Posts Tagged ‘saipan seafood’

American-Mexican lunch at the World Café


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


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


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.


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

First published at the Marianas Variety

Kinpachi Seafood: Dining under the sea

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

Salty’s Grill & Café: Your Chamorro cuisine dining destination


  SALTY’S Grill & Café in Garapan is the only dining spot on island that has purely local cuisine on their menu.It’s also a spacious, open dining place with wooden floors and big plastic white tables and matching chairs.

A companion and I were there recently, and I decided to try a local appetizer I was familiar with — beef kelaguen — while my companion ordered the poki bowl. My kelaguen was served after a few minutes —?? beef strips with pickles and bits of sliced onions served on a round plate lined with banana leaf and adorned with a white plumeria and half a slice of lemon.

The beef kelaguen was good, the beef strips tender and well-marinated. It was kind of spicy but not too much.

My compan??ion’s poki bowl came next — fresh tuna sashimi slices sprinkled with bits of onion and served on a bed of lettuce on top of a serving of steamed rice. It was a full dinner by itself.

Salty’s Grill & Café is a Japanese-owned restaurant with an extensive Chamorro menu that includes shrimp kelaguen, red rice, Spam kelaguen with titiyas (flatbread), sardine kelaguen with titiyas, tamales gisu and Spam onigiri.

You can order shrimp with taro leaf or garlic butter, fish with taro leaf, fresh tuna poki or sashimi, clam with garlic butter, Lau Lau, kadun pika, seafood soup, sweet potato croquettes, Spam fry, or cold tofu with finadene sauce.


Four dishes from the menu are dinner for $8: Chamorro bowl, Spam bowl, poki bowl and locomoco bowl.

You can grill your food at the table when you order the seafood BBQ set. You can also get raw beef fingers, short rib or ribs eye and have the freedom to grill them to your preference.??

Salty’s Grill & Café’s seafood selections also include lobster, salmon, scallops, squid and mussels from $8 to $25.

For dessert, try the banana lumpia (roll) with coconut milk, apigigi or tapioca with coconut and ube (purple yam) ice cream?

Salty’s Grill & Café is an ideal place to hang out for a drink if you want fresh, open spaces without the humming of air-conditioning units and confining walls.

The bar is open from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and has a wide selection of wines, cocktails, beer and other beverages. Chasers include fried chicken, French fries, endamame, Chamorro sausage, raisin, peanuts and potato chips.

Salty’s Grill & Café is located in Garapan beside Panda Store (formerly Chicago) and is open every day from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations call 888-9451, email or visit

First published at the Marianas Variety here

A world of buffet

THE Buffet World at SaipaIMG_5627 - Copyn World Resort was that one place where I wanted to have lunch but for one reason or another, I always never made it on time until one noontime last week when it was all unplanned.

My lunch companion Patrick and I were at the door right after it opened at 11:30 a.m. along with a handful of early diners who were mostly hotel guests. The spacious dining area was vacant leaving us with a wide choice of tables to choose from.

We headed to a table near the clear glass walls that offered a fabulous view of the swimming pools and the Jungle Wave Park, a bit far from the buffet tables so we wouldn’t be tempted to go for a refill that quick.20130522_115117


Heading to the salad bar, I surprised Pat by filling up my plate with vegetables, something which I rarely do if ever, and smeared them with Thousand Island Dressing. The Buffet World’s salad bar had potato salad, fresh greens and more as well as a selection of dressings. The seafood section carried a mouthwatering display of mussels, shrimp, slices of fresh sashimi on a huge boat-shaped platter, crabs and more choices. I picked on a few slices of sashimi minus the wasabi paste and headed back to our table.20130522_115045

Even before I finished my salad, I was already getting full but I checked out the main dishes just the same. It was hard not to load your plate with all the delectable choices from the buffet main section. I ladled two generous servings of the seafood fried rice. It looked tempting with the bits of onion, corn, peas and seafood sprinkled on it and was not like the regular fried rice floating in oil you see everywhere.

.IMG_5564 - Copy IMG_5559 - Copy







I also spooned some stir-fried vegetables, pasta, a couple of fried chicken wings, some slices of tofu topped with chopped onion leaves, some very tempting slices of grilled flank steak topped with onion rings and bits of bell peppers, fish fillet, and my plate was already groaning. I didn’t even get a chance to check out the Korean cuisine that was in a separate sectionThe Buffet World’s bread and dessert section carried a wide selection of your favorite breads, tempting sweets and fresh fruit.

Pat was more excited for the Wave Jungle adventure in store for us I noticed. He capped the meal with white wine from the beverage section. IMG_5544

We were having a leisurely lunch and didn’t notice that all the tables had been filled up and lunch time was coming to its end. Lingering on our glasses of wine, we were beginning to get drowsy when Saipan World Resort sales and marketing department/local sales manager Michael Babauta joined us for a brief chat.
We went out of The Buffet World and headed to the Jungle Park where we burned all that we ate in an afternoon of fun in the water and slides.

Check out the newly refurbished Buffet World when you’re hungry. It’s also open for breakfast and dinner. It’s on the ground floor of Saipan World Resort and open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every day. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations, call 234-5900 extension 344.

First published at the Marianas Variety

%d bloggers like this: