September 10, 2010, Volume 10 Number 17
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
It's around this time every year that we are reminded of how the world as we knew it changed dramatically and permanently with the attack on the World Trade Center and other targets in the United States nine years ago. Anyone born after that time, or who were too young to remember, would be amazed at the freedoms we have given up when it comes to air travel. Can you remember how much easier it was to board an airplane? Do you recall a time before "TSA"?
I am not complaining since we definitely need stringent and vigilant levels of security and protection, especially in light of recent successful and thwarted attacks on innocents. Adding to the potential for violent actions by jihadists is the planned burning of copies of the Quran by the reverend in Florida.
As a military bastion in this western most part of the Pacific, we need to pay close attention to all security threats. I certainly hope that cooler heads on all fronts prevail and that the reverend heeds the advice of many of our leaders to avoid needless provocations.
As this sad anniversary approaches, let's take some time to reflect on all those who lost their lives on 9/11 and since then in terrorist attacks and in the prosecution of the war on terror. Lastly, let us all pray for peace, understanding and a recognition of our common humanity.
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
Remembering Stanley Miller
In the same spirit of observing anniversaries, I noticed in looking at our newsletter from this time last year that Stanlee's in Tumon closed. I've included this segment from our newsletter below. Stanley passed in Australia a little over a week after he left Guam. We sure miss you, Stanley!
September 11, 2009, Volume 9 Number 19
Breaking News - Stanlee's Closes!
Yet another landmark Tumon establishment has closed its doors. Stanlee's Deli and Walkabout Pub was the latest concept created by that spirited pioneering Australian entrepreneur, Stanley Miller, whose business over a 12-year span operated as a deli, restaurant, and pizzeria, as well as a stand-alone liquor store selling wine, imported beers, and Australian groceries and specialty gourmet food items.
We are saddened to report that our good friend Stanley was in declining health, and had to leave his adopted island for Australia this past Wednesday, September 9. I have countless fond memories of this feisty, irascible gentleman from down under who loved to make people happy with his sangers (that's Aussie for sandwich) which he made with homemade breads like my favorite multi-grain and the unique flavor of beet root and pickled onions. The Australian Meat Pies, Shepherd's Pie, and his signature Stanlee's Burger pleased many a customer over the years.
I had my first Bunderberg Ginger Beer at Stanlee's as well as my first encounter with Berocca, that glorious cure-all for hangovers!
We are all praying for his well-being and that he find peace in spending his remaining days with family in his homeland. I'm sure there are many of us who would like to wish him well. We'll see if we can provide some way of getting messages sent to him.
This is the most recent photo I have with my mate Stanley taken on August 14. God Bless you, Edward Stanley Miller! Thank you for making Guam a better and tastier place for thousands and thousands of people!
Hilton Guam Resort & Spa
In our most recent newsletter review on the Hawaiian Sushi Infusion at Roy's Restaurant, I inadvertently omitted one of the new appetizers that we really enjoyed during our dinner review that took place over the course of two nights. This spectacular dish was Scallops Topped with Melted Foie Gras ($15.50). It comes with an egg compote and pomegranate sauce. Now this is an epicurean's delight, as it transcends the seafood experience of two superb, juicy and large scallops (big enough to share), by fusing the tops with the standard bearer of haute cuisine, luscious foie gras! I don't know if the egg compote is even necessary given that the scallop and foie gras are an enticing and potent combination, with each bite paired with Roy's Chardonnay, and accented with pomegranate sauce sprinkled with tobiko. It definitely takes scallops to a new level! What will Roy think of next?
I really like the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday's. I usually get the Turkey Minis and Garden Bar combo, however, on a recent dinner visit, I decided to try out one of their new menu creations, the New Orleans Seafood (Spicy Braised Tilapia Topped with Sauted Shrimp and Rich Parmesan Cheese Sauce with Fresh Steamed Broccoli and Brown Rice Pilaf), priced at $18.99. For just an additional $4.99, I was able to add trips to the Endless Fresh Garden Bar. You always get your money's worth when you combine your entree with the Garden Bar - it's the island's most complete with plenty of nutritious ingredient choices.
