July 1, 2005, Volume 5 Number 26
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
For an island surrounded by an ocean that abounds with sea life, it's remarkable that there are not many seafood restaurants on Guam. Of course you can order and buy some type of seafood, even if it's just a fast food eatery fish sandwich, at nearly all restaurants throughout Guam. Over the years I've received many inquiries for my recommendation on a good, upscale seafood restaurant. Until recently though, I was only able to suggest several popular restaurants that had some seafood entrees on their menu. I would often suggest trying one of the elaborate Seafood Buffets offered at the major hotels - the problem with that is that these are mostly held once a week. Today's review of the Original Islands Fisherman Seafood Market, located in Rambie's Kamayan Restaurant, is an experience that's been long overdue, and it's also one that I can now confidently recommend to seafood lovers looking for a good seafood dinner. You can read all about our fabulous evening dining adventure and find out why we were so impressed in our review.
July is an exciting month for our island since we are blessed to celebrate two landmark days that honor our coveted freedom - America's Independence Day and Guam's Liberation Day. There will be street parties, a block party, parades, fireworks, and the Liberation Day Carnival at the Paseo that runs all month. Let's make this an enjoyable and safe Fourth of July weekend, and exercise caution and prudence in driving. We all want to be sure to be around for next year's celebrations now that Summer is in full swing. Happy Fourth of July to everyone from all of us at GuamDiner.com!
Ken, "the Guam Food Guy"
In this week's issue:
- July 4th Celebrations - Tumon Carnival, Block Party in Hagatna, Polaris Point
- Old Hagatna Grill Birthday Dinner - Another Year, Another Great Meal
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- "Let's Eat!" Dining Guide to Guam - Now Taking Space Reservations
- Around the Island - Marty's Moving, Three Great Sandwiches, Zorba the Greek
- Rambie's Kamayan - Superb Seafood at the Islands Fisherman Seafood Market
July 4th Celebrations - Tumon Carnival, Block Party in Hagatna, Polaris Point
An action-packed, fun-filled weekend's in store with events galore for Guam residents. On Sunday, the Tumon Street Carnival will start at 6:30pm and last until 11pm. Roads will be closed at 3pm in the afternoon to facilitate this event, which will include a street parade, live music performed by local entertainers (DUB, Fried Bananas, Malafunkshun, and Hot to Trot), dancers, art displays, food, drinks, games and more. The parade will feature floats and a variety of costumed people from various local organizations.
On Monday July 4, there will be a humongous block party on Marine Drive at the Paseo, near the Liberation Day Carnival grounds. This event will feature a car, truck, and bike show, the finals for the FHM Philippines model search, a super hot fashion show, fireworks, and a live performance by reggae band Big Mountain. This event starts at 4pm and ends at 10pm. For more information, visit the Guam Block Party website.
The Navy is holding a July 4th party at Polaris Point with events starting at 3:30pm. There will be fun and game activities for the whole family, including relay races, sack races and three-leg races, along with clowns, magicians, balloon and removable tatoo artists. There will also be a huge inflatable kingdom jumper. Of course you'll be able to get a variety of foods and beverages, and treats like cotton candy and popcorn. There will be a fireworks display, as well.
Old Hagatna Grill Birthday Dinner - Another Year, Another Great Meal
It was a belated birthday reunion celebration for me and Zee, who recently returned from a year's posting in San Antonio for Air Force Reserve Training. We had started a tradition of having a birthday celebration at the Old Hagatna Grill and though we missed one last year (she left before my birthday) we were able to celebrate this year's and fortunately, within the same month!
Executive Chef Chris Aguon and his team has made some exciting menu changes and I was glad to be able to try a few of the new items. For starters, we had Spinach Dip ($8.75) which featured spinach, feta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses served with roasted garlic crostini, along with the Steamer Clams ($9), prepared with garlic, smoked sausage, and tomatoes in a chipotle butter sauce. For our main courses, we had the Garlic Noodles Pasta ($17), with blue crab, shrimp, spinach, snap peas, and shitake mushrooms, and the Sweet & Spicy Grilled Lamb Chops ($26) which were "finished with a Luscious Cabernet-Hoisin Sauce".
