Guam Diner Bytes: Nami Restaurant

Guam Diner Bytes: Nami Restaurant

by Ken Stewart
The Guam Food Guy

Thanks to social media, namely Facebook, I was able to find out that Nami Restaurant had re-opened and changed its menu to specialize in making outstanding “donburi” (rice bowl) selections. I had not been to the original or previous Nami, but I saw a post by the owner of Casa Urashima, Osamu Taniguchi inviting his friends to come and try the new Nami Restaurant’s menu which is available for lunch and dinner. I replied to Osamu that I would make it a point to stop by on my next visit to Saipan, and that’s what I did – Twice!

On my first dinner visit, I sat down at a table and was surprised by the simple menu choices (there are six) and the reasonable prices, ranging from $10 - $12. I ordered an Asahi beer, then I ordered the salmon bowl ($12). I also had heard some positive things about the beef curry ($10), which is also the chef’s specialty, so I ordered one of these.

Nami is a simple place, clean and brightly colored. Diners feel welcome here, like they are stopping by a friends’s house. There is a counter facing the kitchen and a few tables.

The curry plate came first - it was so very aromatic and filled the plate completely with a thick brown curry with big chunks of beef and a mound of steamed white rice. A generous pile of pickled red ginger was in a small side dish and bowl of “suimono,” Japanese clear broth soup, was provided. All items were served on a wooden plank.

Next to arrive was my salmon bowl, which was certainly a feast for weary eyes! The fresh made wasabi was joined by fresh made ginger paste, along with garlic slices and onion. The salmon was so very fresh and I even tried a little of the “finadene,” which was similar in taste to a ponzu sauce. They really are proud of their finadene, which they promote with little educational signs. They are equally proud of their Tinian donne salii. They even have a basket with local raw eggs ($1), which is very reasonable.

The beef curry was quite good, and I did leave enough to take back to my hotel room. It was a fair-sized portion that was shareable. It was great re-heated later! On this first visit I was happy to have met Gina Ignacio, who was busy cooking and Ayaka Akimaru , who was taking care of the front of the house. They were kind to agree to have their picture taken. I was so happy with my overall dining experience that I had to come back.

On this dinner visit I wanted to try the local fish bowl ($12), which featured yellowfin tuna, rainbow runner, and bonito. The presentation was marvelous and I could see how fresh the fish was. I liked the sesame seeds that were sprinkled atop the sashimi. I ate all of my fish and very little rice – I had another dish coming – the beef bowl ($10) with 100% U.S.-certified Angus beef, thinly-sliced. This beef was delicious and I ate all of it with just a little bit of rice.

On this dinner visit, the staff was different. I asked to take their photo as well. The young girl’s name was Ayana and the chef’s name was Suzuki-san. I will definitely return to Nami Restaurant when I get back to Saipan. I will bring the perfect companion – my new wife!

Ita dake masu!!
Ken “The Guam Food Guy” Stewart

Guam Diner website

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea

Recommended Content

Around the Web