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Guam Diner Newsletter, February 15, 2002, Volume 2, Number 7

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

This had to be one of Guam's more interesting weeks, chockfull of culinary choices, celebrations, and religious observances. Tuesday was the Lunar New Year Celebration as well as Fat Tuesday which ended Mardi Gras and ushered in Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the Lenten season; and Thursday was Valentine's Day. February anniversaries also make this month more interesting. The Hilton celebrates its 30th, the Nikko its 10th and Planet Hollywood celebrates its 5th. The Rotary Club of Tumon Bay (my home club) celebrates its 30th this month, too. I wasn't here for the Hilton's opening, but I do recall the splendid laser light show displayed during the Nikko's grand opening. I also attended Planet Hollywood's opening and even met actor Don Johnson. We enjoy making and recounting our history, extending ourselves well into the future while maintaining a sense of respect for the past.

However, for some of Guam's businesses, becoming "history" represents an end to their story, as is the case with the Greek Freak, whose last day of business is Friday, February 15. Opened for just over two years, this little Upper Tumon eatery was drastically affected by the Marine Drive construction as well as by the economic decline resulting from the September 11 attack. We're going to miss this place, which is the only one of its type...someone else will have to open another Greek restaurant. The other restaurant scheduled to close soon is the legendary Seahorse, a landmark in Tumon. Its reasons for closing are more obscure, having more to do with the landowner's interests and not the restaurant's, which has always done well. Its closing will certainly have an impact on employees and loyal customers.

By the time most of you read this I will have already performed my opening night singing in the Valentine's Day Dinner musical, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" at Le Tasi Bistro. There will still be two performances, on the 15th and the 16th. It's not too late to make dinner reservations or to get more information (call 472-7877).

Also, Friday the 15th is your last opportunity to try Chef Leland Feng's Lunar New Year's Dim Sum Celebration at the Marriott Cafe. I enjoyed a splendid lunch buffet at this spacious restaurant, which featured high quality dim sum and other Cantonese creations. The Marriott Cafe's unique buffet service has live cooking stations with special induction-heated chafing dishes to optimize food flavor and quality. Its normal International daily buffet never disappoints.

In Today's Issue
  • Hilton Guam's "Spirit Of Great Cuisine" Contest Enters the Final Stretch
  • Planet Hollywood Celebrates Fifth Year with Special Favorite's Menu
  • Lee Garden Restaurant - Dededo's New Chinese Eatery Carries on Legacy of Greatness
  • Go Nuts! with Bavarian Nuts - Made on Guam by GPO's Sol Juice
  • Hoa Mai II Vietnamese Restaurant - Confidently Claiming To Be Best

Hilton's "Spirit of Great Cuisine" Contest Enters the Final Stretch

The big finale for the "Spirit of Great Cuisine" contest is rapidly approaching. Last week's winners of the Dinners for Two at Roy's were Ms. Diones Borja Guevara and Mr. Gerry R. Marcos. There is still time to enter for the Grand Prize drawing for the Diamond Club Card (value $225) and the Suite Retreat Package which will be held the afternoon of Friday, February 15. Log on to guamdiner.com, click on the Hilton "Spirit of Great Cuisine" Contest link and enter before noon. All past correct entries will be eligible for the Grand Prize drawing as well.


Planet Hollywood Celebrates Fifth Year with Special Favorite's Menu

During the month of February, Planet Hollywood Guam is commemorating its Fifth Year of doing business by serving "The Best of Five Years" special menu. These entrees were voted by customers to be their favorites from the past menus. Among the tasty treats: Grilled Lemon Grass Chicken, New York Calzone, Grilled Roasted Vegetables and Chicken Quesadilla, Thai Shrimp Pasta, and a succulent, marinated Fiesta Mahi Mahi. You can expect to see an exciting new menu in the near future that will feature other tantalizing treats. Also, kudos to Executive Chef Chito Iglopas for his team's outstanding 2nd place performance in the recent Sapporo Ice Festival carving competition.


