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September 22, 2006, Volume 6 Number 38

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

I've just returned from an 8-day visit to the Bay Area where I attended my niece Cydni's memorial services. Although this was a sad and unexpected passing, it reconnected me with a part of my family that I've not visited in well over a decade. This travel experience, my 2nd to the Mainland in a 3-week period, reinforced my belief in the superior value of having family - it is a wealth beyond any currency or commodity.

Next to family are close friends, and during the latter part of my trip I was alerted of the retirement of Jon Anderson, long-time radio personality, literally the "Voice of the Western Pacific", and most recently anchor for Sorensen Pacific Broadcasting's ABC 7 Guam News, part of the Pacific News Center. Jon's friendship with the Stewart family goes back way beyond the Food Guy's debut on Jon's K57 Morning Radio Talk Shows in October 2000. He stood in as father of the bride at my brother Carl's wedding to Michele in 1986. The photo of Jon and my mom, Toni, was taken at that special event held at the Plaza de Espana. We wish Jon well in his future endeavors and we'll continue to love and support him for being the wonderful and magnificent friend he's been to us for all of these years.

Lastly, today's review of Tumon Bay Lobster & Grill is just another example of the great things that come from following family traditions. Read about how Niko Yu has taken over the reins of his father Charlie's long-time restaurant, Giant Lobster and Steak, and how he's transformed and revitalized this venerable restaurant by offering the same high quality food as before, yet more affordably priced. Enjoy!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You"Food Guy Show Saturday Sept 23, 10am-Noon
  • Hu Na'e Hao Kanta an Evening with Cantate Fundraiser - Le Tasi Bistro Sept 23
  • Food Bits from "Eat Your Words"
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Tumon Bay Lobster Bar & Grill - Big Taste, Great Flavors at Revitalized Eatery

GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You"Food Guy Show Saturday Sept 23, 10am-Noon

Listen up this Saturday morning for the Guam Food Guy's segment of K57's "Tourism & You"Show, from 10am-Noon. This week's first hour guests will be Clayton Babas, Executive Chef at the Guam Reef Hotel, who will be joined by Chito De Guzman, the Reef's Assistant F&B Manager. Our second hour's guests will be Peter Duenas, Executive Chef of Sam Choy's Guam and the newly-elected President of the MCA (Micronesian Chefs' Association), who will be joined by the MCA's new Vice President, Christophe Durliat, Executive Chef of the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa.

These interviews will offer unique and interesting insights into the people behind the scenes at the island's restaurants. This will be an opportunity for you to hear compelling stories about their professions and their passions, which are often synonymous in this industry for people of their caliber. Your phone calls are welcome at 477-5757 or *57 on your cell phone.

Hu Na'e Hao Kanta an Evening with Cantate Fundraiser - Le Tasi Bistro Sept 23

A worthy fundraising dinner event you don't want to miss will be held this Saturday night, Sept 23, at Le Tasi Bistro in Anigua, where a performance by Cantate will start at 8pm (doors open at 7pm). The proceeds from this event will benefit Cantate's 2006 -07 Season. Tickets are available for $75 at Faith Bookstore in Hagatna and Marianas Electronics in Barrigada Heights. For more information, please call Jimmy Santos (734-1289) or Karl Cepeda (477-7376). Please support Cantate's continued ability to offer fabulous, elevating performances here on Guam as well as representing our island's unique talents abroad.

Food Bits from "Eat Your Words"

Over the years we've included in our newsletters many interesting articles about food and excerpts from noteworthy books on food. It's been three years since we featured a series of sharing tidbits from Charlotte Foltz Jones' book, "Eat Your Words", which describes the language of food and how food terms and phrases have become everyday common expressions. Today we touch on some of the superstitions and rituals associated with food. Quoting from a section called, "A Forkful of Fortune":

* "When moving into a new home, carry in salt first to ensure wealth. If you next take in bread, you'll always be well fed."

* "If you want to dream in color, eat three almonds before you go to sleep. For good dreams, eat chocolate at bedtime. And to avoid nightmares, be sure not to eat doughnuts right before going to bed."

* "To keep vampires and other evil spirits away, hang garlic around your doors and windows."

* "If you leave the top off a teapot, it means a stranger will soon visit."

* "Eating bread crusts will make your hair curly."

* "Never stir a glass of milk with a fork. It will make the cow go dry."

* "If two people reach for a saltshaker at the same time, they will soon quarrel."

