February 23 , 2007, Volume 7 Number 8
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
A few weeks ago the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa celebrated its 35th anniversary in a festive gathering in the Marianas Ballroom. Live cooking stations were positioned around the room serving delicious foods from Hilton's well-known outlets, Roy's, Genji, and Islander Terrace. The Hilton has for years been an acknowledged "local favorite" since it has supported the local community like no other property.
Aside from the congratulatory speeches and deep gratitude expressed to the audience by Hilton's long-time General Manager, Manfred Pieper, I experienced something that impressed me more than all the celebratory activities and well-wishes conveyed that night. In one corner of the room was a long table of desserts and pastries, with a crepe station manned by two young ladies who had the "Pro-Start" logo below their Hilton name badges. Myra Tiamzon [left] and Sam Reyes [right] are students from JFK High School. They are part of a team that has won the Pro-Start Student Culinary Competition two years in a row, affording them the opportunity to travel to the mainland to compete against high school students from across the nation. Their team was mentored by Hilton's Executive Chef Christophe Durliat. They have been trained to win and it shows! They made me a delectable blueberry crepe with chocolate syrup and whipped cream that was a good as any I've had anywhere. My pride is in this shared achievement for the Hilton and, more importantly, for Guam. This truly is the realization of a dream to develop the culinary talents of our youth. Now isn't this a great reason to celebrate?
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- Westin Celebrates 10th Anniversary - Customer Appreciation Nite Feb 23, 6-10pm
- Hilton's Healthier Options Week - Visiting Chef Felix Schoener of The Farm at San Benito
- Healthy Cooking Class with Chef Felix Schoener - Sat March 3, 11am-2pm
- Sichuan Kitchen Hot Pot for Vegetarians and the Lenten Season
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- Around the Island - Proa Lunch Feast, Andaman $9.75 Lunch Buffet, "Green Door" Standouts
- House of Brutus - There's More Here Than Meets The Eye
Westin Celebrates 10th Anniversary - Customer Appreciation Nite Feb 23, 6-10pm
This is a time of anniversaries, and the Westin is celebrating in style this Friday night. You are invited to "replenish your mind, body and soul" as the Westin gives you a taste from each of their restaurants: Prego, Starlight BBQ, Cha Cha Cha, Issin and Lufuku, as well as a wine tasting, live music, and bottomless Heineken at Cafe Kalachucha. This "Taste of the Westin Resort Guam" can be enjoyed for $25 for adults and $12 for children 6-11 years old (+10% s.c.). Tickets are available at the front desk. For more information or to make reservations, call 647-0915.
Hilton's Healthier Options Week - Visiting Chef Felix Schoener of The Farm at San Benito
Cuisine au naturel? Oh mon Dieu! If you are genuinely concerned about the quality of your life, then you should be interested in learning all you can from visiting Chef Felix Schoener of The Farm at San Benito-Hippocrates Health Resort of Asia, which is an internationally-acclaimed spa resort located outside Manila. Chef Felix will educate you about fresh food in ways you never thought possible and will tantalize your palate with natural culinary creations that are both healthful and incredibly delicious. Get ready for an opportunity to change your concept of eating - you will appreciate the philosophy of "85/15", and will find natural power in foods that will enhance your life. Sure sounds exciting!
His specialty cuisine will be available from Feb 26-March 4 at the Islander Terrace and Roy's Restaurant. When you dine at Islander Terrace or Roy's on during this special promotion*, you'll receive an entry form for a round trip ticket to The Farm and a three night stay with spa treatments for FREE!
* Certain restrictions may apply. Check with the restaurants for details.
Healthy Cooking Class with Chef Felix Schoener - Sat March 3, 11am-2pm
Want to learn how to cook and eat healthier? Sign up and attend a Healthy Cooking Class conducted by Michelin award-winning Chef Felix Schoener of The Farm at San Benito in the Micronesian Room. This class is open to all and includes lunch. The charge is $45 per person, $40 for Premium Club members. For reservations call 646-DINE(3463).
Sichuan Kitchen Hot Pot for Vegetarians and the Lenten Season
Sichuan Kitchen is Guam's home for Chongquing Hot Pot. You may not know it, but this is a perfect way to observe Lent and enjoy food like you've never tasted before....I personally GUARANTEE it! If you are vegetarian, you can cook potato, tofu, cabbage, kang kong, spinach, mushrooms, Korean vegetables, sweet potato noodles and vermicelli
If you can eat fish, how does the fish look in this picture? How about adding some shrimp balls, or crab rolls, or fish dumplings? There's all of this and more, and you can cook these foods "shabu-shabu" style and control how spicy you want it. If you aren't observing Lent, you have other options like the Ma Po Tofu, which is prepared in the authentic manner!
If you are reading this and have not been to Sichuan Kitchen, you should go there and see for yourself. You may not like everything, yet I'm confident you'll find something special, like the Salt & Pepper Pork Chop, which I don't think it could have been tastier! Call 649-2088.
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
Feb 24, 2006 Vol 6 No 8
Pietro - Unique Fusion of Italian and Japanese Bring New Tastes to Guam
Chef Bangers 'n' Mash Farewell Party for the Laws
Sushi Tairyo Lunch, Lone Star's Stellar T-bone, UriJip
Around the Island - Proa Lunch Feast, Andaman $9.75 Lunch Buffet, "Green Door" Standouts
There's a buzz' going on about Proa Restaurant, located in Tumon across from Ipao Beach Park. It is the "talk of the town" and a lot of folks are asking me about it while others are asking if I'd been there yet as they had and they loved it! I haven't been avoiding Proa, but with my insane schedule, it's not possible to get back to some places in a timely fashion.
