New sushi and sashimi bar in Garapan
THE first thing that greeted me and my companion when we entered the smoky glass doors of this restaurant located at the second floor of the A1 Store in Garapan is the mouthwatering aroma of grilled beef, and the cozy atmosphere and spaciousness inside.
I have been to the place once before, when it was still the former Myung Dong Korean Restaurant. The place is now called Garapan Restaurant, Barbeque and Sushi Bar. Changes have been made to the place from the table arrangements to the newly installed sushi bar at the right side of the restaurant.
We headed to a table for four, the smallest of the tables available. A wait staff handed us two thick menus and left us to browse. If you don’t know what you want to eat yet, the menu makes it quite a challenge to come up with a choice from the wide selection of Korean and Japanese cuisines. A huge lighted billboard at the ground floor displays photos of the dishes served so you can make your choice even before you go up.
My companion ordered the $8 Gyu Don—while I decided to order something familiar, something I always order in Korean restaurants—a hot pot of bibimbap. I guess I wanted to check out how each Korean Restaurant serves this traditional dish.
A few minutes later, the wait staff served us a tray containing four little bowls of the ever-present traditional Korean appetizers—monggo sprouts, steamed kangkong leaves, kimchi and vegetables. My hot pot bibimbap followed shortly, with the vegetables neatly arranged by sections and a raw egg topped with sesame seeds at the center.
Wasting no time, I snapped a few photos before stirring everything in the pot. I always love to hear the sizzling sound food makes when it hits the sides of the hot pot.
I skipped the hot chili paste that is supposed to make the flavors of the bibimbap come out and asked for soy sauce instead. Our friendly waiter told us they keep an eye out for non-Korean diners who order Korean food because some of them may not be familiar with the spices to make the flavors come out and may not come back anymore. I assured him I was okay with the soy sauce.
My companion’s Gyu Don arrived—a bowl of rice with sliced beef and onions (he told the wait staff not to include the onions though). Our orders came with bowls of miso soup. Halfway into our meal, the restaurant owner Baek Soon Yoo served us a dish of fresh sashimi sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Yoo said they decided to change and expand their servings and reduce the food prices to accommodate everyone especially in these hard times.
Check out the everyday specials on the white board for a taste of the freshest sashimi and sushi available on island which includes fresh sahishi halibut, hamachi, salmon and tuna.
Garapan Restaurant Barbeque and Sushi Bar is at the Pacific Sunrise Building across from the Fiesta Resort & Spa. It can accommodate up to 180 people. It has special sections for tatami seating and VIP rooms for small private gatherings. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. everyday. Cards are accepted. For reservations or inquiries, please call 233-7000 or 233-3577.