[ China ]

Guangzhou Restaurant: An all-night diner in Garapan

TUCKED in between apartments and business establishments on one of the narrow streets in Garapan is a little Chinese diner.
collageWith very few restaurants open at night,  Guangzhou Restaurant with its red and white brick-designed façade has become one of the favorite destinations of late diners.
I’ve been to this place time and again in the past and hunger once again brought me there on Saturday evening. It was past 11 p.m. and I skipped meals the whole day so I was ready to eat anything. The familiar food staffer met me and my companion at the door with a cheerful “long time no see” greeting and handed us menus. I had already made up my mind — crispy fried chicken pieces. My companion went for beef and rice with broccoli set.
What I like about the fried chicken at this restaurant are the small slices fried to perfection.
The chicken slices are from the bony parts, so if you prefer breasts or enormous thighs, tell the food staffer when you place your order.
I ordered hot tea while waiting for our food. It was served in a ceramic pot with a dainty cup — one adjustment you have to make if you’re not Chinese and would rather have a tall glass.
Guangzhou Restaurant is small with only one round table typical of Chinese restaurants, and four rectangle glass-topped tables that can each seat up to six. A huge aquarium occupies one wall and a blaring television is mounted on another.
If you want to dine in total peace and quiet, this is not the place for you. This is one diner where loud chatter is the background so learn to embrace the sound of people who feel at home. You have to raise your voice to be heard above the usual din.
Try out the various dimsum favorites like shrimp dumpling,  siu mai, steamed chop, Xiao Long Bao and more. My favorite is the sweet rice bell, their version of the popular sesame ball. I’ve also tried their version of steamed chicken feet but I guess you have to tell the food staff not to make it too soft and tender. Dim sum choices are  from $2 to $5 per order.
Guangzhou Restaurant has an extensive selection of Chinese favorites such as several variations of fried rice and congee, different kinds of soup, vegetable dishes, beef, pork, chicken, duck and seafood — all prepared in several ways.
Try the spicy chicken — fried chicken slices with tons of red and green garlic that will make you want to scream if your tolerance for spicy flavors is below zero. You can also try the lemon chicken.
Food orders at Guangzhou Restaurant are budget friendly, with complete meal sets ranging from $4 to $6, including a generous serving of rice, meat and vegetables, depending on your choice. Most food orders are from $8 to $15.
You may also want to check out Guangzhou Restaurant’s house specialties: green onion crab, abalone, abalone slices, roasted duck, Beijing duck, shark fin soup and more. They cost more than the regular dishes.
Follow the road beside Mura Ichiban across from the Fiesta Resort & Spa in Garapan to get to Guanzhou Restaurant. It is open from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day. Parking on a narrow street can be quite a challenge but hunger sharpens the imagination and you’ll find a way.
Only cash is accepted. For orders or reservations, call 233-8368.
First published at the Marianas Variety

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