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December 8, 2006, Volume 6 Number 48

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

If you've not yet purchased the Guam Women's Club 55th Anniversary Cookbook, you'd better hurry up and get them while they last! I was fortunate to be able to place my order and purchase it from my hair stylist, Carina Fejeran, of Salon Paradis, who also happens to be this year's GWC Treasurer. It's a lovely book, with cover art (shown in the photo) by one of my favorite artists, Ron Castro. The book is a collection of recipes by members of the Guam Women's Club, with the recipes reflecting the ethnic diversity of its members. The great thing about this particular book is that I personally know most of the ladies whose recipes are included, so when I read them, it's kind of like being invited to dinner! I'll have to see if we can get permission to post a few on the site to give readers a taste of these fabulous recipes.

Although November's already gone, I wanted to acknowledge and congratulate Sushi Tairyo on the occasion of their 5th Anniversary! Omedito gozaimasu, Ishimori-san, and Morikami-san! I have been a long-time patron of this cozy little sushi bar located in Tumon's Blue Lagoon Plaza.

Finally, congratulations as well to Genji on its 1st year anniversary - it was the island's most anticipated re-opening and the restaurant has only built upon its sterling reputation in the past year.

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Tova Harel Bornovski, "Taste of Rainbow's End" Book-Signing, Bestseller Dec 15
  • New Restaurant Round-Up - Sharkies, Noble Roman's, Yokozuna Sushi Bar & Restaurant
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Around the Island - Old Hagatna Grill Lunch Special, Stanlee's BLT
  • Manhattan Steakhouse's Alaskan King Crab Promotion - A Fantastic Array of Flavors

Tova Harel Bornovski, "Taste of Rainbow's End" Book-Signing, Bestseller Dec 15

We are honored to once again have Tova Harel Bornovski, author of "Taste of Rainbow's End", a treasure of recipes from Palau, visit Guam to promote her beautiful culinary masterpiece. She will be holding a book-signing at the Bestseller Bookstore in the Guam Premium Outlets on Friday, December 15, from 3- 7pm. As a special Christmas promotion, she is offering a 10% discount off the regular purchase price of $39.95.

The book is concisely-written with over 120 easy-to-follow recipes, which come from a variety of people including chefs and ordinary folks, with many recipes using ingredients from Palau. You can learn how to make Demok-Taro Leaf Soup, you'll need 10 pieces of "rekung" (crab) for this dish, or Kakau (purple taro) Croquettes. There are recipes for Appetizers, Breads and Dips, Soups and Salads, Meats, Fish & Seafood, Side Dishes, and Dessert. I am very pleased to own a copy of this tome which holds a special place in my cookbook collection.

A further bonus that I'm pleased to announce is that Tova will be a guest on the K57 Tourism & You Food Guy show on Saturday, December 16, from 11am-Noon. This will be a fascinating discussion with a woman whose life has been a true adventure. Aside from having authored this book, Tova is the mother of four children, and with her husband, Navot, they own and operate Fish 'n Fins, a popular dive shop, Ocean Hunter Liveaboards, and the Barracuda Restaurant. According to their website, "They have contributed their expertise and services to numerous projects in Palau, including research expeditions, articles and movies (Skin Diver, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC), and conservation efforts. They founded the Micronesian Shark Foundation in conjunction with an annual Shark Week festival at Fish 'n Fins, aimed at gathering research and raising awareness to protect sharks throughout Micronesia." Please listen in to the radio show as it's sure to be

New Restaurant Round-Up - Sharkies, Noble Roman's, Yokozuna Sushi Bar & Restaurant

Some interesting new places have popped up recently on Guam's restaurant scene. One of the more notable is Sharkies, located in Asan, in what used to be the War in the Pacific Park Museum. Sharkies offers true outdoor dining, with a fabulous ocean and beach view. Sharkies is the dream child of "Chef Bob" Branconnier, who has spent the past six months converting a container into a working kitchen. Located just outside Ronnie Moore's dive shop, Sharkies has been gradually building a loyal following of folks who like Sharkies burgers ($5), Hot Dogs ($2.95). Cuban Panini ($6), Philly Style Beef & Cheese Sandwich ($6.50) and a tasty Pulled BBQ Pork Roll ($6.50), which we tried during our visit early one evening. The menu has daily specials, with fish fresh from the boat, which you can have Fried, Blackened, Broiled, Grilled or Steamed in Foil! On the Saturday night we visited, we were entertained by veteran guitarist/troubadour, Frank Cabral, who was joined by Mike Wong. They played a lot of "oldies, but goodies", the likes of Johnny Cash, Freddy Fender, and Willie Nelson as well as a few original compositions. It's a comfortable, breezy place with torchlights, plenty of beer, friendly waitstaff, and pleasant comraderie - the kind of place that just gives us one more reason to love living on an island. Sharkies serves food from 9am-8pm, and stays open until they close, which can be around 2am or 4am. Chef Bob's been known to serve burgers to late night stragglers as early as 1am! Sharkies' number is 72Shark (727-4375).

