Cozy dining at Hiro’s

THIS newly opened Japanese restaurant in Garapan has caught our attention since it opened last month, but we only got the chance to try its specialty last Friday night.

Hiro Island Japanese Cuisine opened on April 18, and has slowly become a hangout for many who are in search of delicious Japanese cuisine in a relaxed setting.

The charming restaurant with a red Japanese lantern outside occupies a portion of the ground floor of Victoria Hotel.

The front area has tables with comfortable chairs and a huge LCD television mounted on the wall. The daily specials are pinned on a cork board near the door. Inside the restaurant are two long rows of low tables for typical Japanese dining.

Not so hungry, I ordered the Yellow Fin Croquetto for $8. The two crispy fried croquettes, splattered with sauce on top came with a serving of vegetable salad and tomato slices. The croquettes were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, giving you the full flavor of the yellow fin slices mixed with mashed potatoes.

sashimi platter

My buddies ordered a platter of assorted sashimi, one of the restaurant’s specialties and bestsellers, and deep-fried mahi-mahi served with soup, rice and salad.

Hiro Restaurant’s soup is one of its must-taste items. It is not your ordinary soup served in restaurants everywhere but it has its own distinctive flavor.

“We don’t buy ready mix ingredients for soup but we make our own, and that’s what makes the difference,” said Eden, a member of the food staff.

Hiro Island Japanese cuisine’s specialty is assorted sashimi and sushi featuring the freshest catch of the day.

Yellow Fin Croquetto

Reading about the 50 dishes on the menu is enough to make you hungry. Original chasers from $5 and up include cold tofu “Hiro style,, pickled Chinese cabbage Japanese style, papaya and pork sukiyaki. Salads and appetizers start from $5 to $8.

A wide selection of rice and noodle dishes is available starting from $8 to $12. Choices include Hiro’s original curry — beef, chicken, or pork cutlet, hashed beef rice, or pork katsudon with salt onion flavor.

You can try the egg and Angus Beef fried rice-onion soy sauce flavor, or hot noodle soup with fried pork. You can also go for the hot or cold Japanese style noodle soup, Udon, soba or somen, or the squid pasta garlic butter flavor.

Cap your meal with any of the desserts Hiro Restaurant offers such as assorted fruit, sautéed banana with sweet potato ice or vanilla ice, banana cake with sweet potato and apigigi with sweet potato or vanilla ice, all from $6 to $10.

If you are not hungry, you can pass the time or bond with friends and colleagues with cold glasses or bottles of beer, Shochu Rock, red or white wine, Japanese Sake, cocktails or sodas and juices, all at affordable prices.

Hiro Island Japanese Cuisine does not accept credit cards for now.

Visit Hiro Island Japanese Cuisine on the ground floor of Victoria Hotel from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, and from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner every day. (This article was first published HERE)

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