May 13, 2005, Volume 5 Number 19
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Today I'm going to keep my intro short and talk a little about discovery as it relates to eating. Can you recall your most recent food discovery? Was it the restaurant or a particular entree or appetizer you had that got your attention or raised your awareness? There's something really rewarding about finding a new place and sharing that with other people. At a recent social event, I was greeted by several people who told me they'd heard or read my review on The Garlic House, and had gone there afterwards and enjoyed it immensely.
I consider this one of the best things about the work we do, and today's review of Po Suk Jung is a prime example of discovering a new dining experience. As much as I relish eating new foods and acquiring new tastes, I also enjoy learning about these foods, and about the processes involved in their creation. In Korean cuisine, food is consumed more for health, nutrition and empowerment benefits, rather than merely satisfying one's appetite. The dinner review I did at Po Suk Jung was more of a Korean food education for me than it was a restaurant review. The after effect of my review is that I now crave more than ever before taking a trip to Korea to delve more deeply into the rich diversity of Korean cuisine.
Ken, "The Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- Missing Guamdiner Newsletters - Explanations and Solutions
- O'Kim's Teppanyaki Now Open - Ultra-Modern Korean Teppanyaki in Tumon
- Mac & Marti Enters Burger Wars - Food Added to the Martini & Cigar Mix
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the Guam Diner Newsletter
- Let's Eat Dining Guide to Guam - Now Taking Space Reservations
- Around the Island - Aji Ichi Japanese Restaurant, Nilo & Clint's, Sabai Dee
- Po Suk Jung - Korean Pub Serves Creative and Nutritious Taste Sensations
Missing Guamdiner Newsletters - Explanations and Solutions
If for some reason you do not get your weekly newsletter, do not fret, as you may have been dropped off the subscription list. This can be attributed in part to anti-spam software utilized by the ISP (Internet Service Provider) you are using. We have attempted to contact each subscriber via e-mail to confirm your subscription with an Opt-In Request. If you did not respond, you were removed from the list. There are other network problems that have caused drop-offs, too.
However, if you don't get a newsletter, you can go always go to the GuamDiner.com home page and view this week's current newsletter, as well as re-subscribe under the Newsletters heading. You can also find all of the newsletters written since the launch of GuamDiner.com nearly four years ago. So please don't feel slighted if you get dropped nor worry needlessly as we are indeed publishing weekly. Simply re-subscribe and all should be well. If you never received an Opt-In email from us, please contact us directly at email@example.com and we will work with you to correct the problem.
O'Kim's Teppanyaki Now Open - Ultra-Modern Korean Teppanyaki in Tumon
O'Kim's Teppanyaki, located on the ground floor of the Asahi Building across from P.I.C., opened last week and is offering an Opening Special Set Menu. Order one of four entree sets for $12.99 and get a second one for an additional $9.99. Choose from Bulgogi, Short Ribs, O'Kim's Steak, or Garlic Steak. The set menu includes fried rice with kim chi or seafood and everything is prepared in front of you on a griddle at your table by one of the cooks. O'Kim's is part of a Korean franchise, and seems to be targeting a younger, more-hip clientele, as it's not at all a traditional Korean restaurant. The dining room is ultra-modern, well-lit, and air-conditioned. They are open from 11am-3pm for lunch and from 5pm-11pm for dinner.
Mac & Marti Enters Burger Wars - Food Added to the Martini & Cigar Mix
I don't get out to bars as much I used to in earlier times, however there is a bar that has continued to grow in size and stature since its beginnings at the end of the last century (circa 1998), in the Cost-U-Less Tamuning complex next to the former Gibson's Optical; a space now occupied by OP Bakery (now, that's a lot of history!!) after M&M moved to Tumon Holiday Plaza. Yes, Mac & Marti has come a long way from being "Martini Central" and a cigar & tobacco shop.
They have moved again to an even larger location in the Tumon Holiday Plaza and have been serving guests a limited menu of tasty burgers, hot dogs, salads and appetizers, including wing zings and more for a while now. I had the opportunity to stop by this cavernous tavern and try one of their "show" burgers called "The Works" ($9). This towering sandwich has a half pound hand-molded beef patty, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard and an over-easy egg. Well, I ate the whole thing without putting the bun down, and have to give a shout-out to cook Adam Topasna, who put this bad boy together!
I can see why a lot of guys are relieved not to have to leave Mac & Marti in search of hot solid food after downing a few drafts - now they can get all the burger they need right here! I also heard that Mac & Marti will soon be launching a new menu created by a new chef who's coming on board this summer. There are going to be some creative sandwich and entree concepts introduced by chef Andy! Can't wait to try these new tastes!
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
May 14, 2004 , Vol 4 No. 20
Restaurant Reviewed: A Quick Look at New Japanese Favorites
Hava Java Cafe Re-Opens in New Downtown Hagatna Location
SandCastle Launches "Magic On Ice"
More Bali Adventures - Bali Hai Dinner Cruise & Show
"Let's Eat!" Dining Guide to Guam - Now Taking Space Reservations
If you are interested in placing an ad in the upcoming publication, "Let's Eat! A Guide to Dining in Guam", you can access details on the ad placements, sizes available, and their prices from the rotating large banner at GuamDiner.com or from the permanent banner on the lower right. If you are in a hurry, just click here. This is really exciting stuff, since we've been in need of a comprehensive guide for a long time. So, if you have a business you'd like to prominently promote in this divinely delicious publication, please call 635-7501 for more information on this tasty opportunity.