You'd have to be blind not to see the new Noble Roman's Pizza outlet, which had their soft opening last Friday. They are located on the ground floor of the Central Building in Tumon, adjacent to Chuan Fu and directly underneath Tachibana Japanese Restaurant. Noble Roman's is a well-known franchise operation that's quite big in the States, and serves a wide range of pizzas and Italian dishes like Lasagne, Fettuccine Alfredo, and Spaghetti. It also is home to Tuscano's Subs, which has a full line of sub sandwiches. The restaurant's dining room is spacious and decorated with contemporary art images showcasing Italian cuisine. The seating is comfortable and modern. Noble Roman's Guam locations (the other is on Naval Station) are owned by attorney Ron Moroni and his family. We did sample some of the food, trying an Individual Works Pizza with Green Olive ($5.49, plus $.50 for the green olives). The Works has pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onion, green pepper, and bacon. It was pretty good, and a real value for a 7" personal pizza. The Italian Roast Beef Sub ($5.99) was flavorful, though I should have asked for additional ingredients. Noble Roman's offers free delivery, so they'll be pretty busy once folks start using their number, which is 647-7711. Store hours are Sun-Thu, from 11am-11pm, and Fri & Sat, from 11am- Midnite.

Yokozuna Sushi Bar & Restaurant is located next to the Guam Reef Hotel. Although I haven't actually eaten there yet, they are owned by the same people who own Bistro Tei Yokozuna which is in front of the Westin with an additional location in Saipan. This is a very large restaurant taking up space that used to be a grocery store - the original California Market! It has a corridor of private rooms, a sizeable sushi counter located in the center, a dining room with tables, and a row of tables located on an outdoor patio deck which is good for smokers. Among the specialties of the house are Shabu Shabu, Sukiyaki, Sushi, Sashimi, and Tempura. It is an impressive new addition to Guam's Japanese restaurant choices. There are about 55 Japanese Restaurants right now and there are more to come! For more information, call 646-6070.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter

December 9, 2005, Vol 5 No 48

Restaurant Reviewed: Genji Returns - "New" Legendary Japanese Restaurant Dazzles Diners

"A Wedding in Paradise - Hospitality Couple Weds in Saipan
Roy Yamaguchi's Visit - Special Dinner Menu and Cooking Class

Around the Island - Old Hagatna Grill Lunch Special, Stanlee's BLT

For those few people who've not been to the Old Hagatna Grill for lunch, you don't need me to tell you you're missing something. I recently ventured there after an appointment with my hairstylist, Carina of Salon Paradis, whose shop is located just upstairs. You'd be amazed at the folks who gather there...a virtual who's who of island notables (on this day the Admiral and the COMNAVMAR top brass dined in the private room). I guess a gossip columnist would have a field day. Of course, my THING is food, and what Executive Chef Christopher Aguon and his culinary team do well is great food! I showed up planning to order the Black Peppercorn Spiced Burger with Balsamic Aioli, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Swiss Cheese ($9.50). However, I was convinced to try something new and different, so I started out with a rich and meaty Split Pea with Smoked Ham Soup ($4.50), followed by one of the specials of the day, Smokey Pineapple-Marinated Pork Chops with Three Peppercorn (green, pink, and black) Demi, for $14. This had thick mashed potatoes with the skins on and bok choy, broccoli, and zucchini as accompaniments. It was a day for meat, and the meat was Pork! A "heads-up" for all you OHG fans, there will be a new menu introduced around the 18th of December. We'll be updating the current one posted at soon!

Stanlee's BLT is the best. That's all there is to it! If you are a BLT lover like me, then you'll only enjoy a sandwich that has lots of bacon, lettuce, and tomato, which is Stanlee's philosophy. I made the mistake of going to another popular restaurant (that I won't name) and had what was a horrible excuse for a BLT. I told owner Stanley Miller about the "bad sandwich" as I munched on his magnificent sandwich and he just grinned at me with his knowing "you're a fool" look! After all, I should have known better, right? For $6, you just can't beat Stanlee's use of homemade toasted Multi-Grain bread, meaty tasty bacon cooked just right, layers of crisp green lettuce, and juicy red tomato slices doused with a little mayo! If you're not yet convinced about Stanlee's dominating Guam's sandwich scene, just check out the current GU Magazine, which ranks Stanlee's as having the Best Sandwiches. Stanlee's sandwiches come with fries and they are really good french fries, too. I have to let you in on a secret - his food is therapeutic. Today, before I had my BLT, I was really down and feeling out of sorts - after the BLT, well, it set me right! Thanks, Stanley, you "Doctor of Foods"! Call Stanlee's for your food appointment at 646-1328.

