Tickle your taste buds and enjoy a six-day gustatory feast at Aqua Resort Club’s Costa Terrace Restaurant. From Monday to Saturday, enjoy their daily theme lunch buffet featuring a variety of Asian and local cuisines.
Executive chef Eduardo B. Olarte said the theme lunch was already in place even before he got on board ARC two years ago. He added that what’s new on their weeklong lineup is the Southeast Asian theme, which they want to promote more.
“The concept was already there. My job was to only improve it and implement at least two or three new items on the menu. We just followed the instructions of our bosses here and from there we create the menu based on the day’s theme,” said Olarte, whose love for the culinary arts was influenced by his grandparents.
“Our Southeast Asian theme is the latest addition on our daily theme lunch buffet and it is only on its second week. This replaced our Italian-inspired theme. Each Southeast Asian country has their own specialty and we want to offer that to our customers for them to enjoy the flavors of their dishes.”
The Southeast Asian theme is every Tuesday where one can feast on Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes.
Olarte said with Filipino food already been introduced locally, after a large number of foreign workers in the CNMI hail from the Philippines, they wanted local and visiting tourists to try the other dishes of Southeast Asian countries.
Last Tuesday’s dishes include Caldereta (Philippines, beef stew in tomato sauce), Gado-Gado (Indonesia, salad composed of vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, tofu, and rice wrapped in banana leaf with peanut sauce dressing), Sate (Malaysia, beef or chicken meet) Hainanese chicken rice (Singapore), Phad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles), and Thit Kho (Vietnam, caramelized pork).
Olarte also worked with their pastry chef in introducing deserts like the Filipino Ensaymada (bread with butter, and topped with cheese and sugar) and Indonesia’s Dadar Gulung (Pandan-flavored crepes filled with caramelized coconut).
He said that as much as possible they make do on the limited ingredients that can be found and are available on the island. “Each country has its own specialty dish. The food that we’re going to offer for the day is based on the ingredients that can be bought on the island.
“The limited resources sometimes make it hard to get other ingredients since you need to order it by volume. We use alternative ingredients but it loses the authentic flavor. So, as much as possible, we wanted to get the same ingredients for each dish,” added Olarte, who reminds his staff that he started as a steward to inspire them.
He said that he also makes it a point to get out of the kitchen so he could chat with ARC’s customers, especially the regulars. “I want to get their feedback for our theme for the day. I get new ideas by just talking to them.”
“Sometimes they suggest new dishes or tell me that they love what we offered for the day. They also tell me if they want to see more variation of the food. We are open to their suggestions. We want to rotate or offer them new dishes, this way they won’t get bored with what we’re offering.”
Costa’s daily theme lunch buffet has authentic Chinese cuisine with roast duck and dimsum for Mondays, Korean with bibimbap every Wednesdays, Chamolinian with barbecue for Thursdays, Japanese with shabu-shabu every Fridays, and international Mongolian noodle for Saturdays.
Sunday brunch has a roasted pig that Olarte said is delivered fresh and not frozen, and they have also started with their chocolate fondue.
For more information or reservation, call 322-1234 ext. 731 or 732.