Lee Garden Restaurant - Dededo's New Chinese Eatery Carries on Legacy of Greatness

Carrying on a tradition of excellence, Lee Garden Restaurant is now open (since February 11) at the same location previously home to Double Dragon, Tom's Table, and M's Steak House (just south of Y-Sengsong and across from Kay Enterprises). We were impressed by the fastidiously clean, odor free dining room that even features beautiful lighted scenic pastoral photos from China, one of which has a "moving" river! The food is terrific and reasonably priced. The owner, Mr. Lee, used to own Agana's Mandarin Restaurant. Lee Garden has over 41 daily lunch specials (Mon - Fri) running between $5.00 - $5.50, all of which feature a main course with soup, rice and a dessert!

For dinner, we had Salt & Pepper Shrimp ($9.50). The Roast Duck/BBQ Pork (Char siu) combo appetizer is available for $6.50, and is quite good. The Chicken With Sesame Seed is a spicy dish that will surprise and delight, and is available for $7.50. The Chop Suey with Tofu in Hot Pot was flavorful and filled with veggies, tofu, shrimp, chicken, and pork. There are vegetarian dishes available for those who prefer meatless dining. Take out orders are accepted (call 633-8632). Hours are Mon - Sun 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. I'm sure you'll enjoy this new discovery.


Go Nuts! with Bavarian Nuts - Made on Guam by GPO's Sol Juice

It's always nice to acknowledge local culinary innovations, and today I'm pleased to introduce you to "Bavarian Nuts"--Fresh Roasted and Glazed Almonds, Pecans, and other nuts, available in plastic cone-shaped packets at the Sol Juice kiosk, near Lin's Jewelry and Me Casa, upstairs from the GPO food court. They are using some type of glaze that's lightly sweetened and you can really taste the flavor of the roasted nuts that are good and crunchy. It's hard to eat just one, so be ready to go nuts!


Hoa Mai II Vietnamese Restaurant - Confidently Claiming To Be the Best

Hoa Mai II Vietnamese Restaurant is located in the San Vitores Plaza directly across from Holiday Plaza in the same building as Quizno's. It is definitely open for business - 7 days a week, starting at 11:00 a.m and closing at 3:00 a.m. on weekdays and at 5:00 a.m. on weekends. Hoa Mai boasts a large menu filled with a variety of Vietnamese and local favorites. The Beef & Shrimp Kelaguen dishes ($10.00) are always in demand. Soups such as Beef (Pho Bo), Won Ton and Shrimp Tomato are listed.

We were greeted by the irrepressible Debbie, who has become a local legend as far as "colorful" restaurant personalities go...she doesn't own or manage Hoa Mai II, but she acts as though she created all the dishes here (she proudly introduced us to a few entrees with nothing short of parental enthusiasm). The Combination Fried Rice ($7.00) had a nice fresh garlic flavor to it, and contained shrimp, peas, egg, ham, lima beans, green beans, onions and corn. It was a large serving--more than we could eat with the other dishes we had...it could be a meal on its own.

We also enjoyed the Chicken Lemon Grass (Ga Xao Xa), which was full of sauteed onions, lemon grass and tender chicken chunks. The portion was huge, larger than any I've had at other Vietnamese restaurants. For $7.00, it is certainly a deal. The flavor of the sauce was richly intense, delivering all the magic that lemon grass lovers expect! I can't wait to try their beef and shrimp versions. The plate also has a generous serving of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as two salad dressings--Ranch and Thousand Island (this was a welcome improvement, since most have just Thousand Island).

Click here for the Full Story.

Bon Apetit!

The Guam Food Guy


Don't miss this week's features at guamdiner.com!
  • Featured Recipe - Seared Peppered Ahi with Wasabi Aioli from Chef Dean Louie
  • Wine Feature - Wine with Sushi? Some recommendations.
  • Health & Nutrition Feature - What about Prohormones? from Dave Slagle
  • Other Beverages Feature - A History of Presidential Cocktail Preferences
  • View Past Newsletters - Click here for our Newsletter Archives

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