Posts Tagged ‘Saipan’

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.

P1420313

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.

P1420264

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.

P1420260 2

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.

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

IMG_7518

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).

Boka Boka: A haven for desserts & authentic Chamorro cuisine

?????? `

Parrot fish eskabeche

THE newly opened Boka Boka, (or Eat Eat!) is the island’s newest destination when the craving for sumptuous local desserts and authentic Chamorro cuisine hits you.

My out-to-eat buddy and I skipped breakfast and lunch and it was already past 4 p.m. on Saturday when we headed to Boka Boka to see what everybody has been crazy about the past few days.

?????? `

katdun katni

Hunger helps you make fast decisions and I ordered the first two items that caught my attention from the rectangular one page menu that I grabbed from the counter—the katdun katni and eskabeche. I was expecting the katdun katni to a something like beef curry but I was wrong. It turned out to be hot beef soup with vegetable slices, and came with two scoops of steamed rice, a small dish of sliced cucumbers, finadene sauce and hot pepper dipping. Red rice was an option which I didn’t fancy.

We dug into our food without waiting for the eskabeche, which came when we were halfway through our late-breakfast/lunch/ early dinner. The eskabeche was a medium-sized parrot fish swimming in coconut milk and topped with vegetables. We made short work of it too in world record time.?????? `

We were almost finished when restaurant owner Marianne Conception’s niece served us two scoops of red rice that changed my total outlook of this traditional Chamorro food. I have never been overly enthusiastic about red rice but the Boka Boka has exactly what I wanted. It was not oily at all and there were no stuff mixed with it. I still managed to (almost) finish the red rice although I was stuffed.

Marianne served us a small sampler platter of chicken kelaguen which my companion finished very fast, and the most popular dessert Boka Boka has to offer—freshly baked cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Our whole meal at $21.95 was a good bargain.?????? `

People who don’t have time to cook or just want to picnic out can avail of the Boka Boka BTG special where for $15, you get one whole Rottisserie chicken, rice enough for three to four people, and salad. Just call and you can pick it up, or if you prefer to eat it at the restaurant, just throw in an additional $5 for the BTG. A wide selection of breakfast bento or meal packs is also available early in the morning, as well as daily breakfast specials including Chamorro fried rice or toast, eggs, bacon and more with coffee or tea; waffles, grilled toast or mini-breakfasts.

Other must-try desserts which you can pick up anytime from their shelves for various occasions include their ‘Better than Sex’ cake or Fa’um cake, velvet cake, rum cake, angel cake, cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, cream puffs, Pavlova, parfaits, strawberry shortcake, Guyuria, Rosketti, Rosku, donuts, and more.

?????? `Marianne said Boka Boka is a family-run restaurant with her family members helping out in the kitchen and counter. Boka Boka is located at the Morgen Building in Oleai, formerly Mitsue’s Restaurant. ?????? `

They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Only cash is accepted for now. Also check out Marianne’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/marianne.teregeyo to get updates on the daily specials so you can just place your calls and pick the goodies up. For inquiries or reservations please call 235-BOKA (2652).

First published at the Marianas Variety’s Out to Eat section.

Amigo’s: Your pizza and BBQ stop on Saipan

*?A SUDDEN craving for pizza led me and a companion to Amigo’s Pizza and BBQ in Garapan on Saturday night. It was past 8 p.m. and I was heading to the Las Vegas Night at Fiesta Resort but decided to have a quick meal.
Amigo’s used to be a purely pizza parlor located on Beach Road but it relocated to its current location last year and expanded its menu which now includes BBQ and pasta.Only one table was occupied by a couple when we came in, and we learned that the place would close at 9 p.m.We sat at the one of the three tables on the mezzanine where we got the full blast of cold air from the A/C unit.?? HA cheerful food staffer brought us menus and I immediately ordered a regular Hawaiian pizza. My companion was hungry and went for the BBQ set meal.

