my companion ordered a serving of stir beef with combo vegetables both served with rice for $9.95.

The mahi-mahi slices were grilled to perfection. We were not so hungry but we soon cleared our plates and enjoyed the cool breeze from the ocean.


?? Other choices on the budget menu are beef broccoli, pork chops, sweet and sour pork, islanders BBQ ribs, fried chicken, seafood, grilled salmon and more.

Oleai Beach Bar & Grill also serves a variety of certified Angus Beef steak including tenderloin, ribeye, hamburger steak all served with rice, salad, bread or baked potatoes from $14 and up,??

Check out islander’s hamburger, fish burger or avocado hamburger served with French fries. There’s also a selection of soups, salads, pasta, appetizers such as sashimi, fish, shrimp, chicken and beef kelaguen, poke and other chasers.

If you feel like celebrating, try out the mega-platter and splurge on a six oz. tenderloin steak, whole lobster, tiger prawns and fish served with rice, bread or baked potatoes, salad, seafood soup, dessert and iced tea. The steak and lobster combo or the steak and tiger prawns combo are from $38 and up.

Tacos are also available at $5 for three pieces.20130521_182736

In addition, Oleai Beach Bar & Grill has a wide selection of cocktails, wines, beers and non-alcoholic drinks which you can enjoy at the seaside patio or in the bar where you can also listen to live music or watch shows from the LCD screens mounted on the walls.

Islanders Net Inc. chief executive officer and chief operating officer Seiichi Kamegai from Tokyo now operates this popular watering hole.

Oleai Beach Bar & Grill is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Happiest Hours” are from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. — you get free chaser per drink. Happy Hours are from 5 to 7 p.m., dinner time is from 5 to 10 p.m. and bar time is up to 12 midnight. Credit cards are accepted.20130521_182051

First published at the Marianas Variety HERE

Chilling out at Buoy Bar

IFIF there is an ideal destination where you can order drinks and food while being entertained by a live band or cultural dancers, it’s Buoy Bar at the Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio.
I had never thought of having drinks or just hanging out at Buoy Bar. There were always a lot of people coming and going and I preferred the peace and quiet at Seaside Grill where you could gaze at the sea and breathe the salty tang of the breeze while watching the sunset. But one day a friend forced me to sit down at one of the tables at Buoy Bar and ordered a drink for me. Buoy Bar is now one of my favorite hangouts.I now enjoy and appreciate the flurry of activities as I can order anything: not only drinks and tropical beverages but also appetizers and other food from the menu.

s on the beach

Sex on the Beach

While waiting for the start of a media event a couple of weeks ago, I whiled the time away at Buoy Bar, nursing a tall glass of ice tea and a serving of French fries. I got the chance to watch an island show. Leaving my drink on the counter, I joined the group of tourists and locals who watched graceful dancers in grass skirts swaying to the beating of the drums. Anyone could join the dancing and some did.IMG_8789

If you hang out at Buoy Bar at night, you get blinking lights and real torches lighting the pathways. You get to see people enjoy splashing in the pool as you sip your drink, listen to a band playing a variety of tunes from timeless hits to the latest beats. You can even request your favorite song or swim in the pool yourself.

At Buoy Bar, you will never feel alone even if you are.

Check out its beverage menu which has a wide selection of beers, wines, cocktails, sodas and other drinks that come with free popcorn.

Buoy Bar is open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations, email or, or call 234-6592 or 235-7981.


First published at Marianas Variety

Late night coffee at the Sands

THE craving for coffee hit me while driving home from the movies on Saturday night, and at past 10 p.m., my choices for a place to eat or hang out were limited. Most restaurants close at 9 p.m. so if you get hungry after that, good luck.
Driving slowly around Garapan while looking for a possible place to have coffee, the dimly lit signboard of Sands Coffee & Bar caught my attention. I had been to the bar a couple of years ago for a quick coffee stop.Sands is patronized by mostly Japanese tourists, but it also attracts statesiders, Chinese, Russians and locals. It is located right across from Fiesta Resort and the Hyatt.Bartender Rico was whipping up a couple of orders of Piñacolada when my companion and I sat on rattan stools at the bar.

I asked for a hot cappuccino while my companion ordered Chivas with Coke. My coffee was a foamy, frothy goodness topped with cinnamon.

