July 29, 2005, Volume 5 Number 30
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
What a difference a year makes! Last year's newsletter intro for this end of the month issue had a photo of the new Uncle Bob's Steak House in Anigua, which hadn't yet opened. The topic discussed was the evolution of restaurants and how an estimated 20 - 30 new establishments seem to open each year. It is timely recalling Uncle Bob's photo since we have just learned that our friend, Bob Dalziel, Uncle Bob's founder and owner, was recently hospitalized after suffering a stroke. He is also undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. As a result, he has been absent from the restaurant, which has reduced the menu offerings and there are not presently serving any smoked meats. Uncle Bob has been providing super-sized steaks and other foods on Guam for more than 27 years, so he has asked his friends and customers to please bear with them during his health challenges. A selection of steaks, burgers and sandwiches are available (see new menu), and Uncle Bob's legendary bar is open for drinks, dining, and entertainment too. Our prayers are with Bob and his wife Vicki, and wish him a successful treatment and a speedy recovery.
This week's review was prompted by a tip I received from a GFG follower who told me she and her family had a great teppanyaki lunch experience at the Onward's Sagano Japanese Restaurant, which has become a preferred alternative for their family from the Joinus' teppanyaki lunch in Tumon. After visting Sagano the other day, I can understand their reasons for making the switch and have detailed my findings in the review. Guam's teppanyaki scene's will be changing in a big way when the renovated Genji Japanese Restaurant re-opens this fall. The drawings of the spacious new dining room and restaurant layout are posted on one of the construction walls set up at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. You can look forward to more new openings in the next few months as we welcome the Fiesta Resort in Tumon and the new House of Chin Fee in Anigua, which is a remarkable building improvement and addition to the Anigua strip. Stay tuned for more exciting restaurant news and development on our busy little island!
Ken, The "Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- Food Guy Visits "The Deep" Radio Show Wednesday August 3
- HawaiiDiner.com Podcast - New Communication Technology Debuts
- Wine Rally Motivates, Trains, and Rewards Hospitality Servers
- Nu-Form Innovative Fitness - Back to School Training & Exercise Classes
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- Around the Island - Le Tasi Bistro, Fast Wok Chinese, 22nd Cafe De' Marquee
- Sagano Teppanyaki Lunch - Affordable Quality with a Spectacular Bay View
Food Guy Visits "The Deep" Radio Show Wednesday August 3
Listen up next Wednesday at 6pm when the Guam Food Guy is a featured guest on K57's "The Deep", a weekly science talk radio program that covers a range of exciting and informative topics involving the oceans as well as the far reaches of outer space. The Deep is hosted by Jim Sullivan, who is joined by Pam Eastlick and expedition coordinator, Peter Melyan. You can visit the show's website for more information about the program and the people involved, and can tune in and listen (audio streaming via the internet is also a listening option) on K57. As of this writing we don't know the topic of discussion, but since we're dealing with the seas, I'm sure we'll cook up something!
HawaiiDiner.com Podcast - New Communication Technology Debuts
We are pleased and excited to inform you about a recent innovative development at our sister website, HawaiiDiner.com. Last week, on July 22, the site debuted its first Podcast. The podcast is basically an audio commentary that can be accessed and listened to over the web, either online with your browser or downloaded into an MP3 player such as an iPod from whence the name "podcast" has come. The July 22 HawaiiDiner.com Podcast includes reviews of Hapa Grill and the Poke Stop (owned and operated by former Sam Choy's Diamond Head executive chef, Elmer Guzman), along with an interview with Keoni Chang, Corporate Chef for Foodland Supermarkets. There is also a recipe feature. This is a truly momentous occasion as we all strive for new ways to communicate about the wonderful world of food! Enjoy!
Wine Rally Motivates, Trains, and Rewards Hospitality Servers
A local wine distributor has developed an innovative way to educate restaurant and bar service staff on the various aspects of wine, including it origins, composition, descriptions, and terminology. To further these goals, Pacific Wine & Spirits (PWS), holds an annual Wine Rally, which is a competition among the hospitality servers in Guam and Saipan's food & beverage establishments. This year, four winners will fly to Napa on September 25 and visit the wineries of Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Van Asperen, Rodney Strong, and Blackstone.