* "It is bad luck to eat the last slice of bread on a plate. To prevent misfortune, toss the bread slice in the air before eating it."

* "Your money will multiply if you rub your coins and bills with pomegranate seeds."

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter

Sept 23, 2005, Vol 5 No 38

Restaurant Reviewed: Beef Bowl House Ushiya Japanese Restaurant -Serving More than Meets the Eye

"Out of the Darkness, Our Community Walks"- Rainbows Run/Walk - Sept 24
Happy Anniversary Colonel - KFC Celebrates 30 Years On Guam
Remembering Chef Jeff - 1st Anniversary of Untimely Passing

Tumon Bay Lobster & Grill - Big Taste, Great Flavors at Revitalized Eatery

Tumon Bay Lobster & Grill is a dining experience you don't want to miss, that is, if you like seafood, steak, & ribs. Housed in the same 2nd floor location in Isla Plaza next to Subway and VIP Seafood that was formerly known as Giant Lobster and Steak. Open for dinner nightly from 5-10 p.m., the restaurant can be easily spotted by the burning tiki torches that run the perimeter of an expansive balcony filled with large, verdant potted plants, making it a veritable garden. You have a choice of dining in the large, air-conditioned dining room with white table cloths draping the tables or out on the balcony deck, which is often the preferred choice of tourists who want to enjoy the tropical ambiance while listening to the music performed by solo artists (individual members of the popular local band Kaya) who play for a few hours every night.

We decided to dine inside and were joined by owner, Niko Yu, who took over the management of the restaurant from his father, Charlie Yu, last year. Niko has done more than chang the name - he's changed the perceptions and the realities of the restaurant - by revamping the menu with the assistance and inspiration of Chef Joe Borja, who made his big Guam splash at the Grille at Santa Fe, as well as by making a few cosmetic changes and improved facilities such as an outdoor bar, and new kitchen equipment. He has retained veteran Chef Manong Jun, who is also General Manager, and along with Joe Borja, he's added a talented Pastry chef, Carmen Davis, who's worked at Sam Choy's and other places. Davis, a culinary school graduate, returned to Guam and is working part-time while taking care of her father.

Although Niko has held back from advertising his restaurant until he's comfortable with the product and service, I told him that even with some of the rough edges that still need a little polishing - amenities like tableware and napkins - he's got something the people of Guam have been craving for a long time - darned good food, seafood in particular, at reasonable prices.

The proof is in the food. We started out with a series of the most popular appetizers. First to arrive was the Shrimp Kelaguen ($8.95), served in a slightly bigger portion than the regular size. It was fresh, with the right amount of lemon and cut in larger pieces than usually found elsewhere, with plentiful diced onions giving it a persistent crunch with each tart, savory bite. The only thing that would improve this would be adding titiyas, which they're working on sourcing.

Our comely, energetic server Erika, then delivered another crowd-pleasing appetizer, the Sauteed Crab Legs in Garlic Herb Butter ($15.95). Don't let the price deter you...just look at the picture...this is not ordinary crab legs...these are Alaskan King Crab Legs, cooked perfectly with a special herb butter. The big white chunks of crab meat are a delight to eat, and the herb butter gives a different taste than just traditional drawn butter. The serving is more than adequate for two. One memorable item served with our meal was a fresh-baked Parker House Roll, which when loaded with melted butter brought flashbacks from Mama's kitchen!

A new twist on one of the rib appetizers was the BBQ St. Louis Ribs with Cherry BBQ Sauce (4 ribs $11.95, 8 ribs $18.95). Don't let price comparisons mislead you, it's what you get for your money. These happen to be among the tenderest, meatiest, and tastiest ribs on island, better yet, they come with cherries on top. The sauce is thick, smoky, and not overly sweet dressing the ribs in ways that'll have you licking your fingers and searching for more. We had a sampler just to get the taste and, as I said, I was "searching for more"!

For dinner, we ordered three entrees. The Fresh Catch of the Day happened to be a deep fried Onaga Filet with Sweet Chili Sauce ($18.95). Niko proudly stated that he was one of the few (if not the only) operators in Tumon and probably Guam that was able to serve Onaga (which is a red snapper found only in deep waters) on a nightly basis. I went for one of the Combos, opting for Tenderloin Steak & Lobster Tail ($39.95). The third entree was a Stuffed Lobster Tail ($29.95).

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Bon Appetit!

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