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May 5 , 2006, Volume 6 Number 18

Dear " Guam Food Guy" Reader,

PIC's done it again! Literally out of "thin air", they have created something spectacular by adding a new outlet to their already impressive repertoire of restaurants. Aptly called "The Garden", this restaurant has no walls, no windows, and no phone number, yet is located right in the heart of the PIC's beautifully landscaped grounds, just below the entrance way to Hanaya and Toryu. There are five canopied dining tables resting on concrete bases.

Opened just this week, The Garden serves lunch and dinner, and boasts a menu of Pan-Asian palate pleasing delights, including Thai Lobster Shooters, Shanghai Shrimp Dim Sum, New Zealand Oysters, Chirashi Sushi, Pepper Berry Seared Tuna, and an Island Style Steamer Basket filled with Maine Lobster, Shrimp, Mussels, and Clams steamed with lemon grass on banana leaves! The Smoked Salmon Sandwich & Chilled Artichoke Sage Soup is comprised of petite taro rolls with Norwegian salmon, plum tomato, red onions, quail eggs and saffron aioli, creme fresh and Russian caviar. Sounds like a world of cuisine to me! They have an appealing beverage selection along with three desserts, one of which, the Fuji Tempura Delight (a tempura Fuji apple with red bean ice cream and layers of whipped cream and strawberries) that I'm eager to try.

Along with The Garden, Tumon has two other new places that will add to our dining choices. One is the soon-to-open fast food & take out spot located across from K-Mart, right next to Avis, called Steaks & Shakes, which will offer Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Burgers, and creamy Milk Shakes. They will have delivery, and some limited seating, indoor and outdoors. A brand new upscale Japanese restaurant called Tachibana has opened on the 2nd floor of the Central Building, in what used to be Den Yakiniku. Tachibana's renowned for their organic rice" grown by farmers in the Kamo area of Niigata. According to their menu, this high grade rice has "no postharvest agricultural chemicals" and is made with "the growers spirit for the environment and health". Tachibana's open for lunch and dinner, and features set menu courses, a la carte, and yakiniku bbq options.

As you can surmise, we certainly have some eating to do - join me!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Mother's Day is Next Week - Make Reservations Now!
  • The Grille At Santa Fe's Awesome All-You-Can Eat-Pancakes
  • Bistro Happy Hour Wednesday Features Live Performance by the Rich Society
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Jin Mi Restaurant - Authentic Korean Eatery Revisited

Mother's Day is Next Week - Make Reservations Now!

It appears that many of us are a bit behind schedule with plans for Mother's Day this year. It is next week and a number of our restaurant subscribers are just getting their specials posted at The Guam Plaza, representing Blue Marlin (fabulous buffets), Palace Chinese and the gorgeous Nana's Cafe has posted the offerings from all of their locations.

Award-winning chef, Ronnie Calvo-Perez, of Firefly Bistro, Cup & Saucer and Bestseller Cafe also has specials for the month of May including a Mother's Day Brunch at Firefly and delicious Mother's Day-themed baked goods from the ovens of Cup & Saucer.

Check back often as we expect more specials to be posted soon from Outrigger Guam and the Guam Marriott Resort as well as others.

The Grille At Santa Fe's Awesome All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes

If you are a lover of pancakes, then this is advice you'll want to take. Go to the Grille at Santa Fe every Mon-Sat, from 7 to 10am, where for $5.95 you can eat as many pancakes as you can stuff in your belly! These are not ordinary pancakes - they are great pancakes. Thick, traditional buttermilk pancakes or made with fruit sauce toppings. We had maple syrup toppings, however, the plate is ringed with fresh strawberries and blueberries, with the rim dusted with confectioners sugar.

There are three large pancakes with a dollop of whipped butter. We'd ordered two side of Chamorro sausage, however, the cakes were so big, we just split one order and took the other 'to go', and didn't have room for a re-order of pancakes! For value, quality, and location - you are sitting on a deck just a few feet away from the shoreline of Hagatna Bay - you can't beat this hot cake bargain. Chef Nick Celis has carved out a niche with his remarkable pancake special! I think we can expect great things to happen at the newly-acquired Hotel Santa Fe.

