November 20, 2009, Volume 9 Number 24
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Once again a very busy week! Nonetheless, we at GuamDiner.com are getting ready for Thanksgiving as I'm sure everyone else is. If you are planning to prepare a Thanksgiving feast and would like to try some different recipes, I recommend checking out our feature "Guam Celebrity Chefs Thanksgiving Menus" - you can't go wrong with any of these and the Wild Rice & Toasted Pecan Pilaf has become a regular on our Thanksgiving table.
As a time to reflect upon our many blessings (which can sometimes be hard when facing the challenges that are part of life), Thanksgiving provides us the chance to focus on the good things. We hope that all of you have the opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving with family, friends and acquaintances that is filled with gratitude, love, and, of course, delicious food!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You" Food Guy Show
Saturday November 21
Listen up this Saturday morning for the Guam Food Guy segment of K57's "Tourism & You" Show, from 10am-Noon. Guests for the first hour will be Devika Saelen, Food & Beverage Director of the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa who will be joined by Hilton's Executive Chef, Christophe Durliat.
Our second hour guest will be Carina Fejerang of Motivational Planning, who will join me in a very compelling discussion on restaurant do's and don'ts. Do you have what it takes to run a restaurant? What makes a restaurant great? Why do restaurants fail? These will be some of the questions that we'll explore. Feel free to participate by calling *57 on your cell phone or 477-5757. I'm sure we are going to have a lively conversation and restaurants are one thing that everyone has an opinion about!
Hokkaido Food Festival
Hilton Guam Resort & Spa
If you love seafood like I love seafood, you will definitely enjoy the "seafood love fest" at the Hokkaido Food Festival running now through Sunday at the Hilton's Islander Terrace.
We are honored to welcome to Guam special guest chef Manabu Ogawa from the Hilton Niseko Village, who has brought with him an abundance of delicious fresh seafood from Hokkaido. I had the opportunity to indulge on the event's first night and was impressed by how well the Islander's culinary team worked with Chef Ogawa to display and serve an astonishing variety seafood preparations, the likes of which I don't recall seeing before on Guam.
In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a more excited throng of customers vying to get their plateful of Red King Crab, Snow Crab, Hairy Crab, Squid, Octopus, Sweet Shrimp Sashimi, Scallop Sashimi, Salmon Sashimi, and assorted freshly hand-rolled Ngiri sushi creations by well-known local sushi chef, Charlie Venezuela.
I should also mention that local produce including eggplant, tomatoes, long beans, lettuce, radish, and squash from the Guam's Farmer's Co-op was used extensively in many of the dishes, further enhancing the elements of freshness and vitality to the foods served.
One of my favorites was the Salmon Hot Pot Ishikari style, which was loaded with giant scallops, prawns, crab, mushrooms, and vegetables, stewed in a magnificent broth. It would be the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day in Hokkaido.
Another popular hot pot featured is the Hokkaido Style Vegetable Hot Pot with Chicken Dumplings. Among the many entrees prepared were Hokkaido Scallops Cooked in the Shell, Salmon with Miso and Vegetables Chanchan style, Hokkaido Cod with Daikon Sauce, Marinated Hokkaido Seafood and Vegetables, Salt Preserved Squid, Dry Salmon, and Hokkaido Beef Steak.
The price of this fabulous buffet is only $39 (plus 10% sc), and includes a Kirin Beer. Hot sake is also available for an additional fee. Diners have an opportunity to join in the prize drawing to win a trip to Niseko. The Grand Prize is for two round trip tickets for two to Sapporo, Japan, with accommodations at the Hilton Niseko, where you will be able to have Chef Ogawa treat you to a feast at his restaurant, Japanese Dining "REN".
House of Brutus
I have been negligent in keeping up with my dining duties. After all, how much food can one guy eat? I was glad to have the chance to stop by House of Brutus for lunch one day a few weeks back where I had the Chicken Adobo Special ($10), as well as one of HOB's Rice House dishes, the Creme of Mushroom with Beef on Rice ($9). My server, Melohnee, brought out some garlic bread with tapenade, which I first thought they were doing to impress me, but then I noticed that they offered this free appetizer to all of their guests!
