Chow halls cook up new options
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Changes are coming to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan’s mess halls. The food service division is on a mission to attract more patrons and save them money by improving and expanding the food variety in order to compete with other restaurants on the air station.
The Mongolian Bar is a recent addition to the menu that is contributing to the mission and it helps pave the way for other specialty meals to come.
“We want to give people a big bowl of entrees for them to enjoy,” said U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. McAllan Magloire, a food service technician with the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Food Service Division. “Basically a wholesome meal combination.”
Mongolian entrees include a combination of meats such as grilled chicken, shrimp and beef with the choice of rice or spaghetti noodles. It also includes fresh sliced grated vegetables and sauces, such as soy and teriyaki, which are piled together and sautéed on the grill. Patrons have the options of choosing and mixing the items they desire.
The idea for the Mongolian Bar was conceived more than five months before finally getting approval from Headquarters Marine Corps, and a test trial was conducted to see how patrons felt.
“I’ve had people come up to me to say they like it,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Keyon Dummer Williams, a food service specialist with the food service division. “I’ve heard lots of good things about it.”
The Mongolian Bar was an immediate success and is now served every Wednesday, alternating between the mess halls.
“We didn’t anticipate Mongolian day being that successful and being that high of a priority,” said Magloire.
Magloire added that although the new meals must await approval from Headquarters Marine Corps before they can officially be implemented, a few are already in the final stages of that process.
Among the more anticipated specialty meals are the soon-to-come Oriental bar and the Surf and Turf bar, which Magloire predicts will be a customer favorite. The Surf and Turf consists of grilled-top sirloin steak, spicy-grilled shrimp, corn-on-the-cob and steamed Italian vegetable blend.
Not only will the specialty bar change but so will the main menu and snack bar. The goal is to fully implement the changes by April of this year.
If there are any additional items that patrons would like to see they are encouraged to contact the food service division in building 100, or send an Interactive Customer Evaluation comment for recommendations.
“We want to give service members what they want,” said Magloire. “We take their concerns very seriously and we’re all about listening and catering to them.”