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Guam Diner Newsletter, August 31, 2001, Volume 1, Number 10

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

With Ken off-island, the task of writing a "thought for the day" has fallen on me. I'm going to keep it short since there is so much interesting stuff in this edition for you to read. I just wanted to mention one of the things that makes Guam such an interesting place to live. This is probably one of the few places in the world where you can meet a total stranger and within minutes find out that you have so many mutual friends that you may as well be related! When I met Eddie Cruz and his wife Clare for dinner on Tuesday, I had no idea who they were. During dinner I learned that Clare and I graduated from high school the same year and know a lot of the same people, some very close friends to both of us. It's actually amazing that we'd never met until this week! The three of us had so much to talk about that we literally opened and closed the place.

In this newsletter, we have a review of Firefly Bistro by Eddie Cruz, our "Guest Food Guy" and some new things that are happening at guamdiner.com. For those of you that really need that weekly shot of the "Guam Food Guy," we also have a review that Ken did before going on vacation!

Have a great weekend!
Frances Wilson


In Today's Issue
  • Chinese Gourmet Cooking Contest - A Report
  • Great Value at Sakura's Kitchen
  • Upcoming Events and New Things to Know
  • What's New at guamdiner.com
  • Click for Free Food!
  • Firefly Bistro Review by the Guest Food Guy

Chinese Gourmet Cooking Contest Report - Sunday August 26, Hyatt Regency Guam

by Katsu Kawaminami, Chinese Food Aficionado

I was excited to have the opportunity to fill in for Ken as the guamdiner.com representative at the Chinese Gourmet Cooking Contest last Sunday evening. It was an absolutely delicious experience. Congratulations to the organizers, participants, beneficiaries and attendees at what must have been one of the best attended events in recent Guam history. Everybody who participated was a big winner and I sincerely hope that this becomes an annual event.

The fun got underway about on hour late so I was starving by the time the food tables opened - and what taste treats awaited the hungry hordes! There were over 118 dishes offered by the participants and though it was impossible to sample every single dish, I have my personal favorites. The basis for my favorites was the overall impression, taste and texture and, most importantly, which dishes I want to eat again. In the interest of space, etc. I will describe just two of my favorites.

The Honey Walnut Shrimp from Ocean Bay Restaurant was a revelation in taste and texture. The batter coating the shrimp was delicate yet crunchy and the creamy sauce a perfect blend of sweet and savory. I have eaten many versions of this dish at the various Chinese restaurants on Guam but none compare.

Last, but certainly not least, and I'm quite sure I won't be eating this again anytime soon because it is a truly unique dessert and desserts of any type are not usually found in most Chinese restaurants. This dish, Sweet Lotus, Red Date and Longan Soup was prepared by Lily Yu. It is delicious with the "soup" having a rich brown sugary/molasses flavor. The Sweet Lotus added a crunchy texture, the Red Dates were firm and the coolness of the Longan fruit created a perfect balance. I woke up the next day thinking about this dessert.


Sakura's Kitchen - Two Thumb's Up for Quality and Value

If I had "four" thumbs, they'd be up too! There's no over-praising this little eatery, which is appreciated for its simplicity, quaintness, cleanliness and charm. Located right next to Noritake in the Pacific Plaza, directly across Marine Drive from GTA's Main Office in Upper Tumon, it's hard to miss the brightly covered signage (unless your view is blocked by a bulldozer working on the road "construction" (destruction?!) project.

I've eaten lunch and dinner here a number of times because of the value-priced menu items. There are 11 Value Sets served during lunch and dinner that are priced at $6.95 each. Among these are the Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Set (a local favorite), Pork Cutlet Set, Tempura Set, Japanese Fried Chicken Set, Japanese Chicken Curry Set, Fish Cutlet Set, Stir Fried Beef with Onion Set and the Pork Cutlet and Egg Bowl Set (Katsu-don), which is my personal favorite. Most of their customers agree that Sakura's Kitchen makes some of the best Katsu-don on island - they make their own sauces. All of the above Value Set menu entrees come with a bowl of miso soup, rice and a special home-made salad with their own tasty dressing. Moreover, for you big eaters, you can order a Combination Value Set, which adds your choice of Shrimp Tempura (3 pcs) and Japanese Fried Chicken, or Japanese Fried Chicken (3 pcs) and Teriyaki Chicken, to all eleven set menu entrees, for the incredible price of $9.95!

