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June 19, 2009, Volume 9 Number 13

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Though the month of June is well past its mid-point, there's still a lot of fun stuff coming our way. We've seen the opening of taste at the Westin, the remodeling of King's in Tamuning, the 4th year anniversary of the House of Brutus, the Pista sa Guam Reef (Philippine Food Festival) at the Guam Reef Hotel's Alize Restaurant (which runs through the 30th), the openings of Infusion Coffee & Tea and Mr. Chen's Chinese Restaurant, both in Upper Tumon.

We all have a chance to enjoy Taste Guam this coming Saturday at the Hyatt as well as the Third Annual Mango Festival in Agat June 26 - 28. As we've said so often, there's never a dull moment on Guam!

And, let's not forget to send special appreciation to all the dads out there. Happy Father's Day!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"


GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You" Food Guy Show
Saturday June 20, 2009

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 include Mika Gibson of Infusion Coffee & Tea as well as members of Team Marriott, who will talk about the current Asparagus Promotion and other happenings at the hotel.

Our second hour guests will include Mary Torre, President of the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association, to talk about Taste Guam activities to be held later in the day at the Hyatt Regency Guam. Winding up the show will be Andreas Lorenz, F&B Director in charge of kitchens for the Westin Resort Guam, who will talk about their newly opened concept restaurant, taste.

These interviews will offer unique and interesting insights into the people behind the scenes at the island's restaurants and hospitality businesses. 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.

Taste Guam
Saturday June 20, 2009
Hyatt Regency Guam

This is Guam's ultimate food & beverage festival all under one roof! There is no entrance fee and it is open to the public. Come & enjoy great food, beverages, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and culinary competitions. For more info, check out their website.

Third Annual Mango Festival
June 26-28
Nimitz Beach Park, Agat

Mayor Carol Tayama and the Village of Agat will be hosting the Third Annual Mango festival. This fun event will feature arts & crafts, exhibits, workshops, contests, food booths and entertainment. Among the fun mango contests will be the Biggest Mango, Most Beautiful Mango, & Most Bizarre Menu, along with the Best BBQ chicken, fish, and pastry. For more information, check out their website.

The Westin Resort Guam

A culinary paradigm shift has taken place at the Westin with the unveiling of its newest restaurant innovation, taste. Taste is a Westin brand concept that's being offered at various Westin hotels world-wide and offers guests an interactive dining experience and places them right in the center of live cooking action stations where a variety of cuisines are prepared, assuring freshness and good flavors. Taste has replaced Cafe Kalachucha, the hotel's long-running major restaurant renowned for its vast buffets. Among the new equipment features is an exotic tandoori oven where naan breads and tandoori meats like chicken, lamb and beef are baked. There is also a custom-made rotisserie oven that will prepare succulent whole chickens, beef roast, herb rubbed lamb legs, pork cuts, and spiced whole fish.

The restaurant includes a salad counter with appetizer selections, along with a sushi and sashimi corner where your favorite choices are skillfully prepared for diners. There is a seafood display filled with an array of crab, oysters, shrimp and fish.

A new addition is the pastry and bakery corner where pastries are made and displayed along with a selection of baked breads and rolls. A teppanyaki station allows diners to choose their meats, seafood and vegetables and have them grilled in a blend of their favorite sauces and flavorings. Dim sum and tempura stations are also part of the line up at taste, where your dining adventures begin!

Taste is open for breakfast Monday-Saturday, from 6am-10:30am and on Sunday from 6am-10am. Lunch is served Monday-Saturday from 11:30am-2:30pm. Sunday Brunch is 11am-2:30pm. Dinner is served Wednesday -Saturday, from 6pm-9pm, with special Theme Dinners each night - Wednesday is Italian Affair, Thursday is Steak & Lobster, Friday is East Meets West, and Saturday is Seafood Extravaganza. Come to taste where you can feel, see, and taste the difference!

Marriott Cafe
Dim Sum Wednesdays
Guam Marriott Resort

I was delighted to be able to get a seat at the heavily-booked all-you-can-eat dim sum lunch buffet at the Marriott Cafe this past Wednesday. Let this be a warning to those wanting to eat here: Call ahead for reservations!

For $15 you are treated to an impressive selection of dim sum creations, from har gau to chicken feet. Along with the dim sum offerings, there is a salad counter, as well as a hot line with several meat dishes. On our visit we had roast duck, something I'd been craving for a few weeks. There was also some lechon, sweet & sour pork, fish, and baked chicken. If you have any room left, enjoy ice cream and pastries.

Tumon Bay Lobster & Grill

Tumon Bay Lobster & Grill is one place I've suggested people go to for good steaks and open air ambiance, although you can eat inside the air-conditioned dining room, if you prefer. The live musicians provide fresh entertainment for the guests, who are mostly from Japan. The servers are attentive and personable at TBLG - they know how to take care of the customer.

I arrived alone one night to demonstrate my Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator and ordered a bottle of Blackstone Merlot. Of course the Vinturi did what it was supposed to do.make a good wine even better!

I had the Seared Ahi Appetizer ($9.95), which went rather quickly. I had the T-Bone Steak ($26.95) and wanted a combo with crab legs. Since I was still celebrating my birthday, I was surprised with the gift of two King Crab Legs!

They do a wonderful job of preparing their steaks and seafood here at Tumon Bay Lobster & Grill. The dinner includes a salad bar trip, too which I didn't have on this visit.

