Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 21 Jun 2018 12am







    Wednesday, June 20, 2018-2:12:16P.M.






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Some cool restaurants

LAST Mother’s Day, my wife, daughter and I went to Yi Pin for dinner. It’s on Middle Road, directly across from the large Mobil Mart. The food was sensational, though a little pricey. Still, there are some very good deals.

Yi Pin serves Szechuan food, which means that it’s a little hot. I think the chefs left some of the heat back in China, because we found — although spicy and good — it wasn’t the tongue-searing stuff I’ve had in the past.

Yi Pin’s menu is a series of plastic laminated pages, and they have — or appear to have — everything you could ever want. The food is fresh and well prepared. Best of all, it’s packed with flavor. We had noodles (similar to lo mein), a huge tureen of spicy Szechuan soup, shrimp and vegetables, steamed broccoli, and — my favorite — sweet and sour chicken. The server brought us complimentary bowls of white rice. They also serve soft drinks and beer.

The décor is a pleasant green and beige, and you could get the feeling that you were in Beijing. There are large tables for groups, and a row of booths for smaller gatherings. They also have private rooms for special occasions.

Yi Pin is the real deal for dinner. The service is quick and efficient and the three of us had more than enough to eat. I highly recommend it. Go. It’s like visiting China, but better.

Best lunch buffet

Over the years I’ve sampled just about every buffet on Saipan. The really good ones are expensive (in the $25 per person range). I called one hotel to inquire about their buffet. You can imagine my shock and dismay when I learned that it costs $43, and there is no discount for locals. Frankly, I can’t even lift $43 worth of food.

However, Everest Kitchen, located just to the left of the Bridge Capital building, is a real godsend. Although the offerings are not as plentiful as a hotel dining room, they are unique and wonderful.

Although they pride themselves on Nepalese food (and it may be), it seems like Indian food to me. Either way, it’s yummy. They provide a range of salads, breads, humus, white and brown rice, a vegetarian soup, and extraordinary hot dishes — chicken curry or masala, and sautéed basa fish. There is also a hot vegetable dish. Complimentary tea, lemonade and water are yours for the taking. At $12 per person, it’s just a great deal. The chefs are to be rewarded for their care in making such wonderfully tasty food.

Everest Kitchen is a large, fairly spacious room on two levels. If you sit near the front, you get the benefit of its large windows. However, on the lower level, toward the back, it’s darker, cozier, and more intimate. (Small lights on the table would help).

Everest Kitchen is only open for lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (I think that’s right), and finding a place to park in front is not always easy. Many park across the street (Micro Beach Road). Anyhow, it’s definitely a place to try for lunch. It’s like stepping into a Himalayan restaurant in the middle of Saipan. I love this place, and I always run into people I know, which is a nice surprise.

So there you go: Everest Kitchen for lunch and Yi Pin for dinner. Unbeatable.

As Teo, Saipan