LOOKING for a place to eat without cash in our pockets proved to be a challenge for me and my out to eat buddies in Garapan on Saturday evening when our target restaurant for the evening said they don’t accept credit cards yet.
Of course many restaurants accept cashless dining in the area but we were scouting for one we haven’t featured before.
Walking around, we finally saw the huge red lanterns of Furusato Japanese Restaurant at the Paseo de Marianas and the signs on the door announcing they accept cards and our search ended. Furusato is one restaurant whose mouthwatering displays of food on the glass shelves outside issue an irresistible invitation.
Low tables in the traditional Japanese style occupied a pig part of the restaurant but there were a few “normal” tables for non-Japanese diners like us.
The food staff served us cold glasses of Japanese ice tea, not sweet but with a pleasant taste (we asked for three refills afterward) as we browsed the menu.
I finally settled for the $8 Sanma Shioyaki which is grilled pike mackerel and a serving of rice. The perfectly grilled foot-long mackerel came with half a lemon and radish strips. Dipped into soy sauce and the combination almost tempted me to abandon my chopsticks and eat with my hands.
My buddies ordered Goya Champoro which was sautéed pork with eggs and bitter melon, and after much discussion, half a pot of Curry Nabe for $15.
Julie, our waitress, brought a stove with a pot of pre-cooked curry soup. She also delivered a plate filled with a mixture of fresh vegetables, mushrooms, bean sprouts, squid, chicken slices, onions, a slice of hotdog, and Mochi cubes. When you order a hot pot, you are supposed to cook it but since we asked so many questions, she did it for us. As soon as the soup began to boil, we turned off the stove and dug into our food.
Hot pot choices are Furusato Nabe, Kimchee Nabe, Tontoro Shabu Nabe, and Yodufu. A full pot costs $30 but it is more than enough for several persons.
The restaurant’s extensive menu includes a wide selection of sautéed foods, sashimi, salad, ala carte menu starting from $4 and up, grilled and fried dishes from $4 and up, steak or teppanyaki, tea and rice sets, mixed rice, various rice bowls, udon pasta style, and lobster which you can order grilled, deep fried, tempura, sautéed with butter or with chili sauce.
You can also order the Furusato combos with chicken or pork barbeque, potato salad and boiled sausage, or the Furusato bento for $25 with consists of cube steak, tempura, sashimi, nimono, rice, miso soup, pickles and ice cream
Do you love lobster? This is your destination. Have your lobster grilled, deep fried, tempura, sautéed with butter, or with chili sauce.
The dessert list includes Mango Purin or homemade mango pudding, ice cream with various flavors, and shaved ice. I was all set to try the red beans with milk shaved ice after dinner but there was just no room for more.
The good food, friendly staff, excellent service, and yes — nice and clean restrooms make dining at Furusato Japanese Restaurant an experience you would like to repeat.
Furusato opens for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. For reservations, please call 233-3333. (This article was first published HERE)