WELCOME to The Shack, the newest rave in the island where ‘hunters, fishermen, politicians and other liars are welcome.’
Although it’s still on a soft opening phase, The Shack has become a trending household word as the satisfied diners try their unique dishes and go back for more.
It was my second time to visit The Shack for lunch yesterday, and was looking forward to something new. A friend and I had The Shack’s famous Chili Beans on Rice and the equally famous dessert called “The Dentist” before.
We headed to the farthest table for two against the wall and Glen Hunter, who runs The Shack with his mother Gloria Hunter, and Glen’s brother Randy, came to assist us.
Mom Gloria’s special version of fried rice and egg during the weekends, and we decided to try that. Glen also recommended the okonomiyaki and I said yes, not knowing what it was.
Glen served us the fried rice topped with eggs over easy first, which we started to attack immediately. Next, he served us the Shack’s version of Okonomiyaki, a very tempting flatcake splattered with sauce and Japanese mayo and topped with bits of onion leaves and fish flakes which looked so alive like they were waving.
Although it was so tastefully served that I didn’t want to ruin the plating, I was hesitant to try it, not knowing what was inside. I watched my companion slice off a bit from the side and ate it. When he sliced another portion immediately after the first bite, I decided to try it. One bite is all it took, and we kept going at it until there was nothing left of the whole okonomiyaki. We even scraped off the remaining sauce from the plate.
Glen explained that the okonomiyaki, which is one of the most popular dishes at The Shack, literally means “what you like” and their version contains a mix of corn, mushrooms, noodles, tofu, mongo sprouts, cabbage, and more. One bite will stop you to analyze the flavor and you’ll discover it’s a bit of everything—salty, sweetish, a bit sour, a bit spicy but blended beautifully together in one savory flavor that would send you wanting for more. Glen said diners can customize the Okonomiyaki and diners can order what they want to be stuffed inside the pancake.
We were not even halfway into our meal when Glen served us another delight called The Favorite. It is a dessert made of Nutella and bananas wrapped in a think warm crepe folded into quarters and topped with whipped crème. I don’t have a sweet tooth but the empty dish is a testimony of how well we liked it.
We were already very full when Glen came again and let us try the latest breakfast treat—The Shack Breakfast Acai Bowl which is a small glass containing layers of Frozen Puree of Acai Berries and Mixed Fruit on top of layers of Homemade Kefir Yogurt topped with layers of Honey, Nut and Raisin Granola and topped with dates, banana slices and fresh strawberry slices.
I looked at the Shack Breakfast Acai Bowl doubtfully and voiced out that it was too small for anyone’s breakfast. Glen said that’s what everybody said, until they try it and find it even hard to finish everything off. He was right, the Acai breakfast bowl was small but it packed a punch and should never be underestimated. We capped our lunch with tall glasses of lemonade.
The boldly warm orange tables and walls of the wooden deck and the glaring neon green chairs on the tables below the deck outside is a big contrast to the cool and simple rustic beauty inside The Shack. A sofa occupies one part of the restaurant with a low table. Sack curtains hung from the sides of the glass windows, allowing sunlight to stream inside. Paintings adorn the walls, along with books on the shelves, lamp shades and bric-a-brac on the walls. The mix of modern and antique décoration provides an overall homey ambiance of like dining or having coffee at your own home.
“It’s all about relaxation, of having tea, coffee and crepes and hanging out with friends and family,” Hunter said.
Every day is never the same at The Shack. Mom Gloria prepares varied lunch specials. Check out their Facebook page everyday for the lunch specials the next day.
Don’t miss out Mom Gloria’s special carrot cake for a sweet, moist slice of paradise. Check out the menu board for the list of crepes available. Beverages available include Espresso, Shack coffee, Shack teas, fresh lemonade, classic iced tea, beer and wines.
The Shack has ample parking spaces outside and WiFi is available free.
The Shack Saipan is located across from Downtown Market in San Jose, Oleai and open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. They are closed on Mondays. Credit cards are accepted. For reservations please call 235-7422.