Solitary dinner at Eden

*?THE eternal wait for my companion on Saturday night finally drained my last ounce of patience so I drove to Garapan to grab some dinner. I had skipped breakfast and lunch and it was already past 9 p.m.

I was ready to sit down at any restaurant to get some food when I remembered that I had not check out Eden Restaurant located just across from the Hyatt. Pushing Eden’s glass doors, I was greeted by a vast emptiness. There was no one inside except for three staffers. I sat at the nearest table and felt…lonely. The table was for six and I was alone. I didn’t take long to order beef bulgogi and a pot of beef tendon soup.*?The wait staff delivered a pitcher of tea with a small ceramic cup, and a tray with five little plates of appetizers, three of which I attacked and two I didn’t touch — the cucumber with kimchi and a leafy salad bathed with red peppers. The bulgogi with rice was also served immediately. One of the disadvantages of delivering the appetizers and the main order together is you never get a chance to savor the appetizers. Some Korean restaurants on island allow diners to dig into the appetizers before serving their orders.
I was already right in the middle of my dinner when my tendon soup was served straight from the stove, bubbling and boiling hot in a black pot. Snapping some photos and a short video clip of the bubbling soup was quite a challenge as the steam headed directly to the lens. I was using a point-and-shoot camera and had to shoot real close. Too impatient to wait, I scooped a spoonful of the soup and burned my tongue, making the rest of my meal less palatable than it was.*?
I scooped out the white slices of the rubbery tendons which happen to be my favorite part of the beef and started nibbling on them. I would have enjoyed them more if I asked for some fish or soy sauce, but I didn’t.
As I was the only diner, the staffers checked on me every now and then to see if everything was to my liking.
Flicking through the menu after dinner, I saw that Eden Restaurant served early fry, cutlass fry and mackerel fry — each with a bowl of miso soup.
You can also try the different choices of soup such as Korean rice cake soup, mixed seafood soft tofu, spicy beef and leek soup, soybean paste stew, bean sprouts, potato soup, soup with kimchi and pork, duck soup and dumpling soup.
Eden also has Korean fried chicken, sweet and sour pork, spicy shredded meat, fried beef intestine, chicken with Korean rice, seafood pancake, deep fried octopus, assorted hot or cold noodles and hot pot dishes such as bibimpab.??
Likewise available are sashimi, dumplings, boiled beef, kimchi and pork nabe, soup with fish, spicy seafood — all from $18 and up.
Eden Restaurant can be your kitchen away from home because you still get to grill your food at your own table. The buffet BBQ grill is for dinner only and provides a wide selection of favorites to grill: pork belly, fresh short ribs, beef ribs, beef intestine, beef tongue, duck slices, seafood BBQ, pork hock and more.
Grill and eat all you can for $25 per person with a 20 percent discount for locals.
Eden has a spaciousness bordered with decorative dividers to provide some privacy to the tables. Six semi-private rooms occupy one whole side of the restaurant with roundtables that can accommodate up to 10 persons in each cubicle.
One wall at the counter outside the cooking area displays racks and shelves of wines and miniature statues. All in all, the restaurant atmosphere provides a comfortable setting ideal for mealtimes with friends and family.*?
Eden Restaurant was formerly located across from the Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio. It is now located across from the Hyatt just beside Poseidon Bar in Garapan. Eden is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner every day. Only cash is accepted for now. For inquiries and reservations, call 233-1919 or 285-1918.
First published at the Marianas Variety

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