THE minute you pushed open the door of this Japanese restaurant located just across the Fiesta Resort and Spa in Garapan, you will see a bar/counter with Japanese lanterns hanging from a roof of coconut leaves like it was an altogether separate stall inside. Rows of bottles of sake, Shochu and Japanese wines lined the upper shelves of the counter.
The Coconut-Tei Restaurant in Garapan is a popular destination for tourists and locals and I had eaten lunch there four years ago but didn’t have a chance to check it out properly until yesterday with a buddy. Like most Japanese restaurants, the Coconut-Tei has those huge billboards outside displaying their menu and prices in English and Japanese.
The restaurant is known for its bento sets and I decided on the fried fish set from the bento choices after only a few minutes of browsing through the menu. The fish of the day were yellow fin and tuna and I opted for the yellow fin. After a long deliberation, my buddy went for the ham and egg bento set—a late breakfast. (Yes, breakfast is available until 2 p.m.)
A few tables were occupied by late diners. A couple of diners came in after us, obviously coming from a swim with sand in their feet and towels slung on their shoulders and hair dripping wet. This means one thing—people are at ease to dine at this restaurant without having to worry about their looks or how they are dressed.
We were served miso soup in bowls which we sipped and were not even halfway through it when our orders came in large red bento boxes.
My fried yellow fish slices were served on a bed of spaghetti and ‘smothered’ with a generous amount of ketchup on top. Now, if you are not fond of ketchup, take note to inform the food staffers to leave your fish ketchup-free when you give your order. The set also came with a serving of steamed rice, a vegetable salad and side dishes, and a big mug of iced tea.
The Coconut-Tei Restaurant serves a variety of seafood dishes, including lobster sashimi or barbeque lobster which is not very common in other restaurants.
Check out the restaurant’s choices of appetizers for your favorites like sautéed kangkong, Kim-Chee, butter- sautéed squid, fried potatoes, spicy sauces, fried tofu, pork Kushi cutle, Hawaiian poke and more—all within the $5 to $15 price range.
If you want something hot and sizzling, the Coconut-Tei Restaurant serves beef steak on a hot plate, assorted sautéed seafood, sautéed chives and liver and others.
The Coconut-Tei Restaurant is also your foodstop for the sashimi and sushi using the freshest catch of the day.
On any day, if you just want to escape into a world of Japanese atmosphere, sip your favorite beer or try a glass of Japanese wine, the Coconut-Tei is one destination you can go to.
A section of the restaurant is set with two long tatami tables that Japanese diners usually use—the elevated section in Japanese restaurants where you have to slump on the floor and sit on mats and leave your footwear down. This is one section in Japanese restaurants that I have tried eating at just once in Tokyo but it’s very uncomfortable if you’re not used to it.
Check out Coconut-Tei’s breakfast items from 8 a.m. such as bacon and egg, fish BBQ, fried chicken, hamburger steak, noodles and ramen, and other yummy delights that will tease your palates early in the morning.
They open through lunch until 2 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. or later for dinner every day. All major credit cards are welcome. For inquiries/reservations please call 234-3923.
First published HERE