I really liked how the Steamer Clams were prepared, mixed with bits of spicy sausage and tomato chunks, in a rich sauce that I relished dipping my crisp crostini in to enhance each flavorful bite. Zee's Spinach Dip was another interactive dipping experience, and the three cheeses were blissfully wedded. They don't skimp on the crostini. These are large shareable portions, so try not to order too many before the main course comes. Chef Chris aptly described the sauce he used for his grilled lamb chops as "luscious" - wow. These meaty chops were cooked perfectly and that sauce was just divine. Accompanying these chops were fresh broccoli spears and zucchini, lightly steamed so that both vegetables were still crunchy with their fibrous vitality. I tried the pasta, which Zee really enjoyed, however, my palate had already been maxed out by the potent hoisin-cabernet sauce so I couldn't appreciate that light pasta blend. Old Hagatna Grill continues to amaze. I can't wait for Chef Chris' next culinary inspirations.
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
July 2, 2004 , Vol 4 No 27
Restaurant Reviewed: Magellan's International Buffet - A Surprising Difference You'll Enjoy
Sam Choy's, GameWorks & Underwater World - 5th Anniversary Celebration
Adventures in Bali VII - Kamasan Paintings and Tirta Gangga Water Palace
"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 - Marty's Moving, Three Great Sandwiches, Zorba the Greek
Marty's Mexican Merienda & Cantina, a prominent fixture on Marine Drive in Tamuning for over the past two decades, is relocating to Tumon. Marty's is the oldest and longest running Mexican restaurant on Guam, and has enjoyed immense popularity and fame as one of the island's favorite night spots. A notable fact is that Marty's was one of the first bars in the world with a live web cam which gave it a global following, making it a "virtual" tourist attraction. It was THE PLACE to go for visiting ships and air crew members. The new location is just down from the Tumon Police Koban adjacent to a Korean BBQ eatery. I have heard that there may be a "moving-out" party on July 9th at the old location and a soft re-opening on July 15th at their new spot. They have stopped serving lunch at the current location but remain open for dinner until Tuesday July 6. I can't wait to have one of their frozen Margaritas along with a hot cheese quesadilla & salsa. I'm sure the tourist foot traffic will keep them busy once the word is out. We wish the Martineau family and the staff and management of Marty's every success in their new location.
Lone Star Steakhouse has the perfect Lunch Steak Sandwich - A sizzling 7 oz. Delmonico served on a toasted onion bun for $11.99. I had this the other day along with a baked sweet potato. The sandwich has lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. That Delmonico's got great marbling which enhances its flavor when grilled. I have to also say we were spoiled by the great wait service we were given by Joy.
There's only one place on Guam where you can get a Smoked Brisket on French Roll Sandwich, and that's Uncle Bob's. For $9, you'll get a sandwich that'll stuff a lumberjack! When you add that tangy barbecue sauce you're in seventh heaven. Uncle Bob's has been on island since 1981, however they've expanded their menu and service at their new location so you can get Smoked Chicken, Baby Backs, Ham, Short Ribs, and that terrific, tender brisket. And, if you are serious about steaks, there's no bigger steaks to be had than those you can get at Uncle Bob's. If you've not been to the new Uncle Bob's location in Anigua, now's the time to be adventurous and find out for yourself what all this fuss is about.
Speaking of great sandwiches, let's not forget Le Tasi Bistro's Vegetarian Delight. For $8.95, you get delicious grilled mixed vegetables (sweet red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, eggplant) with Romaine lettuce, basil leaves, and feta cheese all laced with balsamic vinegar on a thick foccacia roll. This is one of the popular items on Le Tasi Bistro's a la carte Lunch Menu.The lunch specials served Monday - Friday offer you a 3 course lunch for $11.50 (choice of 3 entrees, with a soup or salad starter, and dessert). Would you believe that people go to Le Tasi Bistro just to get their savory basil-laced French bread? Of course, they eat every thing else that's served, but that bread is a treat.
