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September 5, 2003, Volume 3 Number 36

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

It was so good we had to go back for more! That's what we did for the re-opening of The Curry Kebab, which began serving guests on Monday, September 1. The restaurant has expanded its physical size and its menu selection, with the entrance stairwell serving as a spice "gallery" of pictographs describing the origin and flavors of the spices that make Indian cuisine so awesomely unique. When you first step into the interior of The Curry Kebab, you are instantly captivated by the pungent fragrance of the rich spice blends, and for those lovers of Indian food, you will feel right at home. The lunch buffet is quite reasonable for $7.99 and has a selection that changes daily. Of course, vegetarians will be happy that The Curry Kebab is open again, since Indian cuisine offers an outstanding variety of veggie treats.

We returned for the a la carte dinner service the following night, and tried the Garlic Naan and Rosemary Naan (fresh leavened breads), as well as Chappati (thinly rolled unleavened fresh tawa bread). Their Raita (mildly spiced yogurt & cucumber relish) goes great with the breads. We had a Mulligawatny Soup (lentils and lamb broth with special spices and herbs) - it is easy to understand how this is the best known soup to come from India - it was delicious. Since the Chicken Curry entree at the lunch buffet (as with all dishes served then) was rather mild, we wanted a bit more firepower in our dinner entrees, so we had a Hot and Spicy Chicken that took care of our "heat-seeking" craving. We also had the Chicken Saag, which is a curried chicken cooked with chopped fresh spinach and mild spices. It was another magical surprise!

A refreshing addition is their fresh squeezed juice selections, including carrot, grape, orange and apple. We had the carrot and the grape - both were outstanding. The Curry Kebab is on the 2nd floor of the Hafa Adai Exchange across Marine Drive from Atkins Kroll. The phone number is 649-4151. If you crave authentic aromatic Indian spice, then you must do The Curry Kebab, which is back in business and better than ever. "Namaste!" or "I bow to the divine in you!"

Ken the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

Tree Bar Hosts Guam's Largest Cha-Cha Contest Every Saturday in September

Don't miss your chance to qualify for the October 4 finals in the Hafa Cha Cha Contest starting this Saturday, September 6 and running each Saturday in September. There will be over $5,000 in cash and prizes awarded to those lucky winners who mesmerize the judges with their style and energy! SO, show up and show your stuff at the Hilton's Tree Bar, Guam's favorite outdoor entertainment center.

3rd Annual Red Cross Ball - Support a Great Cause Saturday September 13

Residents of Guam would agree that the services and work of the Red Cross have impacted all of us for the better over this past year. As the island struggled back to life after the devastation of 2 typhoons, the Red Cross was there to offer a hand. Now is our chance to support the Red Cross as they hold their 3rd Annual Ball which is a gala black-tie affair featuring an elaborate dinner buffet, entertainment, dancing, open bar, raffle prizes, and a grand prize drawing for $25,000. The Marianas Ballroom in the Hilton Guam is the place, Saturday, September 13 is the day and tickets are $150 per person. The fun starts at 6:30pm and the party will last until midnight. Without a doubt it will be a night to remember. For more information and tickets, call 472-6217/19.

Around the Island - Rambie's Kamayan, Korea Palace, Jamaican, Sakura's Kitchen

Stay tuned for the opening announcement for Rambie's Kamayan Restaurant, which will happen in the next week or so. There's been an incredible amount of construction and renovation activity at the old Kamayan/Islands Fisherman location in the Hafa Adai Exchange. Rambie's owner Nita Baldovina is transforming this huge (17,400 sf!) facility into a emporium of eating, including buffet, a la carte, Kamayan, and seafood. It is an ambitious project, and the improvements are impressive. One aspect is a new lounge called "The Talk of the Town" is planning to be just that! We wish Nita every success in her goal to create a higher standard for quality Filipino dining on Guam.

A recent dinner at Korea Palace in Agana's Julale Shopping Center proved the importance of re-visiting restaurants. The portion and the quality of the Kalbi Beef surprised me. This restaurant is aptly-named, since it's spacious size seems hard, if not impossible, to fill. But the food is good and will definitely fill you up!

We've got to give a shout out to the folks over at Jamaican Grill, where we visited again the other night. This is one of Guam's unusual success stories and shows how a Caribbean island cuisine can be adopted by Pacific Islanders. The jerk spice blends really perk up seafood, chicken, and ribs. There are salads as well as vegetarian dishes on their menu for those who desire lighter fare. You can also order smaller portions if you worried about over-doing it. Jamaican Grill is expected to launch its new menu in the near future...we'll keep definitely keep you posted! Ya Man!

Around 2 months ago, Sakura's Kitchen had a management change as well as a makeover. This Upper Tumon restaurant (located next to Noritake) now features a bar, a separate smoking section, menu enhancements, and different hours. The new General Manager, Seigo Yoshida, also does the cooking. Monday to Friday, they feature a different lunch special such as Teriyaki Chicken (Mon) and Mix Fry Set (Wed) for only $6.95 - see the complete list here. Their incredible Bento Box is available daily for only $8.95 and includes Sashimi, Tempura, Teriyaki Chicken, Rice & Miso Soup. Sakura's Kitchen is open Monday to Friday for lunch from 11:30am - 2pm and Monday to Saturday for dinner from 6pm - Midnight. Call 647-1623 for more information and to order take-out.

Aji-Hey Japanese "Izakaya" Restaurant - Astoundingly Extraordinary Cuisine

How could I have known that a happy trio of good-time guys would introduce me to a world of new taste sensations prepared by one of Guam's venerable chefs? That's precisely what happened when my buddies Waki, Hiro, and Lin brought me to Tumon's Aji-Hey Japanese Restaurant for one unforgettable night of great eating. Aji-Hey is on the ground floor of the Bistro Pacific Building shared by the Akasaka Rikyu Iron Chef Restaurant across from the Bank of Guam, in the space previously occupied by the Bistro-Tei Yokazuna. It has an impossible to miss billboard size black banner and smaller Asahi and Bud Light banners above a row of black square windows. The San Vitores construction zone defies easy access, so you'll have to pay attention to finding an open (and safe) entry point - but this just adds to the excitement, right?

Aji-Hey is described as an "Izakaya" style restaurant, which means it has an intimate, pub-like atmosphere where you can order from a variety of foods served in small portions to go with your beer, sake or shochu. Aji-Hey features nearly 100 items, including daily specials, appetizers, salads, grilled items, fried items, sushi, sashimi, noodles, rice dishes, and set meals. I was surprised to discover that Chef Toshiaki Kanda was the star of the show behind the sushi bar counter. Chef Kanda has been serving Guam customers for over 26 years, most recently as Chef de Cuisine at the Utage Japanese Restaurant in the Palace Hotel Guam. At Aji-Hey, Kanda-san brings all of his years of experience and then some to the table, and he really shines!

Among the sampled treats were Sake no Nanban-Zuke (Marinade of Salmon $6), which was a lightly-battered, pan-fried salmon that was pickled and served chilled; sashimi served in a spectacular ice bowl; Hiya-Yakko (Cold Tofu $3) that had slivered cucumbers and tiny dried crispy anchovies atop a block of tofu in a pond of a flavorful sesame-seeded sauce; an exquisite pumpkin-floured shrimp tempura, with the shrimp minced and seasoned; Chicken Karaage $6; and probably the most surprising treat of all, Aloe Vera Sashimi. This Aloe Vera delicacy is sliced in small chunks and is covered with radish slivers, sesame seeds and shiso leaves (from the perilla plant aka beefsteak or Japanese basil). You then mix up your wasabi and soy sauce and dip the aloe vera pieces. This was certainly a new way to enjoy aloe vera - a definite qualifier for a healthy diet! Many of the radishes, herbs, and plants are home-grown by Kanda-san himself, so you are getting food fresh from the garden!

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