Other menu entrees include noodle dishes like Chicken and Pork Yakisoba ($6.90), Seafood and Vegetable Noodle Soup ($6.90) and Shrimp Yakisoba ($7.90), which is one of the dishes I tried the other night for the first time.

Click here for more on the great values at Sakura's Kitchen.


Upcoming Events and New Things to Know!

September 8 is the 2nd Anniversary of Le Tasi Bistro and they are celebrating with a Wine Dinner. Get your reservations now for what promises to be an evening of culinary delight. We enjoyed the Bastille Day Dinner in July and are looking forward to this special menu. Click here to see the menu.

The Incomparable Rick Ashe will be playing at Mac & Marti on Tuesday evenings starting August 28th. If you haven't heard Rick before, go! If you have, then you already know.

Mac & Marti has completed the "Pool Room" with two 7' pool tables, proper lighting fixtures and its own "area" which allows billiard aficionados to enjoy the game without disturbing other patrons. The perfect choice when some of your party wants to play and others want to relax in total comfort.

Roy's classics are proudly presented by the master himself. Enjoy the culinary highlights prepared by Chef Roy Yamaguchi supported by the experienced team of Chef Sakata from Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3 to Wednesday, Sept. 5. Click here for the details.


What's New at guamdiner.com

In our ongoing mission to add new and useful features to guamdiner.com, we'd like to announce the addition of the Current Events link to the home page. We'll post upcoming events free of charge in this special section of the site.

Click here to see what's posted today.

Click here to promote your own upcoming event.


Click for Free Food!

Guamdiner.com is more than just food reviews and restaurant information. Did you know that we also have coupons? In addition to information on lunch and dinner specials, many of our participating restaurants offer coupons that you can print out and bring in to get free food! If you go to the site today you can get a Bloomin' Onion® from the Outback, Gyoza from Fuji Ichiban or an order of Chorizo Criss Cross from King's Restaurant!

Click here for a free Bloomin' Onion®

Click here for a free order of Gyoza

Click here for a free order of Chorizo Criss Cross


Firefly Bistro

Review by Eddie Cruz, the "Guest Food Guy"

I had often wondered what it was like to be the "Guam Food Guy." And this past week, my curiosity was fulfilled when I was told that I was selected to fill in for Ken Stewart for one glorious week.

When I got the call that I had won the contest, I immediately enlisted a sidekick. Since I had no qualified experience in the analysis of food preparation, I asked my wife, Clare, to accompany me. With GuamDiner.com's Frances Wilson and my wife as coaches, writing a critique of any restaurant would be easy.

The restaurant chosen for our dinner experience is the Firefly Restaurant that is managed by Ronnie Calvo-Perez of the famed Calvo Clan. This San Francisco styled restaurant lies in downtown Hagatna. If one were to cruise through our island capital, they might not see this fabulous restaurant that obviously is a guarded secret of those that frequent the many businesses in Hagatna. After stating those two factors, one might think that the business was an exclusive high priced restaurant. This is not the case. The Firefly is a reasonably priced restaurant with outstanding food quality and service.

Our dinner started with a couple of rounds of ice teas as my coaches gave me a crash course on what to look for. Our strategy was to order dishes on the menu that appealed to our individual tastes. This also included a plan for each one of us to taste each other's dishes. Frances ordered the Stuffed Portobellini Mushroom Salad ($9.95) as a starter. I ordered the Warm Mushroom Salad ($12.95) and my wife ordered the Firefly House Salad ($6.95).

The salads came quickly...

Click here for the FULL STORY.


Don't miss this week's features at guamdiner.com!
  • New Banners - Get a Free Bloomin' Onion or Sign up for the Hilton Happenings Newsletter
  • Featured Recipe - Tangy Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries
  • Wine Feature - A Chianti Fiasco
  • Health & Nutrition Feature - Women's Health: A Matter of Balance
  • Other Beverages Feature - Going Bananas!
  • View Past Newsletters - Click here for our Newsletter Archives

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