Soon, my pizza arrived. It was a crispy thin crust coated with cheese and bits of bacon and pineapple slices. I dug into it and vowed to finish at least half of the eight slices of pizza but stopped at two and a half. I was full already.?? H

Meanwhile, the BBQ set was brought to our table on a wide tray. It consisted of a small plate of green salad, a dish of pickled papaya, soup, a serving of rice, and the BBQ on a sizzling plate — grilled pork, chicken, beef slices and hotdogs.

I took a bite off one end of the chicken barbeque and pushed it aside. If you love garlic, then go for it. The flavor of the rich marinade permeated into the very core of the meat. I am not fond of garlic.*?

We only finished half of our orders and had to take the rest home.

Amigo’s pizza choices include regular or large ranch pepperoni pizza, chicken Alfredo, seafood, meat lover’s pizza, double cheese, bacon and ham, Italian sausage, combination pizza (beef, ham, pepperoni, red and green bell peppers, mushroom, olive and onions), salad pizza, spicy shrimp, bulgogi and BBQ pizza. If you want to add more toppings, just pay an additional $2 per topping.

Check out Amigo’s assorted BBQ sets: lobster, crabs, mussel, shrimp, salmon with lemon butter, chicken, pork belly, or go for the meat and seafood combo. Amigo’s also serves hamburger, sirloin, rib-eye and tenderloin steak

A selection of salads and appetizers is also available: potato or tossed salad, seafood or grilled chicken salad.

Lunch specials include hamburger steak, carbonara seafood or meat sauce spaghetti, and assorted BBQ sets from $7.50 to $12.99 price.*?

Amigo’s Pizza & BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner every day. For orders or inquiries, drop by Amigo’s Pizza & BBQ next to the Wax Museum near Winchell’s on Orchid Street in Garapan or call 233-PIZA (7412) or 989-3694.

First published at the Marianas Variety here

Yoshoku at Miyako

?????? HWHEN I got an invitation to try out Yoshoko — Miyako Japanese Restaurant’s latest offering at the Hyatt a couple of weeks ago — I said “yes!” without having any idea what to expect. –
I had visions of new sushi and sashimi servings in mind, and was unprepared when I came face to face with four mouthwatering sets of “Japanized” European dishes — Western-influenced cooking that originated during the Meiji restoration which started in 1868 and, according to Wikipedia, was responsible for the emergence of Japan as a modernized nation in the early 20th century.

The emperor at the time, Meiji, lifted the ban on red meat and promoted Western cuisine.Yoshoku

Miyako at the Hyat is offering four main Yoshoku dishes for a tryout period starting October 7 until Oct. 31, 2013:

• Kaki Furai — crunchy bite-size pieces of breaded, deep fried oysters served with tartar sauce and lemon wedge at $10 per order.

• Katsu Kare — breaded kurobuta pork coated with bread crumbs and served with Japanese curry and steamed rice for $20.

• Omurice — chicken rice wrapped in an omelet and served with a special house-made salsa. The blend of flavors will tease your palates. The Omurice is a meal by itself for $10 only.

• Gyuniku katsu — my instant favorite. Certified Angus Beef served with cabbage and sauce for dipping for $30. The meat was so tender and flavorful, and when I learned it was fried, I couldn’t believe it. There were no traces of dripping oil and the flavors just lingered on my palate.

Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame ice cream

For dessert, we tried Miyako’s black sesame ice cream. I was not overly enthusiastic about ice cream and was thinking of just tasting it. But the ice cream was served on a platter: two deliriously mouthwatering slices of them — yes, slices and served with strawberry and lemon. I finished my ice cream in world record time, ahead of my three companions.

The Yoshoku dinner is available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day at the Miyako except Sunday. Mojito drinks are available. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome depending on table availability. Club at the Hyatt discount is available.DSC_2303

The price range for these four Yoshoku dishes is from $10 to $30, and you can also order other Japanese favorites from the ala carte menu.

While at the Hyatt, don’t miss the Nutty Melon special cocktail and enjoy the heavenly blend of cranberry juice, water melon juice, coconut syrup and dark rum. Nutty Melon is available at all Hyatt bars for $10.

For inquiries and reservations, call 234-1234 or visit http://www.saipan.regency.hyatt.com.

