June 30, 2006, Volume 6 Number 26
FLASHBACK - 5 YEARS AGO TODAY!
"June 29, 2001, Volume 1, Number 1
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader!
Today marks the dawn of a new era of Guam's restaurant and dining information landscape, since it gives me great pleasure and pride to introduce to you the debut of a new Internet portal site, www.guamdiner.com, which has been in construction for the past few months. Since my very first "Food Guy" e-zine newsletter sent on January 19, 2000 (Boston Pizza), I have shared my dining adventures about new and established restaurants with readers on Guam and around the world each week, and have broadcast the "Guam Food Guy" report on Jon Anderson's morning talk radio show every Friday morning since October 2000. My e-zine readership has swelled to thousands and I constantly• receive requests for restaurant information from local residents and from those who plan to visit Guam as well as many military families who want to know about Guam's many restaurants. What kind of restaurants are on Guam? What are their hours? Do they have vegetarian foods? Where do we go for a sunset BBQ? Are any Thai restaurants open on Sunday? Which Tumon restaurants are open 24 hours? Who has the best....? And so on! So many questions...and now, finally, a solution! "
Happy 5th Anniversary, GuamDiner! Reading that intro to our first GuamDiner newsletter really brought back a lot of memories, and so much of what we did at that time still holds true today. It is with great pride that we continue to bring you this weekly newsletter updating you on what's happening in the restaurant scene and about local items of interest. Thank you for your continuing support and interest in the work we love to do.
And, we cannot forget to send everyone Independence Day greetings and wish all of you a safe and happy 4th of July holiday. GuamDiner.com is just 5 years old but our country celebrates its 230th - Happy Birthday America!
Ken, "The Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- Directions Magazine June Issue Features GFG's 2006 Banquet Guide
- Wente Vineyards Wine Maker Dinner Wows Diners at Al Dente
- Le Tasi Bistro - On Holiday Until August 1
- 7th International Bartending Flair Challenge - Planet Hollywood, July 2-3
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- Hyatt Regency Saipan's Sunday Extravaganza - A Culinary Fantasy Renewed
Directions Magazine June Issue Features GFG's 2006 Banquet Guide
Soon to hit the mailboxes and newsstands near you is the June Issue of Directions Magazine, which will be easily recognized when you see the photo of Steve Dormer, the indefatigable owner of Mama Tita's, Best Water & Ice, and Fast Freddy's plus the Director of Operations for GFS Group. Dormer is the featured interview story and frankly, with all that he does they ought to have two issues!
However, it's the Guam Food Guy's annual Banquet Guide 2006 that'll provide some insights into the Guam's banquet and catering professionals along with the properties and facilities they represent that I hope you'll read and use.
Also in this issue is a an article on the upcoming "feast" awaiting those in the construction industry, as well as an article on improvements in the conditions at GMH. The final major article covers a topic from which we can all benefit, and that's "Better Health". Read why those of us who are too busy to exercise need to develop a game plan for fitness. With all of this valuable content, it's easy to see why Directions continues to be the most frequently read business publication on Guam.
Wente Vineyards Wine Maker Dinner Wows Diners at Al Dente
I recently had the privilege to enjoy a sensational dinner at the Hyatt Regency's Al Dente restaurant which paired wines from the Wente Vineyards with five courses of superb culinary creations by Hyatt's Executive Sous Chef, Ian Crough.
The event was attended by Michael Parr, who is the Export Manager for Wente Vineyards, and who is also a well-spring of information about his company and the excellent selection of wines they create. Wente is the oldest continuously operated family-owned winery in the United StatesToday there are fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family managing the winery.
The evening started with Lemon & Chili Oyster Shooters, Crab & Dill on Cucumber, and Citrus Cured Salmon with Onion Sprout Canapes paired with Wente Vineyards Brut Reserve Sparkling, NV
The appetizer was Seared Scallops on Cauliflower Mousse with White Truffle Dressing paired with 2004 "Riva Ranch" Reserve Chardonnay
Spiced Smoked Duck with semi-dried Cranberry Salsa and Roast Tomato and Garlic Puree was paired with 2004 "Reliz Creek" Reserver Pinot Noir was next. The smoked duck was fantastic, and very similar to the taste of local barbecue. The blending of the semi-dried cranberries really accentuated this Pinot Noir.
Next was a pasta dish of Orecchiette with Lobster, Tomato, Capers and Fennel matched with a 2003 "Crane Ridge" Reserve Merlot. This was an inspired presentation with a lobster shell garnish!