Manhattan Steakhouse's Alaskan King Crab Promotion - A Fantastic Array of Flavors

Whenever I'm asked for a recommendation for a fine dining destination, I always include Manhattan Steakhouse, located in the Marriott Guam Resort & Spa, among my top picks. For ambiance, service standards, food quality, and value, Manhattan gets high marks. Another aspect that's not often found in typical steakhouses, high-end or otherwise, is culinary creativity and diversity. Although Manhattan has continuously maintained a solid line-up of traditional Certified Angus Beef cuts of filet mignon, prime rib, New York, and Porterhouse, along with pork chops and lamb chops, all grilled to your preference, they have also introduced creative enhancements to accompany their meats, signature entrees, and seafood selections. [Photo: A prime example of Manhattan's quality beef from a previous dinner.]

These enhancements have come in the form of ingredient promotions which feature such as specialties, often seasonally, as mushrooms, asparagus, and coconut. The Marriott's culinary team, headed by Executive Chef Michael Devlin, takes great pride in creating appetizers, soups, and entrees that incorporate these ingredients, much in the same inspired spirit that drives the "Iron Chef" competitors. The beneficiaries of this cutting-edge, gastronomic excellence are the residents of Guam and those lucky visitors who happen to dine at Manhattan during their stay on Guam.

The latest, and for many the greatest, promotional menu has as its theme ingredient the noblest of all crabs, the Alaskan King Crab! Just launched December 1, this King Crab promotion will run for two months. For this review, Zee and I were joined by my colleague and frequent dining partner, Orleyne, and we sampled most of the new menu selections.

For those who've not been to Manhattan, there's a genuine elation and expectancy once you've been seated. After all, you've ascended to the higher echelons of the Big Apple and are sitting with a view of that inimitable skyline, replete with concrete towers scraping the skies and parting the clouds. The crisp white tablecloths and solid, leather chairs add to the solid, upscale atmosphere, with soft music playing in the background, you are duly impressed and ready for that first libation.

We opened an exquisite bottle of a 2001 Symmetry, from Rodney Strong, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Along with this, we had some San Pellegrino sparkling water, just like in New York. After perusing the new menu, we made our choices and were brought a warm loaf of Manhattan's signature Rosemary bread by our charming and engaging server, Juanchito aka JC.

The appetizers appeared to low murmurs of approval and audible "wows". The Puree of sweet Green Pea Soup with Succulent Alaska King Crab Meat ($6.50) tasted as magical as it looked, its bright green color reflecting its fresh sweet pea taste, with a smooth creamy consistency. This dish was a perfect example of a puree in both execution and quality. A second soup, Bisque of Alaskan King Crab with a rich Sabayon and fired Brandy ($8.50) took a different direction in flavor and concept. I was actually confusing crab with lobster since the soup base is so similar. The fired brandy created a bronzed surface appearance, like a creme brulee. Our first spoonfuls seemed a bit salty on the palate, however, once we squeezed the lime and lemon slices provided into the mix it balanced out perfectly.

The Alaskan King Crab Legs on a panache of Baby Greens with a Lime Aioli Dressing ($11.50) had the most stunning presentation, and the longest, since the opaque rectangular glass platter must have measured 16" long! The fresh greens tossed with cherry tomatoes, slices of red and yellow bell pepper in a light vinaigrette were a nice counterpoint to the splendidly succulent chunks of King Crab meat that were layered by thick rows of that vibrantly delicious Lime aioli dressing!

The first entree to arrive was impressively titled the Flat Grilled Alaskan King Crab Legs & Our Finest Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Marriott Scampi Butter and Bearnaise Sauce ($36). The King Crab legs were grilled with garlic and sauteed diced onions and peppers and piled atop the tenderloin, completely obscuring the beef, which was sizable on its own, but outflanked by the massive crab legs. The tenderloin had a dollop of scampi butter and bearnaise sauce...good stuff. The beef was so flavorful, it made me happy to have a "steak break" away from all of the crab - though I'm not complaining!. One of Manhattan's signature elements is the condiments platter which is put in the center of the table to be shared by diners. This has sauteed mushrooms, sweet baked cherry tomatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, and straw onions.

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