The New Orleans Seafood sounded and looked appealing on the menu. Don't be disappointed when your plate arrives as it doesn't resemble the advertised photo. It's never easy to replicate the photos on the menu. I did like the dish. They didn't go short on the Parmesan cheese sauce as it totally covered the tilapia. The shrimp were Cajun-spiced and sauted, then placed atop the tilapia, which is a pleasant, moist, and meaty white fish that assumes the flavors and tastes of the sauces and spices used to season it. The broccoli was steamed just right and the brown rice pilaf was a big winner for us. Maybe eliminating the sauce would make this one of those healthy choices selections. If you want my vote, though, I'd keep the sauce! It was a good dish that I'm happy to recommend.
It was a Sunday and we decided to go do a lunch where we'd not been in a while. This was the first time to enjoy Sunday lunch at Nana's Cafe. It's one of those places that has a loyal following of customers who enjoy the comfortable and relaxing atmosphere with that gorgeous right-on-the-beach view of Tumon Bay. The weekly lunch specials feature three different entrees that come with the salad bar, rice and iced tea. The lunch menu has a good selection of a la carte entrees.
The day of our visit they had a rich and flavorful Mushroom Soup (the other soup option is miso) at the salad bar. We ordered one of the lunch specials, the Shrimp & Basa Fish in Caper Butter Sauce with Garlic Bread ($12.95). The shrimp and basa were coated with a corn starch batter and fried, which gave both a crunchy texture. I would have preferred the fish and shrimp to be simply sauted and served with the caper butter sauce.
The other selection we had was the Beef & Mushroom with Seasonal Vegetables ($12.95), which comes with rice and the salad bar. If you like mushrooms, they really pile them on with this dish. The salad bar featured fresh pineapple and some pretty impressive desserts, namely cheesecake, tiramisu and chocolate cake. We did the tiramisu, which was fresh, light and airy.
Kili Cafe & Terrace
Hyatt Regency Saipan
On my recent visit to Saipan I had the opportunity to enjoy lunch at the Hyatt's Kili Cafe & Terrace, which is a very beautiful, serene dining destination. They were featuring a newly introduced Healthy Lunch menu which offers diners a choice of the Full Buffet (salad and a choice of a main course plus dessert) for $24 or the Salad & Dessert Buffet for $16.
There are four choices for the main course selection. I had the Poached Atlantic Salmon that came with sauteed vegetables, steamed potato, and caper butter. I had my salad bar course earlier and was able to enjoy this light and nutritious entree. My companion had the Spaghetti with Shrimp which features bell pepper, chili flakes and fine herbs. Other entree choices include Beef Short Ribs Kalbi and Roasted Lamb Rack. The service at Kili Cafe and Terrace is impeccable, and the food never disappoints.
Revolving Restaurant 360 8th Floor Marianas Business Plaza
Susupe, Lauru Loop
It has been a little more than two years since I last wrote about a visit to the Revolving Restaurant 360, which arguably has the best view of Saipan (or at least the most circular!). This is an amazing place that you should definitely put on your to-do list when you come to Saipan. I'd consider it a dining destination that visitors should go to get a moving panoramic view of the island. The food has also been getting a lot of attention, too!
I was able to stop by for dinner on my way to the airport and was greeted by my long-time friend who I'd not seen in ages, Chef Hubert Friedle, who is doing some advisory and consultancy work for the restaurant. I've known Hubert for a number of years, in fact, since the time he worked here on Guam. He's one of those iconic personalities who has made the Pacific their home.
My dinner started with some freshly baked foccacia bread that I dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This was a good way to begin and it actually paired well with my Carlsberg Beer which was on featured special.
