Posts Tagged ‘saipan food’

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.

hush puppies

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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Sunshine Café: Dream desserts destination

 

Red Door Fruit Cheesecake

Red Door Fruit Cheesecake

SAIPAN–Bring sunshine into your palates and visit the island’s newest destination to satisfy your cravings for smacking goodness desserts, coffee, organic beverages and healthy food options in hangout you might call your second home.

 

Sunshine Café, located at the Coral Tree Avenue in Garapan issues a warm invitation with its pastel colored walls and comfortable, elegant and homey ambiance.

white chocolate citrus tart

white chocolate citrus tart

I’m not really a biggie on desserts but I can’t stop being curious to check out this new hangout and see what they had to offer.  The chance came unplanned two days after their soft opening. I was a bit hungry but know I couldn’t possibly finish a sandwich so I split one order with one of my buddies. I ordered soda, but one of the food staffers convinced me to try their Pineapple Boost. Albeit a bit steep at $8, it was good and a healthier option than what i originally ordered.

Sunshine Café prides itself on the mouth-watering array of specialty cakes and pastries created from local and imported ingredients, healthy snacks and food to go that caters to the different tastes of customers.

Dig into any or all of the four signature desserts created by Sunshine Café which leaves you with a craving to go back for more—Red Door Fruit Cheesecake, Raspberry Pistachio Macaroons, Chocolate Mandarin Lolly made from dark chocolate imported from Switzerland, and Lemon Citrus Tart—made from dark and white Swiss chocolates. These Sunshine Signature items are just irresistibly inviting from the shelves.

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Pineapple Boost

Try the Red Door Fruit Cheesecake which I learned from the food staffers was inspired nu a restaurant in Beijing located in front of the East Gate of the Forbidden City in Beijing. This is a dessert cheesecake lovers should try.

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Chocolate Mandarin Lolly

Sunshine Café also serves a selection of burgers and sandwiches like Tuna Nicoise, tarragon shallot egg salad and more, pastries, ice cream, homemade milkshakes, cookies in attractive jars and wrappings, and dainty black and white chocolate bites that you can’t ignore from the shelves.

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Sip a tall glass of any of the cold pressed organic juices like Green and Lean, Fruit &Vegetable, Pineapple Boost and Simply Pressed, a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables blended as you order.

The Sunshine Café menu also carries a selection of hot or iced tea including Cappuccino, Latte, Americano, Affogato and Mocha, hot and iced teas, soft drinks and specialty drinks that they are expecting to be a hit with the locals—tropical fruit smoothie, caramel pumpkin spiced latte and Valrhona Sipping Chocolate. Beer, wines and sparkling wine/Champagne is also available.P1420280 2Sunshine Café’s ambiance makes anyone instantly at home, with its fusion of colors and a variety or art works and frames hanging from the walls to the plush sofa sets and brightly lit lamps. It’s a place to hang out and relax after a long day at work, or satisfy your hunger, or just while time away with your favorite drinks.

P1420283Sunshine Café is located beside Winchell’s in Garapan in front of Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.  The Café has started to attract locals and tourists since their soft opening on April 21, 2016. For information or reservation, call 670-233-8300.

Refreshing Bingsu

bingsu

Next to the Philippine’s most popular dessert halo-halo, here is one of my most favorite all-time refresher when the craving hits, which could be anytime. Bingsu is a Korean popular dessert made with shaved ice and topped with different flavors. My favorite at the Zoom Cafe in Susupe is the Coffee Bingsu.

The Coffee Bingsu is served with a scoop of ice cream on top with swirls of caramel which makes every bite heavenly delicious. On top of the shaved ice is a serving of sweet red bean paste and crunchy cereal. Other flavor options at the Zoom Cafe are strawberry bingsu and the red bean bingsu. A must-try when you visit Saipan!

Squid it at the Garapan street market

IF there is one food item that gets the biggest share of attention from tourists and even locals at the Garapan street market on Thursdays, it is at the barbecue stall where guests can order squid and have it grilled with all the ‘fire exhibits.’

Visit the stalls designated for the meat and barbecue section on Thursdays and the sight and smell of whole squid grilling and on fire will lead you there.

For most of the customers, especially the tourists, watching the whole squid getting grilled with flavors and watching it being engulfed in a blaze is more than half the fun.

As soon as someone places an order for grilled squid, a crowd automatically gathers—almost all if not all of them equipped with cameras and video cameras to document the whole grilling process.
In a few minutes, the mouth-watering aroma of grilled squid fills up the air and gets everyone around hungry, enticing more customers to place their orders.

Back when the street market was still at the Coral Tree Avenue in Garapan on Thursdays, the same scene took place—tourists and even locals taking photos and videos of the squid being grilled. The photos and videos have been posted in social media and shared in different parts of the world as the tourists went home to their own countries.