The special comes with a salad with a Caesar dressing. I asked Melohnee if the adobo was homemade and found out that it was a recipe from their chef Brian's mom. It was quite flavorful and would have had me begging for more if I didn't get my fill from the mushroom and beef dish, which reminded me of Creamed Chipped Beef (something I love for breakfast with eggs). I was brought some finadene at Melohnee's suggestions and that brought the dish closer to Tinaktak.
Either way, this was a great find and I am determined to get back to House of Brutus to eat at some of the other "House" menu features, which include a whole range of items from tacos and donburi, to burgers and curry. Thanks to Melohnee and to Sally for the engaging service. I've been away too long!
Yakiniku Ichiban Restaurant
Across from SandCastle (2nd floor)
One of the fun things about my work is finding new places and not just for other people, but for my own dining pleasure as well. I had not yet been to the Yakiniku Ichiban Restaurant in Tumon located above Uncle Sim's and adjacent to the DFS Galleria, so I went there on an assignment for lunch. I've seen this place from Vitale's and Dolce Frutti, and even above, from the Manhattan Terrace at the SandCastle. It was on my "bucket list" of places to go and I can honestly say that it was well worth the visit.
Owned by Eric Kim and his family, Yakinuku Ichiban serves an extensive menu of Korean cuisine with the yakiniku (barbecue) being the main attraction since people are able to cook their own meat and vegetables at the table grills. This restaurant is large, very clean, and well-ventilated. It also affords window views overlooking the San Vitores "boardwalk" so you can people watch while you eat. I regret being alone since it limited my selection of foods (I would have had more), so I settled on the Traditional Marinated Short Ribs aka Kalbi ($18).
Hot coals are brought out to the table in a kettle that is placed under the stainless steel cooking grate. The rest is up to you to cook and cut the meat up as you eat your panchan (assorted kimchis and vegetables). The fun thing about yakiniku is being able to share with others the cooking experience, especially when you have a variety of food to grill.
Other Barbecue items on the menu are Beef Brisket, Prime Beef Tongue, Prime Boneless Short Rib Strips, Prime Beef Outside Skirt Strips, Prime Beef Sirloin Strips, Prime Beef Tripe, Pork Belly, and assorted vegetables. You can also order Shrimp, Squid, and Scallops.
There are a variety of Hot Pot dishes like Spicy Seafood Jungol and Spicy Beef Intestine Jungol, as well as Beef Rib Soup, Oxtail Soup, Spicy Kimchi Soup, and Yukkejang (spicy meat & vegetable) which is a well-known hangover cure.
I was also impressed that they have Korean beer here, and I was able to enjoy a bottle of Hite, which has an indicator tab that turns blue when the beer is chilled to its ideal serving temperature. I will be back to Yakiniku Ichiban Restaurant, which is open from 11am-11pm seven days a week and next time I'll be sure to bring friends!
The Venue Parking lot
This is the saga of how I couldn't get a "10" dog! The beef between the buns at Big Dawg's is high-quality Nathan's, and Big Dawg's is known for their 10" Big Dawg, which eluded me on my second visit as I arrived a little late after 2pm and true to their motto, "we let the dawgs out!", they were out of big dawgs!
In fact, I was so frustrated about not getting mine that I took a photo of the customer who snagged the last one and had already taken a bite!
I did have a regular 6" dog and garnished it with relish, onions, sauerkraut, mustard, and a squirt of their signature spicy garlic sauce which has some donne inside. The 10" Big Dawg is $3.50 and the 6" is $3. You can make your dog a meal for $1 more which will give you a 12 oz drink and chips.
Big Jimmy is one of the owners of this busy little hot dog stand that's set up just beneath the Venue. They have a confidence, enthusiasm, and pride in their products which I admire. This little entrepreneurial venture is a cash cow and I wouldn't be surprised if they expanded to other locations. The Big Dawg's brand is catchy and they are catering to a hot dog loving island. I just can't wait to get my own ten incher - I'm planning to get there early next time!
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