??My companion took a few sips of his Chivas before playing darts, leaving me alone at the bar as I played Candy Crush on my cellphone.

Sands Coffee & Bar serves a wide selection of drinks: gin, vodka, rum, tequila, Campari, Kahlua, wines, beers, whisky, shochu and cocktails. Although the prices were a bit high compared to other bars, all the tables were filled when we were there and more people came in as soon as a table was vacated. It was a place where time seemed to stand still and no one was in a hurry.

For those who just want to hang out, Sands Coffee & Bar offers soda, ice cream, fresh fruit juices and sparkling wines. Grab your favorite steaming cup of hot coffee or a cool refreshing glass of iced regular coffee, latte, mocha, espresso or cappuccino while listening to the latest hits or watching music videos on the huge LCD screen behind the counter.

Chasers include beef jerky, pistachios, potato chips, popcorn, mixed nuts, chocolate or mixed fruits dishes.

You can also play darts or billiards or claim your own corner without feeling out of place even if you’re alone.??

You can breathe in the evening air at Sands Coffee & Bar, but it also has three semi-private stalls where small groups can convene, drink and talk.

Sands Coffee & Bar is for those who want a relaxing night — it’s not too noisy and you can talk without having to raise your voice. The music is lively but not loud.

DSC07756Sands Coffee & Bar is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day. All credit cards are accepted. For inquiries and reservations, call 233-4136.

First published at the Marianas Variety

Midnight rendezvous at Fisherman’s Bar

Fried fish bones

THE Fisherman’s Bar, or popularly known as Abyss in Garapan is not a full-pledged restaurant, but it is one great destination which offers main dishes including the freshest sashimi, appetizers and chasers to go with your favorite bottle of beer or other beverages.

A few minutes before midnight on Saturday, I invited a buddy to try the chicken kelaguen, pork sisig (made from parts of pig’s head and liver) and an order of my favorite fried fish bones dipped in a hot finadene sauce, and a serving of rice since I haven’t had dinner yet. My buddy ordered a bottle of Miller Lite to go with our chasers.

I’ve been to this place several times in the past but since my buddy Eric introduced me to Abyss’ fried fish bones, it has become my favorite.

Chicken kelaguen

The chicken kelaguen was superb — small, steamed chicken slices mixed with onions and other spices. I started attacking my fried fish bones with two fingers at first but soon abandoned my chopsticks and went for it using all my fingers — the best way to enjoy fried fish bones. My buddy cleaned his plates in record time.

The counter décor and everything about the place lives up to its name of being a fisherman’s bar, only minus the rocking motion that you get when onboard a boat but if the bar starts to rock and sway, it won’t be a surprise.

The place is quite small but it provides the perfect atmosphere for intimate conversations and cozy time with your companions with relaxing music at the background. What’s more, for a dollar, you can choose any three of your favorite songs to be played anytime.

The sushi and sashimi menu, the most popular choice among diners offers a variation of mixed sushi special or regular, sashimi special, California rolls, futo maki rolls, spicy tuna roll and other delicious roll.

Dig into the fiery flavor of the hot and spicy buffalo wings or try any of the popular chasers such as beef or liver kelaguen, beef with onion, cheese roll, crispy pata, lumpiang shanghai (spring rolls) pork, sisig, tokwa’t baboy (fried tofu and boiled pork) or the Abyss version of French fries.

Sizzle with any of the sizzling hot plates available such as mixed seafood, squid or shrimp with steamed vegetables, sautee vegetables, pork and cabbage, rib eye, hamburger or liver steak, chicken with potatoes from $10 to $15.

Munch on fish kabob — fresh catch from the deep skewered on sticks with spices, or choose from Abyss’ main dishes ranging from $6 to $12 such as local fish grilled, fried rice or different variations, spaghetti, seafood curry, tempura set, or deep fried shrimps.

Abyss Fisherman’s Bar & Restaurant is located a few yards away from Koi Bar & Restaurant on Plumeria Street in Garapan. It is open from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. every day, and until 1 a.m. on Friday nights, but if there are still customers, they are flexible with their time. Major credit cards are accepted.  For reservations, call 233-1666.

This article was first published HERE


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