I had the pleasure of attending one of the events associated with the Wine Rally, an "After Hours Happy Hour" at Roy's Lounge on July 7. This event started at 10pm (these events start late since that is about the time many workers are ending their shifts). Competing were staff members from many island establishments, including House of Brutus, Hyatt Regency Guam, Capricciosa, Sam Choy's, Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, La France, Leo Palace, Tony Roma's, Hy's Steak House, Nikko Hotel, and SandCastle. It was really wonderful to see so many in our industry having fun while testing their wine knowledge and winning cash and beverage prizes for knowing the correct answers to difficult quiz questions. The camaraderie among the competing teams was heart-warming and inspiring. The outcome is better informed and knowledgeable service staff which benefits diners, servers and restaurants. Kudos to PWS and to the establishments who are participating in the education of our hospitality servers.
Nu-Form Innovative Fitness - Back to School Training & Exercise Classes
Nu-Form Fitness is offering a series of training and exercise classes specially designed to get women back into the fitness routines that are crucial to good health and well-being, which are particularly important with the back-to-school time pressures and stresses. Nu Form's Director, Pepe La Flamme, has provided the following programs and schedules:
NU-FORM FAT-BURNING, MUSCLE-FIRMING CIRCUIT TRAINING
Join our instructor in one of these convenient Multi-level sessions:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Tuesdays & Thursdays (afternoon class available on Saturdays also)
NU-FORM WALKING CLUB Sessions begin the first week of each month and run from 6-7pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Join our instructor along with a multi-level group for a motivational session of great fat-burning Cardio Walking around the Nu-Form neighborhood. The program includes initial assessment and 1 month follow-up, fitness, nutritional & exercise information, Smart Eating Recipes, an American Cancer Society bag, a VIP Pass for Nu-Form Pilates Classes, and more. After the walk, join us for a safe and highly effective Ab Session and post-workout Stretch. Includes use of towel and the luxury locker room, shower, sauna, aqua-massage, tanning.
Contact Nu-Form Fitness for information and details regarding these programs as well and their other great offerings designed to improve your health and wellness.
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
July 30, 2004 , Vol 4 No 31
Restaurant Reviewed: Cafe Kalachucha-New Daily Lunch Buffet Features "Grilled To Order" Goodness
Scrumptious Guam's Decadent Confections - Not for Calorie-Adverse!
Pepe Provides a Complete Menu and Recipes for a Healthy BBQ
Around the Island - Le Tasi Bistro, Fast Wok Chinese, 22nd Cafe De' Marquee
Le Tasi Bistro is the only place on Guam to eat authentic French cuisine and a selection of tantalizing Spanish tapas. If you love cheese, come and get spoiled! The other night we went to Le Tasi Bistro and shared a table with some friends. Among the superb fare (see the dinner menu) we enjoyed was the Assiette du Fromager ($16.50), Crab Ravioli on a bed of tomatoes & topped with Parmesan cream ($6.50), savory Bruschetta con Tomate e Basilica (which is toast topped with roasted garlic, tomato and basil for $5.50), Preserved Tuna ($6.50), and the delicious sizzling hot chili-garlic shrimp known as Gambas Pil Pil ($6.95). Moreover, on the first Tuesday of each month (next week, August 2), Le Tasi Bistro features a fabulous All-You-Can-Eat Cheese Buffet Happy Hour from 5:30pm-7pm that includes a glass of wine of your choice for $15. Some of the cheese delights Chef Bertrand creates for this event are absolutely other worldly. This event is a definite must for cheese lovers and wine hounds. You can reach Mari Carmen for reservations and information at 472-7877.
Fast Wok Restaurant, located in the Oka Plaza Annex in Tamuning, has recently expanded to double its capacity. What's amazing is that they now twice as busy! I guess you could say they've expanded their dining area to meet the demand for their truly delicious Chinese food. Since our February 2004 review, Jackie Li and his wife Mindy have been winning over hearts and appetites, and a recent dinner we had on Tuesday proved why and how this has happened. The restaurant was filled with diners, easily 90% Chinese, and all relishing their victuals. We ordered Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings ($6.95), Beef Curry ($7.95) and Crispy Fried Noodles ($8.95). We both agreed that their Wings beat the competition's...they are the best! The Beef Curry had a red Thai curry intensity, with lots of vegetable chunks...but I do think the beef was tenderized by MSG. The Crispy Noodles were also a hit...with a tasty gravy saturating the noodles. Lunch Specials are $4.95 and party trays are $30.00 (except for Shrimp and Crispy Fried Noodles). Go to Fast Wok and see why they live up to their name. Call 647-8989 for take-out.