First published at http://www.mvariety.com/special-features/out-to-eat/59631-yoshoku-at-miyako

Tandoori flavors at the Taste of India

IMG_4385

Tandoori Chicken

I HAD always planned to try out the Taste of India ever since it moved to a new location in Garapan last year, but the plan remained a plan, until last Saturday when I was out looking for a place to have lunch with a friend.

As I entered the restaurant I held my breath, preparing for the familiar smell of curry to greet my nostrils, but there was none. There was no lunch buffet and only a couple of tables were occupied.We headed straight to a corner table for two next to the glass wall and we were greeted by restaurant manager Aji Thomas Mandumpala who handed us menus. My companion immediately decided to try Gobi 65 — deep fried cauliflower coated with spiced batter and served with catsup for dipping.I browsed through the Tandoori Treasures section and decided I wanted the tandoori chicken, one of the must-try dishes at the Taste of India. Aji recommended a rich thick sauce in which I could dip my bread but I decided to have my chicken on a sizzling platter instead.
The chicken was marinated overnight in mughlai masala and yogurt and then grilled over charcoal in a tandoor oven. Our order arrived very soon, the half chicken sliced into four for $8.95, and served with vegetables sizzling on a platter that attracted the attention of the other diners.The smell was heavenly and it required patience to wait for it to cool down a bit before I could dig into it.IMG_4396I also wanted to order the Naan from the Indian bread menu but Thomas said it would take a long time to prepare in the oven but other breads were readily available: Paratha, Chappathi, Bhattura and Poori.I ordered one Chappathi, an Indian flatbread which was cut into quarters on a plate.

Dining at the Taste of India won’t be complete without the Indian Masala tea which you can order hot or cold. The pouring ceremony was a sight to behold. It required a lot of skill and I held my breath as Aji held the teapot high above and skillfully poured the tea straight into a cup.

The other Tandoori Treasures are chicken tikka, tandoori shrimp, fish tikka, and chicken kabab — all within the $10.95 to $12.95 range.

Start off with garden fresh green salad or, if you like it hot, order the Masala Papad, a typical Indian crispy fried appetizer with crushed pepper corn on top. For soup, try the mulluguthani, a Indian soup based on lentils and seasoned with cumin, turmeric, garlic and garnished with fresh coriander leaves. There’s also the tomato-based, slightly spiced Indian soup.

Other appetizers are Chicken 65 — deep fried chicken cubes marinated in spiced Indian sauce; Samosa or pyramid shaped stuffed with chicken, beef or vegetables; and Pakoras, deep fried chicken or vegetable dip in seasoned chickpeas

For curry lovers, there’s butter chicken masala, chicken makhani, kadai chicken, chicken do pyaza and chicken spinach.

There’s also beef, lamb, pork, fish and shrimp specialties.

The Taste of India offers vegetarians a selection of dishes below the $10 price range: channa masala or chick pease with north Indian masala, vegetables chettinadu or fresh vegetables sautéed with onion masala and tamarind pulp, aloogobi or potato and cauliflower blended with light Indian masala

Try the beef or chicken biriyani, long grain rice and spiced lamb or chicken prepared in south Indian style — a full meal by itself.

Cap your meal with Lassi: “a mind-blowing yogurt-based Indian drink available in flavors of mango, sweet, salty or plain.”

Kids’ menu is also IMG_4353available at the Taste of India. Try the cheese naan, chicken nuggets, veggie noodles and egg fried rice for less than $5.

At the Taste of India, you also get to listen to Indian music or watch a movie on the LCD screens mounted on the walls.IMG_4416

The Taste of India can seat up to 60 persons and is open for lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $8.95 per person and ala carte dinner Monday to Friday. The Tandoori Night dinner buffet is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays for $10.95 and ala carte on Sundays. The restaurant accepts reservations for private parties such as birthdays, weddings and other occasions. Credit cards are accepted.

For inquiries or reservation, visit the Taste of India in Garapan across from Jonny’s Bar or call 233-8448.

First published at the Marianas Variety HERE

– See more at: http://www.mvariety.com/special-features/out-to-eat/58873-tandoori-flavors-at-the-taste-of-india

%d bloggers like this: