December 17, 2004, Volume 4 Number 51
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
I was flattered at last night's launch party for the new Club Vino at the Hyatt Regency Guam. I met Dr. Dheeraj Kamalam who is an anesthesiologist at the Guam Surgicenter who was very happy to see me in person since, as he related to me, he has been a consistent reader of the GuamDiner.com newsletter and reviews for some time. He told me he has heeded the review suggestions and used the website to help make decisions about where to take off-island guests and associates to dinner. He told me that people have been circulating the newsletters and forwarding to other people via e-mail. Dr. Kamalam and his wife are both anesthesiologists at the SurgiCenter...it was reassuring and reaffirming to get such positive feedback (he was even telling other guests at the reception - what an enthusiastic advocate!) I guess it reflects my own passion, since eating is the one thing we humans enjoy doing together socially more than anything else.
I want to thank you, Dheeraj, as well as all of our readers for your continued support, loyalty, and faith. We welcome your feedback, suggestions, comments and ideas for ways to improve the newsletters and website. Our numbers and viewer ship have enjoyed steady growth as more people find the GuamDiner.com website to be a useful tool in seeking out dining experiences. Our Recipes section is enormously popular and a typical day of visitors to that section includes people from the Russian Federation, Greece, Qatar, Micronesia, Japan and Taiwan in addition to our loyal local visitors. We encourage you to share your special recipes for local dishes or any favorite preparation you think others would like to make. The year 2005 is bringing some truly wonderful dining opportunities to both residents and visitors to our island...stay tuned for new developments as they unfold!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- Christmas Specials - From the Marriott, Planet Hollywood and the Okura
- A Culinary Christmas - GCC's Culinary Arts Offers a Lavish Fund-raiser Buffet
- "WHAT'S 2 Eat?" GuamDiner.com & GUAMCELL Launch New Wireless Restaurant Guide
- Cantate Christmas - 3rd Annual Presentation of Handel's 'Messiah' Dec 18 & 19
- Club Vino - New Program Launched for Wine Enthusiasts at the Hyatt Regency
- Around the Island - The View's "Fit For You" Healthy Choices, King & I Thai
- The New Uncle Bob's - The Place for All Things Beef and More!
Christmas Specials - From the Marriott, Planet Hollywood and the Okura
We welcome the Guam Marriott Resort & Spa restaurants (Marriott Cafe, The View and Manhattan Steakhouse) to the GuamDiner.com family and you can look forward to finding information about these restaurants and their specials over the coming year. They launch with a series of great Christmas specials. Call 648-1610 for reservations and information for all of the Guam Marriott restaurants. Stay tuned for information on their New Year's events - The View is guaranteed to have the best view for fireworks on the island!
- Marriott Cafe offers a fabulous Christmas Holiday Dinner Buffet which begins tonight, December 17 and runs through Christmas Day. Marriott Cafe will also offer a special Christmas Day Brunch Buffet. And, for those who want to entertain at home, you can order a complete Holiday Turkey-to-Go with all the trimmings.
- Manhattan Steakhouse (if you haven't been to this uniquely romantic dining destination you have to go!) offers a Course Set Menu now throw Christmas Day for only $60 per person.
Planet Hollywood debuted a special Christmas set menu which includes Lobster Bisque and a choice of entrees and a Christmas Dessert Sampler - they even throw in a special PH Christmas gift. And don't forget you can order from their Holiday Roasting offers for your home or party. Call them at 647-7827 for reservations and information.
The Guam Hotel Okura has a range of special offering but the most interesting is that their talented chefs are preparing a classic French dinner to be served on the Veranda on Christmas Eve starting at 7pm Friday, December 24. The menu includes Consomme with Foie Gras, Roast Duck with Orange Sauce and Sparkling Wine, Red Wine and White Wine along with a Commerative Photo Postcard. See the Christmas Eve French Menu and note that reservations are required. Reservations for all Guam Hotel Okura outlets can be made by calling 646-6811 ext 1701-1705.
- Guam's most elegant Chinese restaurant, Toh-Ka-Lin, at the Guam Hotel Okura is offering a Christmas Dinner Special on Christmas Eve (Friday, December 24) and Christmas Day (Saturday, December 25) from 6pm to 8:30pm (last order placed at that time). See the complete menu here and note that you also get the Commerative Photo Postcard.
- Also at the Okura, the Sunflower Restaurant invites everyone to join them for a special Christmas Eve & Day Lunch Buffet from 11:30am to 2pm. This buffet includes sparkling wine for the adults and, our personal favorite, freshly cooked Tempura.