TBLG is one of Tumon's hot spots for food and entertainment. If you like wine, they have a surprising selection of fine wines from California, Australia, France, and Italy. It's a dinner that won't leave you hungry for anything else! Very satisfying!

Kanda's Corner at Tentekomai
The Plaza Bayview

Kanda's Corner is a little hideaway you would never find if you didn't know where to look. First you have to know where Tentekomai is, then enter through the draped banner to the cooking counter where Chef Toshiaki Kanda does his thing. I've been a fan of Kanda-san since when he worked at the Palace Hotel's Utage Restaurant. He's since worked at Aji Hey and Kai in Tumon, and now is happily cooking away in this special place on the 2nd floor level of The Plaza Bayview.

Mark and I stopped by for a few beers and appetizers after work one night. It had been some time since my last visit which was during lunch. This time I was able to relax and enjoy a Tantakatan shochu with my meal. The Nanban Zuke ($4.50) was the first small appetizer to arrive. It had salmon cubes that had been fried and then drenched in a pickle sauce with cooked onions. This was served chilled and I recommend it if you like cold salmon.

The other appetizer dish I ordered from his recommended offerings on the menu was the Meibutu Papaya Kinpira (sweetened fried slices of papaya, $3.50). This was good, especially with beer. These had slices of boonie pepper and a little sesame seed sprinkled on top. I don't think I've ever had papaya fried, but it didn't take away from the unique taste and texture.

I must have been in the mood for salmon since I ordered Chef Kanda's Salmon Kasu Zuki Yaki ($8). This grilled salmon was excellent - tender, moist, and flavorful. It had been marinated in sake which gave it a distinct flavor. I made a little dip from grated radish with shoyu. The chef's presentation was also notable, with the caramelized broil marks making a stark contrast to the white platter. He even fried some basil leaf which made a delightful edible garnish.

We saw Chef making a California Roll for someone else and ordered one as well. Chef Kanda's California Roll ($7) was unpretentious though skillfully crafted. There's not much excitement in these but they still maintain their popularity. They don't require a lot of thought to eat. I guess I've outgrown my California Roll days. Still, Kanda's Corner at Tentekomai is a place where you can order from an assortment of small plate Japanese favorites. It's also a great place to be relax with friends.

Infusion Coffee & Tea
Marine Corps Drive
Upper Tumon (across from Nissan Upper Tumon, next door
to Aji Ichi Japanese Restaurant)

Infusion Coffee & Tea has just opened and still has that "brand new restaurant" look, feel, and smell! It is a state of the art coffee and tea cafe, where guests can come in and experience the sensation of a gourmet pot of brewed tea that actually blossoms in the pot right before your eyes!

When I say "state of the art" I mean they have things here that no one else has brought out yet, such as the "teaguys" tea sampler stand, which looks like a stainless steel muffin pan standing upright with round tea canisters poised inside. Each canister has small holes from which you can sniff the aroma of the unique tea leaves inside. Another sophisticated device is a milk chiller, which keeps the milk on the counter from going bad and curdling.

The blossoming tea I mentioned earlier is from a company called Teaposy. They use premium white tea leaves mixed with natural herbal flowers. These pods are vacuum sealed and are ready to blossom when immersed hot water. I had a Falling Water Tea Pot (24 oz), $4.95. This has Jasmine and Calendula (pot marigold). This is a fascinating process and really raises the standards on tea service.

Infusion also serves Lavazza Coffee, Italy's # 1 brand of coffee. You can get your favorite iced or hot coffee drinks here including Mocha's Caramella, Latte, Cappuccino Splash and other cold beverages including Blended Frappes, Fruit Smoothies, and Italian Sodas. For hot coffees, you get all the standards - Americano, Mocha, espresso and even fresh brewed coffee in a French Press with either Kona and Jamaican Blue Coffee.

You can buy gift items including specialty teas, coffee, and tea pots. In fact, Infusion is a one-stop shop for almost all the products you can get from its parent company, Archway, including Shangri-La Tea, Island Java Coffee, Mighty Leaf Tea, Bellagio Chocolate, and Torani flavored syrups.

If you are going to have a coffee and tea shop, you certainly should have something to accompany the beverages for people who enjoy a bite to eat. Infusion offers a wonderful line-up of sweet and savory crepes, as well as desserts and pastries from Le Tasi Bistro's wholesale bakery. I couldn't decide on a crepe so I went with something chocolate (always a good choice to my mind) and settled on the Mason (all the crepes are named for employee's children). The Mason has Nutella, bananas, chocolate sauce, and almonds for $4.75. I'd not had a crepe in a while and this was quite good. Other sweet crepes include the Aleutia, Angelica, Bella, Devan, and Mayumi which is made with Matcha (green tea). Their savory crepes include Brandon (mushrooms, Swiss cheese), Jacob (ham, eggs, spinach and Mozzarella cheese), and Zavier (smoked turkey, spinach, and Swiss cheese).

With wi-fi, a stunning window view of Tumon, and comfortable chairs, tables, and sofas, would you want to go anywhere else? Infusion is open 7 days a week, 6:30am-8pm Monday-Saturday and from 6:30am-5pm on Sundays.

Come to Infusion to experience coffee and tea in ways that will astound, impress, and replenish you!

Bon appetit!

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