The main course was Lamb Loin marinated with Olives and Chili with a White Bean & Citrus Ragout served with Gratin Potato in a Cabernet Sauvignon Jus paired with a 2003 "Charles Wetmore" Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which was my favorite wine. I don't think I've ever seen larger portions of lamb served in a five course meal. The lamb was excellent.
The final course was dessert trio of a Saffron Poached Pear, a Chocolate Hazelnut and Caramel Tart and Caramel Ice Cream in a Sesame Lace Basket accompanied by a 2004 Limited Release Touriga Nacional, Souzao Port. All in all, it was a memorable evening of rich delights and intelligent conversations.
Le Tasi Bistro - On Holiday Until August 1
Tuesday June 27th was the last day to enjoy the culinary creations at Le Tasi Bistro for a month. In true French fashion, Chef Bertrand and family are going on holiday for a month to visit family in France and Spain. We wish them bon voyage and look forward to their return!
7th International Bartending Flair Challenge - Planet Hollywood, July 2-3
If flair bartending is something you enjoy, and you want to watch your favorite bartender's "Shake, Rattle and Pour", then you should plan on attending the 7th Annual International Bartending Flair Challenge at Planet Hollywood. The preliminaries start on Sunday, July 2 at 10pm with Guam contestants competing in the "Flip, Toss, and Pour" to qualify for a place in the finals on Monday, July 3 at 10pm. The Guam finalists will compete against bartenders from Japan and Korea at that event. Remember that you will need to be 18 to attend the event.
This Time LastYear - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
July 1 2005 Vol 5 No 26
Restaurant Reviewed: Rambie's Kamayan - Superb Seafood at the Islands Fisherman Seafood Market
Highlights: July 4th Celebrations - Tumon Carnival, Block Party in Hagatna & Polaris Point
Hyatt Regency Saipan's Sunday Extravaganza - A Culinary Fantasy Renewed
There's something about travelling that tends to embellish even the most mundane experiences, however, there is one dining experience that's worth travelling to as it would impress regardless of how mundane or exotic the location. I'm talking about the Sunday Brunch at the Hyatt Regency Saipan. For $31, guests are treated to a breathtaking cornucopia of culinary delights served in an elegant room bathed in natural sunlight with a scenic tropical garden view. Add to this a pianist playing both classic and contemporary melodies that sooth, inspire, and relax, compounding the pleasure of dining while sipping champagne.
The Hyatt's Sunday Brunch combines the talents and facilities of several of its outlets. The main dining area is Giovanni's, renowned for its authentic Italian fare. Teppanyaki provides the phalanx of grills that are used for cooking and serving a range of courses, including Omelettes, Belgian Waffles, Prime Rib Roast, Pancakes, Crepes, Pasta Creations, Pizzas and Whole Roast Pig. Several live cooking stations are featured here and I highly recommend taking a tour of these stations to watch and interact with the different chefs who are preparing made-to-order dishes. A highlight is the sushi station where Miyaki's chefs deftly roll hand-made sushi.
I was first introduced to this culinary extravaganza back in the early '90s and I have longed to return to enjoy this legendary Sunday Brunch. I'd never been able to get back to Saipan on a Sunday since becoming the Food Guy to do a review. After all of this time, and now much better prepared to make qualitative comparisons, I returned and was able to see if the culinary fantasy I've secretly harbored inside for all this years was true or just a figment of my fevered imagination.
One of the first things that strikes you on entering is the abundance and variety of foods displayed on glass-topped tables arranged against the windows. Here you will find lox and bagels with capers and cream cheese, quiche lorraine, cheeses, Black Forest ham, salami, sliced turkey breast, Kalamata olives, chutney, pickles, Asparagus & Ham Rolls, breads, rolls, pastries, croissants, cold salads, and stuffed mussels. Then, in the center of this first entrance area is a long ice-filled boat-shaped trough that's piled with chilled seafood, including mixed sashimi, oysters, prawn, King Crab legs, and Australian Spanner crab with salsa. I forgot to mention that there are plants, cut bamboo, and flowers everywhere, highlighting and decorating the food trays, creating a tropical feeling throughout. This works on both conscious and subliminal levels, and you can't help but feel you are dining in paradise.
When I got to the sushi counter, Miyako chef, Lito, told me he'd prepare a plate for me, which he did while I finished gathering my other seafood items. I was delighted to see the simple but representative selection made for me, which included hokkai (clams), maguro (tuna), ika (squid), hodate (scallops), tamago (egg), kappa (cucumber), and a California roll covered with tobiko (flying fish roe). I blended my wasabi and soy and set to work on my "appetizer" course.
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