A Culinary Christmas - GCC's Culinary Arts Offers a Lavish Fund-raiser Buffet
We applaud the talented students enrolled in GCC's Culinary Arts Program for a fantastic menu of superbly prepared appetizers and entrees recently served at a fund-raising buffet at GCC. Highlights of the menu included Fresh Cured Salmon Gravlax, Newcastle Waldorf Salad, Traditional German Potato Salad, Chef Mike's Macaroni Salad, a divinely yummy Seafood Chowder (inspired by Sam Choy's Executive Chef Peter Duenas), Oven Baked Rice Pilaf, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (so fresh the potatoes were mashed just before serving!), Fresh Garden Vegetables, Osso Buco A La Milanaise (so tender that it just fell off the bone), Seared Mahi Mahi with Dill Cream Sauce, Savory Braised Pork Loin with Mushroom Ragout, and two crowd-stopping carvings - Baked Leg of Ham with Honey Ginger Pineapple Glaze and Chef Jojo's BBQ Turkey, both of which were succulent, flavorful, made and served with TLC! The guests (donation of $20) were very pleased with these delightful gastronomic presentations. All of the culinary professionals present felt that this was among the best food ever produced there. Our entire community needs to support this worthy GCC program and the young people who will be the chefs-of-tomorrow, some of whom are already cooking in hotel kitchens. Kudos to GCC, its faculty and student chefs for this exemplary achievement!
"WHAT'S 2 Eat?" GuamDiner.com & GUAMCELL Launch New Wireless Restaurant Guide
PRESS RELEASE: GuamDiner.com & GUAMCELL Communications Have Joined Forces to Bring Guam Food Guy Reviews to GUAMCELL Users
"WHAT'S 2 Eat? is a brand new service being exclusively offered to GUAMCELL Communications customers with web capable phones. WHAT'S 2Eat is a unique collaboration between GuamDiner.com, Guam's most appetizing website featuring restaurant reviews by the Guam Food guy, Ken Stewart, and GUAMCELL Communications, the island's most dynamic telecommunications innovator. GUAMCELL users can access reviews by downloading from their FX homepage and clicking on "What's 2 Eat?" Once there, they can choose the restaurant for which they'd like to see the review. In addition, the Island Guide on the FX Homepage, features a convenient new service that allows customers to get a restaurant's phone number and make your reservation or place your take-out order with just the push of a button! "I am extremely excited to see my reviews and website information made easily available to consumers using web-enabled cell phones. This is definitely the most advanced use of relevant dining information that I've seen available to local residents, and exemplifies the latest trends in wireless content delivery," says Guam Food Guy, Ken Stewart.
For more information about this exciting new service and to learn how you can enjoy the benefits of being a GUAMCELL FX member, which entitles you to a wide range of special offers and privileges at local establishments, please contact GUAMCELL Customer Care at 688-CARE."
Cantate Christmas - 3rd Annual Presentation of Handel's 'Messiah' Dec 18 & 19
Guam's own talented vocal group, Cantate, will be performing Handel's 'Messiah' on Saturday, December 18, 2004, at 7:30pm, at the Church of St. John the Divine, Upper Tumon, and on Sunday, December 19, 2004, at 3pm, in St. Judge's Church, Sinajana. Adult admission is $10, with children, students, and senior citizens paying $5. The Guest Conductor for the performance is Dr. Lisa Lutter. Tickets are available at Quicksilver (Micronesia Mall), China Arts, Marianas Electronics, The Candy Store, Surf Break (GPO), and Java Junction (Agana Shopping Center).
Club Vino - New Program Launched for Wine Enthusiasts at the Hyatt Regency
Attention Wine Lovers of Guam! Finally, a club devoted to the appreciation of wine has been established. Club Vino at the Hyatt Regency Guam is a program that offers year round wine drinking benefits, including a 15% discount on select wines listed as "CLUB VINO" in Al Dente, Niji, La Mirenda, Lobby Lounge, and the Cigar Corner. Membership is $15 per year (sign up before December 31 and it's only $10!) and includes free wine samplings at the Cigar Corner every Wednesday, discounts on promotional wine and degustation menus, and the opportunity to work with the Hyatt chefs to create seasonal menus for private wine dinners with a minimum of 10 people during lunch or dinner at Al Dente. For more information on this program, contact 647-1234 ext 4011.