The 22nd Cafe De' Marquee recently opened. They are located in the Yuri Building off Route 8 in Barrigada (next to with Bright Eyes Dance Studio) and feature a breakfast menu that includes pancakes (strawberry, peach, blueberry, banana, and cinnamon apple), as well as macadamianut (with banana or reach) pancakes, crepes, American and Local breakfasts (Spam & corned beef patties) and omelettes. They also serve sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers (priced from $2.50-$4,25), and some "Local Quick-fixes", such as Corn Beef & Cabbage, Spam & Mixed Vegetables, Sardines (garnished with onions), and Hamburger & Potatoes (each $5.25). They also offer a selection of ice creams, shakes, floats, sundaes, as well as both a Banana Royale and a Banana Split! It appears they are open for breakfast and lunch only. Judging from their menu, they are replacing favorites lost when Dairy Queen, I Natibu, Take 5 Coffee Shop and Cool Spot (that's a blast from the past!) went out of business. I've yet to try this new eatery but am really curious about their menu offerings. Feel free to forward your comments to me if you go! The Cafe De Marquee's phone number is 734-4852.
McDonald's has introduced a family of new Chicken Sandwiches, two of which I've tried and found to be pretty good. The Chicken Ranch BLT with Crispy Chicken Breast which sells for $4.10 (sandwich only), piqued my curiosity the other day so I ordered it. Those light box pictures are seductive with their promising pictures, right?. I was impressed by the soft wheat bun (a healthy improvement over their usual white buns), as well as the romaine lettuce and red tomato, which were both fresh. The crispy chicken breast was moist and flavorful and the bacon which was layered between the tomato and the chicken was surprisingly thick and meaty. They were careful with the mayo using just enough to support the sandwich and not dominate it. On a subsequent visit I ordered the Chicken Club with Crispy Breast ($4.30). Again, the bread was impressive as well as the chicken. However, this sandwich didn't match the BLT for taste (my preference), but it was still good. I expect more in a club, not just some thinly sliced turkey meat beneath the chicken and some swiss cheese. There was a little more mayo on this sandwich. For those wanting a healthier option, get the grilled breast and drop the mayo.
Sagano Teppanyaki Lunch - Affordable Quality with a Spectacular Bay View
You can tell by the food you are eating when someone, somewhere cares about pleasing you with the food served. At the Sagano Japanese Restaurant, located on the second Floor of the Onward Beach Resort, that someone is Katsumi Goda, Sagano Chef.
Although I'd eaten at Sagano a few years ago, I could tell from my recent visit that a notable change for the better had occurred, and I can attribute that to Chef Goda's culinary direction and leadership. Today's teppanyaki lunch review was prompted by a tip I received from a diner who'd become disenchanted with the price increases and diminishing quality of another famous Japanese teppanyaki restaurant located in Tumon. I can understand price increases, but that should not affect quality...it should at minimum maintain it! I've eaten at most if not all of Guam's teppanyaki restaurants, past and present, and each one offers something different to distinguish itself. Sagano has an unrivalled, even breathtaking, view of Agana Bay which looks marvelous even on a gray, overcast, rainy day, like the day I visited.
I arrived late (about 1:15pm) for lunch (weekday lunch hours are from 11:30am-1:30pm), and was the sole occupant at the teppan counter, which probably seats around 16. This was so unlike the full occupancy at the other active teppanyaki eateries (a lot of that due is to low priced specials). I sat near the end and just gazed out over the bay, watching visitors frolicking on the shoreline, with some riding jet skis and others paddling small kayaks. This was a vision of paradise, rain or shine. My attendant, Mercy, had given me the lunch menu when seating me and now had asked for my drink. I had the iced tea that came with my selection, which was the Scallop and Squid & Tenderloin Steak ($15) that was under the Seafood and Beef Steak Set. The other two choices were the U.S. King Salmon and Rib Eye Steak ($18) and the Shrimp Bacon Roll and Rib Eye Steak ($15).
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