A PHONE call from my out-to-eat buddies on Friday noon directed me to this restaurant in Garapan which has been serving delicious Chinese cuisine for over two years.
The Gourmet Restaurant, located beside the Dollar Days store, has a colorful façade filled with huge mouth-watering pictures of food.
Huge glass windows framed with white curtains complemented the red Chinese wall décor and round tables draped with yellow tablecloths.
I browsed the two-page lunch specials and picked the number one on the list — braised beef with chili sauce. My three buddies ordered braised fish with chili sauce, fried chicken with pepper in chili sauce, and fish cutlet.
When our orders arrived, it turned out that everything, except for Andrew’s mahi-mahi fish cutlet, were hot and spicy. The braised beef slices served on top of green vegetables were tender and delicious. Our orders were on the oily side but I guess it’s typical Chinese cuisine.
I forked some fried chicken slices into my mouth and followed it with a sip of iced tea. The spiciness is not the kind that would make you cry and use all the table napkins to wipe your tears. Just enough to make you whistle and crave for more.
All 34 special set lunch orders, priced at $6.99, are served with rice and soup. Choose from the soup list which includes the Gourmet Special Daily Soup, hot and sour soup, minced beef and egg white soup and corn soup with crab meat.
You can also go for the special set menu consisting of two main courses, soup and rice for $12.99, or the three main courses for $18.99.
We lingered over lunch, savoring the pressure-free day without deadlines breathing down our necks. A waitress served us six slices of yellow dessert which turned out to be chestnut cake. It was soft and fluffy with a gelatin-like texture and nuts inside.
If you are craving for roast or Peking duck, you can find it at the Gourmet Restaurant. A roast Peking duck costs $39 while the price of a roast duck is $28.
Roast duck barbeque is also available for $8, as well as pork, pig’s shank and chicken in soy sauce barbeque for $7.
The Gourmet Restaurant, owned and managed by Jackie Coe, opened its doors to the public in Dec. 2008.
In an earlier interview, Coe said her love for cooking since she was a little girl prodded her to join the food business and start her own restaurant.
The Gourmet Restaurant can accommodate up to 80 people. For private meetings, there are two VIP rooms that can seat from six to eight or from eight to ten individuals.
The Gourmet Restaurant opens for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for dinner from 6 to 10 p.m.
For reservations, call 233-7260 or 233-3076, or visit www.saipan-gourmet.com. (This article was first publisheed HERE)