Around the Island - The View's "Fit For You" Healthy Choices, King & I Thai
"HEAD'S UP!!" The View at the Marriott Guam Resort & Spa is open and ready to serve something you have got to come down and try - a family of healthy, flavorful, and satisfying sandwiches that'll make your day. New at the View (which happens to be appropriately named because of the spectacular, unrivaled view of Tumon from its windows and outdoor terrace deck) is the "Fit For You" program, which offers food and beverage choices to meet the needs of those on low-carb, low fat, and low cholesterol diets. There are several pre-made sandwiches and salads in the refrigerated display cases, and you can actually see what the panini sandwiches or wraps look like before they are served. I was able to sample several sandwiches a few weeks ago from a collection that included a Smoked Salmon Panini on fresh Pumpernickel, Herb Crusted Roast Beef Panini, Grilled Vegetable Panini, Salami & Gruyere Cheese Panini, Pesto Chicken Panini, Mozzarella Tomato Panini, and an Asian Style Tortilla Wrap. The prices on these range from $7 - $9, they are sizeable and come with a specialty side salad (mixed meat, vegetables, macaroni, and potato). Most people don't realize that the View is open daily from 11am til 10pm. While I was there, I thought about so many people who have been looking for a special place to meet, to confer, to break bread, and even to "day-dream". The View has much to offer, and I believe in a short while many of you will have stopped by and enjoyed your own experience at The View! Take out orders are accepted. Call 648-1610. (GFG Tip: try the View's pizzas that are made from scratch and baked in the open fire hearth oven!)
King & I Thai Cuisine reopened last month with much the same menu but there has been an addition of a fabulous collection of artwork and Thai prints that'll amaze you. This is due to new owner Sue Richardson taking over with her kids and reopening this quiet, classy Thai restaurant that prepares some truly marvelous Thai food. Although I'd ordered the Pad Ka Prau (small plate for $8), I was able to sample the vegetarian spring rolls and the fried won tons. The wrappers on both were delicate and greaseless, and seemed to melt in the mouth! Both were exceptional. I'm going to return sometime soon for a review. In the meantime you can check them out in their location on the ground floor of the Polynesian Hotel along Ypao Road in Tamuning. Their phone number is 646-2247.
The New Uncle Bob's - The Place for All Things Beef and More!
A good rule of thumb to follow about trying out new restaurants is to give them a few months to settle in to a workable routine that'll pretty much assure consistency in their food and service. That's why I chose to wait to review Uncle Bob's new Anigua location until just recently and I'm still recovering from what I can only describe as a stomach-expanding episode. I will still stick to my original review about Uncle Bob's having the biggest steaks on Guam. In fact, the GVB should make this place a tourist attraction so that locals can take pictures of the amazed expressions on our tourists' faces when they are confronted with Uncle Bob's "mass of meat!"
The new Uncle Bob's, which is located in Anigua next to Siam Cuisine, has expanded its menu to offer a range of smoked meats that'll take your taste buds to the heart of Texas, St. Louis, and Kentucky. A true-life encounter with brisket I ate in Texas proved that point, since Uncle Bob's beef brisket was far more tender, succulent, and flavorful. (I should add that Bob Dalziel, Uncle Bob's owner, had spent months and many dollars working to perfect this brisket). We enjoyed the brisket as part of the BBQ Combo Platter ($20) which also included BBQ Baby Back Ribs and BBQ Chicken. These ribs will create a new category for people who love ribs since they don't need a sauce even though the platter offers both tangy and sweet sauces. What's nice about Uncle Bob's ribs is that the flavor is not "boiled" out of them...you get to taste the pork, and it's smoked, not grilled. The chicken redefined tender roast...maybe we'll just call it "tender smoked", since that's how it felt and tasted.
For this review, I'd invited Devin Santucci to join me. Devin's like a daughter to me and I value her opinion since she's worked for years in hospitality, both in restaurants and as a world-travelling flight attendant. I've included a brief commentary she made to give you another person's perspective. "I am the type of eater who prefers vegetarian food nine times out of ten," she writes. "However, now and then I can go for a good steak, and I gotta say, Uncle Bob's makes a great steak! I was especially impressed with the combo meat platter, which included delicious smoked brisket, baby back ribs, and some of the most tender chicken meat I have ever eaten. The homemade barbecue sauces were just the right accompaniment for the platter. The shrimp and octopus kelaguens were fantastic, as well as the homemade baked beans. All of these dishes had the original touch of Uncle Bob's that made it worth the trip to Anigua!"
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