Bistro Happy Hour Wednesday Features Live Performance by the Rich Society

Though I don't usually have time to do "Happy Hours", this is one time when I'm glad I did. It provided me with the opportunity to listen to the versatile acoustic guitar playing and melodious vocalizations of the Rich Society. This duo performs every Wednesday during happy hour from 6-8pm in the PIC's Bistro Bar. This private cozy enclave is a perfect place to unwind, and whether it's business or romance, a great venue for a tete a tete! Van Asperen Merlot is on special for $5 a glass, which is a deal in itself! Although there are free pupus, I ordered Pepper Crusted Tuna Tataki from the Bistro Bar Menu. The tuna was served on a bed of mixed greens drizzled in a wasabi soy dressing ($7.50). If you've not had a chance to hear the Rich Society, this could be the time and place for you to get inspired by their contemporary sounds.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter

May 6, 2005, Vol 5 No 18

Restaurant Reviewed: Pacific Trading Club Bar & Grill - PTC's New Menu Explores Exciting Tastes

4th Annual UOGEF Celebrity Chef's Cup May 21 Hyatt Regency Guam
House of Brutus Opens Quietly - Ultra-Cool Mixed Media Eatery Debuts

Jin Mi Restaurant - Authentic Korean Eatery Revisited

Though it's been nearly five years since my review of Jin Mi Restaurant, my return visit today was like deja vu, since little if anything has changed in this popular eatery that's frequented by local Koreans. Located along Route 16 and directly across from the Montessori School, just a block from the McDonald's and GPA intersection. Jin Mi has limited may have to park in the rear, which you have to access anyway to drive around when parking in the front of the restaurant.

Jin Mi has long been a favorite of many island residents who value Jin Mi's adherence to quality and to the use of fresh ingredients in the meal preparation. Mrs. Jung Soon Kim, Jin Mi's owner, shops every day before opening to assure this freshness. It is a simple restaurant, ideal for informal and relaxed dining. The tables in Jin Mi are separated by dividers, which offer a bit of privacy for diners. The partitions are topped by boxes of plants, which give the restaurant a garden-like ambiance.

We ordered three entrees off the menu for this review. The first ,of course, was the old standby Western favorite, the Galbi* (marinated and grilled beef ribs $16), which is a dish that many claim Jin Mi makes the best. This was followed by my partner's order of Bee Bim Bam (rice, vegetables and meat $11), along with an order of the Soon Tofu Soup (tofu soup $10). We were served water in little cups that later were joined by a full plastic bottle. When I asked the server if Mrs. Kim was there, she answered jokingly that in Korean restaurants, there were many "Mrs. Kims"! It so happened that her name was Mrs.Kim, too! I gave her my card and then she remembered me from my first visit.

Our server brought out our pan chan, those delightful little dishes of assorted vegetables and kimchi first, followed by a bubbling cauldron of hot soup. The soup is slightly spicy, and has crushed tofu, baby shrimp and clams, with some vegetables in a flavorful beef broth. I would call it comfort food, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a soup that's hearty without being overly spicy or meaty.

The next dish delivered was the Bee Bim Bam, which had a semi-cooked, sunny-side up egg atop a variety of eight portioned vegetable ingredients, including carrots, cucumbers, radishes, bean sprouts, sea weed, and spinach. We stared at this for a while and then summoned our server over after we concluded it was not what she'd ordered, or what she'd intended, which was Hot Stone Bee Bim Bam, which comes with a raw egg that mixes in with rice, vegetables, a little beef, and chili paste for seasoning and spice. The Hot Stone Bee Bim Bam is not on menu, but the Bee Bim Bam is, and there is even a photo of it served as a meal, complete with pan chan. So, we asked for the Hot Pot Bee Bim Bam since that's what my companion really wanted in the first place.

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*All dishes are spelled as they are on the restaurant menu.

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