The long wait since my last visit was rewarded the other day when I returned and had their Pork Rib Chop Marinated with Orange, Ginger and Toasted Paprika served with Rice ($11.95). Before I had the aforementioned entree, I had a fabulous Vegetable Chowder - the individual flavors combined pleasantly in a light broth that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Pork Rib Chop was something else, this is a "mega chop" about an inch thick and the flavors are rich and lively. Despite being grilled, retained its juiciness. There was a demi-glace on the plate that complemented the pork and the sauteed vegetables rounded out the plate nicely.
Just when I thought I'd maxed out my pleasure meter, I was given a chocolate box with a decadent edible gift inside - chocolate mousse and a strawberry. It was a sampler of what Proa offered at Valentine's...it was made for two! Go to Proa and discover the "buzz" for yourself! Open 11am-10pm Mon-Sat and 6-10pm Sunday. 646-PROA (7762).
Andaman Restaurant serves Thai and Western cuisine, and is located in the Monticello Plaza where Cost U Less Tamuning resides. Andaman has a week day Lunch Buffet for $9.75. They offer a wide assortment of appetizers as well as hot entrees, including a soup, a curry dish, a steamed fish (Soya Ginger Steamed Grouper was served when I visited,) stir-fried vegetables, and desserts including fresh fruit bowl and pumpkin custard. A la carte entrees are also served during lunch, and take-out can be ordered. Call 649-9889
We had dinner at Izakaya Katsu aka "the Green Door" on a recent Saturday and I explored meat options while Zee complied with her vegetarian regimen with a Tofu Steak & Edamame. I had a desire for something different so I ordered a Chive and Egg Scramble ($5) and Katsu's famous Rib Eye Steak ($25), certainly Guam's most flavorful. I was surprised when Yokho brought out a conch shell that was mounted on a bed of salt...it was conch cooked like it was escargot...they are related I've come to find out. There was a lot of meat in that shell. It had been pre-cut for easier eating and tasted pretty good. The Rib-Eye Steak was cooked perfectly and cut like butter...it was mounted on top of lightly sauteed bean sprouts, or maybe they just picked up the heat of the sizzling steak on the platter. They were as tasty as the sprouts you get when you have teppanyaki. I am always awed by the popularity of Katsu....so many people have adopted this place as one of their top favorites! Call them at 646-0247.
House of Brutus - There's More Here Than Meets The Eye
Of all of Guam's restaurants, there is not one that has as much activity, energy, potential, sophistication, ingenuity and personality as the House of Brutus. This can be a good thing and it can also be bad, since what sometimes has a great deal of promise can also lead to disappointment, and honestly, I've had mixed experiences in the past. On my most recent visit, however, there was a notable difference in the service quality as well as the quality of the food I ate, which by the way, was fabulous. This is a lunch review, so I won't talk about dinner or breakfast.
I've described Brutus as a "mixed media" establishment that combined a cafe, coffee shop, bar, lounge, night club, sports bar and restaurant into one place. It's cleverly designed and brilliantly constructed, but more as a lounge than a restaurant, since I think the tables in the middle section (elevated a tier above the main dining area) are too low to reasonably eat at. And yet, people seem to do just that and not complain, in fact, they seem quite happy to have found a seat! As an entertainment venue, this place rules, delivering to guests exactly what they want in a place - intensity, closeness, a happening bar and magnetism - this place is a bona fide "hot spot" that draws people in. Someone behind the scenes, maybe like the Wizard of Oz, definitely has a pulse on what's "hip", and Brutus does it better than any place else.
I arrived a bit early around 11:30am so I had no problem getting a seat in the main dining room. I'd heard that Brutus had launched a new menu keeping a lot of popular items and introducing some new ones. I wanted to try something different than sandwiches I've had in the past. It was Lent already and I noticed the plate with the daily special displayed on the bar beneath a chef mannequin with a "Chef Eddie" tattoo. It was Mahi Mahi with sauteed veggies and rice, and looked pretty good. I queried my server, Cirese Kaneshiro, about a few menu choices, looking for some suggestions. She was great, and recommended that I try the Fish Tacos as an addition to the Yakiniku Salad ($12.95) which I had already decided on. This girl had personality and helped me decide that the tortillas for my Fish Tacos ($7.50) would be soft, one flour and the other corn.
Brutus has eight entree salads and I chose one that was unlike any other restaurant's - the Yakiniku Salad, with mixed greens, baby roma tomatoes, cucumber wedges, grilled Yakiniku beef and a creamy Japanese dressing. This salad has a high protein content and is refreshingly tasty with the tender beef. Other salads that I might try next time are Grilled Salmon Salad; Shrimp, Avocado and Mango Salad, and the Brutus Salad, which is their version of a Caesar Salad.
As a contrast to the beefy salad, the fish tacos with mahi mahi were a lighter choice and had decent amount of flaked fish inside, along with melted Jack cheese and lettuce. When these arrived, I put some red salsa over the fish after squeezing some lemon. If any thing, I'd liven up the salsa with some cilantro. It was good but needed more of a flavor kick. Whilst I was sitting, Tyrone, another server brought me out a glass filled with what looked like grilled Ciabatta bread sticks, along with a pesto tapanade. Oh, this was a classy tradition well-learned. It's an appetizer priced at $3.95, and it's so worth it! Another goodie is the Brutus Clam Chow-da in a Toasty Sourdough Bowl ($5.95).
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