Around the Island - Aji Ichi Japanese Restaurant, Nilo & Clint's, Sabai Dee
Aji Ichi is one of Guam's most popular Japanese restaurants and there's a good reason for this - the food is consistently great, affordably priced, and available at three locations, including Tumon's Blue Lagoon Plaza, where I stopped by for a late lunch (open till 2:30pm) this week. Always busy, people flock here for ramen, donburi, fried noodles, sushi, sashimi, and bento boxes. They have daily specials for $7.25, and also have Set Menu Specials, such as the Unagi Special ($13.50). I had the Sushi Box ($11.25), which seemed to have a bit of everything, including shrimp tempura, sushi, sashimi, fried chicken, pickled cucumbers & seaweed, and miso soup. The food was picture perfect and tasted super! I don't think there's anywhere else in Tumon that has as large a variety of Japanese favorites at prices working folks enjoy. Aji Ichi has a higher than usual ceiling, reminiscent of the hall-like spaciousness we used to enjoy at Seahorse. The difference here is that the acoustics are better. The service is fast, too, which makes it perfect for a quick and tasty lunch meeting. Call 646-6444 for take-out.
We are happy to announce that Chef Nilo Vega and his wife Rose have re-opened their salad bar at Nilo & Clint's, (the former Mulligan Cafe) in the Tumon Golf Driving Range. You can enjoy your favorite Entree Special, such as Fried Tilapia, Mahi Mahi Dore, Cajun Shrimp Fried Rice, Fried Pork Chops, Pork Cutlet, Chamorro Chop Steak, Pork Ginger, Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Chop Suey and Bihon Guisado, each for $8.95, including your choice of starch, salad bar, and fresh brewed China Mist tea. Take-out orders are welcome, too. Just call 646-8342. Come and support our friends Nilo and Rose, as they really need their customers now more than ever before...they've experienced a business set-back and are relying on the people of Guam to help by dining at their restaurant.
I know it sounds trite, but I've just proven it again...food can lift your spirits! I was at Sabai Dee Thai Restaurant in Tamuning and ordered a Green Papaya Salad (Som Tom $7.50), a Beef Salad (Yam Nu $8), a Green Curry with Shrimp ($10) and Chicken Wing's Appetizer ($6). I must have confused my server since I had initially wanted the Beef Salad and then changed my mind and ordered the Papaya Salad. I must have not been clear enough in explaining my substitution as I received both salads, seasoned "mild", with a bit of a pika sting! The papaya was first to arrive, and I was savoring the refreshing tartness of the young papaya, with carrots, bean sprouts, red bell peppers, peanuts, green beans and lettuce when the Beef Salad was delivered. I decided not to protest, and got down to the business of eating this awesome, flavorful beef salad that was loaded with red onions, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, marinated beef strips, celery, and sweet red tomato chunks. The Thai spice, coriander, lemon, and fish sauce were balanced perfectly, and I actually finished the entire salad, opting to take the remnants of the papaya salad home. The Green Curry was magical, and the eggplant, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and green beans were steeped in a curry sauce made in Heaven! As you can tell, this is the kind of food that'll lift your spirits! Thanks Tim for your inspired cooking! For take-out, call 649-8424.
Po Suk Jung - Korean Pub Serves Creative and Nutritious Taste Sensations
"The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star." Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), The Physiology of Taste (1825)
What food critic Brillat-Savarin observed centuries ago still applies today, unless of course you are an astronomer! The discovery of a Korean restaurant that stands apart from the others by virtue of its unique culinary creations has brought me a lot of personal happiness and excitement in being able to share my experience with others. Po Suk Jung is located across from the Hyatt Regency Guam on the second floor of the Park Arcade. It is positioned prominently above the Vacationer's Fantasy Adult Novelty Shop, and down the hall from Viking's Lounge, which certainly doesn't enhance the restaurant's image. But then again, we can't always choose our neighbors, especially when you reside in the heart of Tumon's tourist district. However, if one were to just concentrate on the impressive and inviting exterior store front of Po Suk Jung, one would be curious about how those thick wood beams framing the front appear to be growing out of the concrete building. These are just a preview of the culinary wonderland you'll discover once you've entered Po Suk Jung.
The main dining room is small, thick wooden bench tables with shiny lacquered surfaces are positioned in the center and up against the walls. Po Suk Jung is a Korean pub or inn, which is a an informal eatery that you'd find in rural areas of Korea. The entire room is decorated with Korean farm tools and utensils, a mish mash of antiquated items such as a wooden yarn spinner, a stringed musical instrument, metal and leather drums, wooden gourds, woven baskets, art pieces, a rice cake stamper, kites, banners, and living plants which appear to be growing out of everything. There are modern appliances in different places, serving as reminders that you've not been transported to a place in Korea's rural past. The same thick wood beams seen outside frame the entire infrastructure of the restaurant, supporting ceiling cross beams( some covered with original ceramic tiles) and wooden latticed wall screens.
Welcome to the domain of Min Cha Lee, Po Suk Jung's owner, founder, and culinary explorer extraordinaire. The wooden beams have a history, as they are from an old palace in Korea and Min's husband, Pak, who is a contractor, has used them to build and create an impressive ambiance for this special eatery. In a very short time, you will soon find out how this charming woman's passion and enthusiasm for preparing home-style authentic Korean food has won over many diners.
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