Fans of Chamorro and Thai cuisine can now get the best of both worlds at the Turnjai Thai Restaurant and Lounge. The restaurant which is located in Tamuning across from Atkins Kroll behind the former Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank building opened Nov. 6. In order to attract local customers the restaurant offers both Chamorro and Thai food. Turnjai S. Babauta owner of the restaurant said that customers may be hesitant to try Thai food so the restaurant also serves Chamorro food. Customers can come to the restaurant for the Chamorro food and while there try the Thai cuisine.
Babauta told the Journal that the restaurant is about 2 000 square feet including the kitchen area. The restaurant can seat 80 people comfortably but has a maximum capacity of 100 people. The restaurant has four employees two who work in the kitchen and two who man the front plus one on call employee.
Babauta said the lunch buffet is changed every day. The buffet includes about seven dishes. A few of the items customers can find at the buffet include shish kabob red and white rice corn soup chicken panang and pad Thai. The buffet doesn’t come with a drink but customers can order an iced tea which comes with free refills. "We also serve Thai tea. That is also popular " she said. Thai iced coffee is also sold at Turnjai. Both drinks are $2. Customers can also purchase mixed alcoholic drinks for $4 domestic beer for $2 and imported beer for $3.
For dinner and on Saturday customers order from the set menu. The menu includes a wide variety of dishes. Some of the more popular dishes are pad Thai tom yam soup spicy pork and chicken papaya salad oxtail soup beef shank soup and empanada. Menu items range from $7 through $15 for steak. "Our food is spicy but customers can request that the food be made not too spicy " Babauta said.
Before Turnjai opened for business it was the Muang Thai restaurant which was owned by Babauta’s friend. She bought the restaurant in October for $30 000. She said about $20 000 more was spent in preparation for the opening.
In addition Babauta is planning on having karaoke nights at Turnjai. These are still in the planning stage but she did say that on karaoke nights Turnjai would be open until 12 a.m.
Turnjai is open Monday through Saturday. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. through 9 p.m. From Monday through Friday an all you can eat lunch buffet with desert is served for $8. MBJ