There is a new Greek Restaurant in the Ocean View Conference Building on Andersen Air Force Base. Aptly named Zorba the Greek, this restaurant has an impressive menu that includes such Greek favorites as Gyros, Kalamaki, Kebaps, Spanakopita, Horiatiki Salad, Potatoes Lemonates, Tzatziki, Biftekia, Mousaka (a favorite casserole dish of ground beef, tomato sauce, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes and cream sauce), Makaronia Me Kima (pasta, ground beef, tomato sauce, herbs, spices and cheese), and Baklava for dessert! The phone number is 366-4110, and they offer take-out and delivery for residents of Anderson. Count your blessings if you can get on base and try their Greek food. If you can't get on base and want to eat some tasty Greek food, you can always head down to Jeff's Pirates Cove.
Rambie's Kamayan - Superb Seafood at the Islands Fisherman Seafood Market
Of all the reviews I've ever done, this was the first time when part of our dinner can best be remembered as a character with personality, and in this case it happened to be a lobster called "Tupac". Tupac was a gorgeous lobster airflown from Maine, and who saw daylight again once he was unwrapped from the paper in which he'd been carefully packed. Tupac was formally welcomed to Guam by being immersed in seawater from Talofofo, which had been ported up and poured into the lobster holding tank at Rambie's Kamayan Restaurant's Islands Fisherman Seafood Market, which is where our review took place.
Although I'd reviewed Rambie's Kamayan Lunch Buffet in March, 2004, I had always promised to come for her (her being owner Nita Baldovino) Seafood Market dinner experience. I guess all great things are destined, and so it was with this night, since my companion Zee had finally returned after being deployed a year, and we were invited to dine at the Islands Fisherman.
We were greeted by Ray Kennedy, the new General Manager, who took us to our table and explained that we could order from their extensive a la carte dinner menu, or that we could go for the Seafood Market and select the seafood we desired. We'd already made up our minds to explore what was offered in the Seafood Market and headed to the ice-covered counters holding the fish. Rambies is an enormous facility, with a seating capacity of 450, and the Seafood Market is in a section that occupies about a fifth of its overall area. The seafood is showcased on top of large marble counters, where fish such as flounder, white snapper, red snapper, and lapu lapu are arranged on crushed ice, and squid, prawns, scallops, oysters, and littleneck clams are in iced baskets or containers. Although there are several large aquarium tanks, only a few are being used, one with live tilapia and the other with live lobsters.
This is where we first met Tupac, who'd been brought out from a holding tank and placed atop the ice. He moved around a bit and was joined by another lobster we were shown, as well as a live crab. I don't know if it was his red ribbon or the big claws he waved around ominously when he squared off against the other lobster, but we chose Tupac ("Tupac" was the name Zee gave him as he was "bagged" and put in our basket).
After choosing your seafood, the menu has a variety of cooking methods and flavor combinations for you to select. Tupac was destined to be sauteed with fresh chili and garlic (for lobster, there are six other saute combinations, including ginger and onion, oyster sauce, or black beans and chili. We could have also had Tupac grilled with Lemon Butter Sauce, grilled Teppanyaki-style, steamed in a Hot Pot with Ginger & Leeks, as sashimi, or in our miso soup. These cooking methods and flavor combinations apply to all categories of seafood picked at the Seafood Market.
We then chose a fresh flounder (these are flown in from the West Coast), and opted to have it served Deep Fried with Ponzu Sauce. Several pictures are mounted on the counter showing diners what kind of presentation their meals would have. We also chose a few scallops that we would eventually have blended in with our chosen vegetables which would be sauted in an oyster sauce. The fresh vegetables choices included bok choy, kang kong, mushrooms, baby carrots, bamboo shoots, carrots, and kale. We also picked three prawns that would be charcoal broiled with salt. All of our seafood was bagged and then we took it to the check-out counter where it is weighed. Each item has a price per pound by which it is sold. Flounder $21, Lapu Lapu $29, Small Squid $15, Large Prawns and Scallops are $27. Live Lobster is priced at $39, which includes soup, salad, rice and dessert. Other than the lobster, a general rule of thumb for the cost to dine here would be about $25 to $35 per person depending, of course, upon how much you ordered.
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