Such a common scene at the street market is rare for others who never had the chance to watch how the food is being prepared. If you haven’t seen the cooks in action, visit the next street market and see how a local island delicacy is making its mark among tourists and the rest of the street market goers. Squid it and Try it!

The name is Roberto’s

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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).

Saipan’s Volcano Bar rises

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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 familybldg@gmail.com or call K Family LLC at 989-6242.

First published at the Marianas Variety Out to Eat Section.

Coffee, crepes and more at The Shack

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Okonomiyaki, one of the must-try favorites at the SHACK

WELCOME to The Shack, the newest rave in the island where ‘hunters, fishermen, politicians and other liars are welcome.’

Although it’s still on a soft opening phase, The Shack has become a trending household word as the satisfied diners try their unique dishes and go back for more.

It was my second time to visit The Shack for lunch yesterday, and was looking forward to something new. A friend and I had The Shack’s famous Chili Beans on Rice and the equally famous dessert called “The Dentist” before.

We headed to the farthest table for two against the wall and Glen Hunter, who runs The Shack with his mother Gloria Hunter, and Glen’s brother Randy, came to assist us.

Mom Gloria’s special version of fried rice and egg during the weekends, and we decided to try that. Glen also recommended the okonomiyaki and I said yes, not knowing what it was.

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The Favorite

Glen served us the fried rice topped with eggs over easy first, which we started to attack immediately. Next, he served us the Shack’s version of Okonomiyaki, a very tempting flatcake splattered with sauce and Japanese mayo and topped with bits of onion leaves and fish flakes which looked so alive like they were waving.

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Shack Breakfast Akai Bowl

Although it was so tastefully served that I didn’t want to ruin the plating, I was hesitant to try it, not knowing what was inside. I watched my companion slice off a bit from the side and ate it. When he sliced another portion immediately after the first bite, I decided to try it. One bite is all it took, and we kept going at it until there was nothing left of the whole okonomiyaki. We even scraped off the remaining sauce from the plate.

Glen explained that the okonomiyaki, which is one of the most popular dishes at The Shack, literally means “what you like” and their version contains a mix of corn, mushrooms, noodles, tofu, mongo sprouts, cabbage, and more. One bite will stop you to analyze the flavor and you’ll discover it’s a bit of everything—salty, sweetish, a bit sour, a bit spicy but blended beautifully together in one savory flavor that would send you wanting for more. Glen said diners can customize the Okonomiyaki and diners can order what they want to be stuffed inside the pancake.

We were not even halfway into our meal when Glen served us another delight called The Favorite. It is a dessert made of Nutella and bananas wrapped in a think warm crepe folded into quarters and topped with whipped crème. I don’t have a sweet tooth but the empty dish is a testimony of how well we liked it.

We were already very full when Glen came again and let us try the latest breakfast treat—The Shack Breakfast Acai Bowl which is a small glass containing layers of Frozen Puree of Acai Berries and Mixed Fruit on top of layers of Homemade Kefir Yogurt topped with layers of Honey, Nut and Raisin Granola and topped with dates, banana slices and fresh strawberry slices.

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Mom Gloria’s version of fried rice on egg, only at The Shack

I looked at the Shack Breakfast Acai Bowl doubtfully and voiced out that it was too small for anyone’s breakfast. Glen said that’s what everybody said, until they try it and find it even hard to finish everything off. He was right, the Acai breakfast bowl was small but it packed a punch and should never be underestimated. We capped our lunch with tall glasses of lemonade.

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The Dentist, one of the most popular favorites at The Shack

The boldly warm orange tables and walls of the wooden deck and the glaring neon green chairs on the tables below the deck outside is a big contrast to the cool and simple rustic beauty inside The Shack. A sofa occupies one part of the restaurant with a low table. Sack curtains hung from the sides of the glass windows, allowing sunlight to stream inside. Paintings adorn the walls, along with books on the shelves, lamp shades and bric-a-brac on the walls. The mix of modern and antique décoration provides an overall homey ambiance of like dining or having coffee at your own home.IMG_6653

“It’s all about relaxation, of having tea, coffee and crepes and hanging out with friends and family,” Hunter said.

Every day is never the same at The Shack. Mom Gloria prepares varied lunch specials. Check out their Facebook page everyday for the lunch specials the next day.

20130810_144324 (2)Don’t miss out Mom Gloria’s special carrot cake for a sweet, moist slice of paradise. Check out the menu board for the list of crepes available. Beverages available include Espresso, Shack coffee, Shack teas, fresh lemonade, classic iced tea, beer and wines.

The Shack has ample parking spaces outside and WiFi is available free.IMG_6668 (2)

The Shack Saipan is located across from Downtown Market in San Jose, Oleai and open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. They are closed on Mondays. Credit cards are accepted. For reservations please call 235-7422.

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