The appetizer of Marinated Alaskan Salmon ($12) was next to arrive. It was a beautifully presented lemon-cured King Salmon with crisp romaine lettuce and mustard dressing. The salmon was a generous portion which I appreciated since this is one of my fish with astonishing health benefits. Sliced red onion, tomato, capers and black olives further enhanced this dish.
The salmon appetizer set a great stage for the main course which arrived next. I was impressed by the majestic presentation of the New Zealand Lamb Chops ($26), which were centered on a large blue platter with tomato concasse and chopped chives. The rich gravy complemented the chops rather than overwhelming the flavor of the meat. Making it all more delicious were the freshly made garlic mashed potatoes (real potatoes, mind you, not instant) upon which the chops rested. I was gratified to discover a small dish containing mint jelly, which I consider an classic complement to lamb.
My only regret was that I didn't have the time to try their most popular featured special, the Prime Rib Dinner ($35 for 16 oz. Captain's Cut or $28 for 12 oz. Ladies Cut), which includes the Soup of the Day or a 360 Salad, Certified Angus Beef Prime Rib, English Cut with Jus and Horseradish, Baked Potato and Vegetables. It also includes dessert, which is a delectable Fresh Strawberries with Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce. I confess I did have the dessert as a consolation but next time I'll do the "full Monty" Prime Rib dinner!
Since many of us Guam residents take day trips to Saipan, you should note that 360 is open for lunch and dinner. In fact, it might be worth a quick trip up just to enjoy a meal there!
Hilton Guam Resort & Spa
I have to confess to being a little out of the loop when it comes to menu updates and changes. I say this because since my last visit, the folks at Fisherman's Cove have tweaked their lunch menu to create a variety of outstanding meals that are reasonably priced for lunch. I had the opportunity to dine there just yesterday at a birthday celebration for a co-worker and wanted to share some of the highlights of what I considered to be an exceptional dining experience.
One of the features of the menu is adding on the salad bar for $5 when you order any entree. If you want to make a meal of just the salad bar, it will run you $9. On the menu you will find a number of sections and we ordered the Blackened Fish Salad ($11), which was seared ahi with blue cheese crumbles, limes, apple and pear, crisp greens, and bacon bites from the "Healthy Greens" section. The seared ahi tuna was sliced in big, thick chunks. It doesn't get much better than this. I could have been happy with this as my entree!
One of the most popular and frequently ordered items (it's even labeled "Favorite") is the Whole Fried Parrot Fish ($19) and it comes with steamed, veggies, and finadene. We had a couple of these to share. Each fish is about 1.5 lbs. and is fried to perfection.
I was intrigued and surprised by one of the menu items, which was the "Nasi Goreng" ($16), which is Indonesian Seafood Fried Rice. This comes with shrimp crackers, Mahi-mahi satee, spicy peanut sauce, and is topped with a fried egg. This is an outstanding version with authentic tastes and flavors. The rice is moist and spicy, blending well with the fried egg. I loved the spicy peanut sauce which we used to dip the crispy shrimp crackers into - talk about delicious! The mahi was grilled on skewers in the Indonesian-style and was fresh, moist, and well-seasoned.
I'll have to re-vist to write about the variety of shrimp dishes that are featured during lunch which are jumbo prawns and you can select the way you want them prepared. Scampi or Salt & Pepper both sound wonderful.
One dish I didn't try but did take a picture of really showcased the quality of seafood served at Fisherman's Cove. It was the "Kaisen Don" (Seafood Bowl $19), which has fresh tuna, salmon, and squid on rice. It's sprinkled with tobiko and layered with Kinshi Tamago (Japanese-style shredded egg crepe), nori strips and pickled ginger aka shoga. This Japanese favorite is served with miso soup.
For meat lovers, they have a burger, "Gyu Don" beef bowl, and pork chops stuffed with goat cheese. On my list of dishes to try in the future is the traditional French seafood stew, Bouillabaisse ($16). Honestly, they have really expanded their menu and everything looks good which makes me encourage you to make the Fisherman's Cove your next lunch stop. I'm glad we did!
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