October 22, 2010, Volume 10 Number 19
| Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader, |
This has got to be one of the busiest Octobers that I can remember! So much has happened and there's still plenty more to do! This newsletter will include a few of the great Oktoberfest experiences I enjoyed earlier this month and will also include a report on an intriguing evening of pairing premium beers, rather than the usual wine, with a four-course dinner, something I found utterly fascinating.
October is also the month for trick or treating and Halloween is already evident in some places like the Hilton's Caffe Cino. They are featuring a variety of ghoulish treats, including cookie fingers and ghost cookies. Halloween is also the stepping stone to the trifecta of Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year Holiday season, and there are already a few Xmas decorations on San Vitores if you can believe it!
We are a civic-minded group here at GuamDiner.com and we encourage all eligible citizens to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, November 2. When our next newsletter comes out on November 5, Guam will have elected a new Governor and the opportunity to vote is a responsibility and right of citizenship which we should take seriously and consider carefully our choice. Biba Guahan!
Ken the "Guam Food Guy"
Pastries in Paradise - "A Halloween Treat"
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort
The 13th Annual Pastries in Paradise, a fund-raising event to benefit the Lend-A-Hand Foundation, GHRA Culinary Scholarship Program, and the Micronesian Chefs Association, will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2010, in the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort's Ocean Sirena Ballroom. "Pastries in Paradise" is a fun and festive promotional and competitive event featuring desserts created by Guam's finest chefs and a variety of beverages offered by local distributors. The event will include the Bailey's Dessert Challenge, Torani's "Caramel Concoction" Beverage Competition, the Judge's Cup Competition, and the People's Choice awards. Tickets are $30 adults (12 yrs and older) and $15 children (6-11 yrs). Tickets are available at the GHRA office. For more information,contact the GHRA at 639-1447 or email them at email@example.com.
Dr. Kabob Has Opened!
Dr . Kabob
Pacific Bay Hotel
Dr. Kabob has finally opened its doors for business and is serving lunch and dinner. Located on the ground floor of the Pacific Bay Hotel just beneath the VIP Chinese Restaurant and across from Churrasco Brazilian BBQ, Dr. Kabob specializes in "Naturally Delicious" Mediterranean and Near Eastern foods.
You can eat such delights as Lamb Shawarma, Falafel Wraps, Salad Shirazi, Tabbouleh (Lebanese bulgur salad), Ash-e-Reshteh (Persian noodle soup), Roasted Red Pepper Humus, Cilantro Jalapeno Humus, Baba Ghanoush, and Kabob Kubideh (ground beef), Kabob Joojeh T.(Chicken breast kabob), and Fresh local catch kabob on a skewer. Side dishes available include the crispy cracker-like bread Lavosh, Grilled Tomato, Yogurt Salad, Basmati Saffron Rice, or Pita Bread with dip.
Although I stopped by just for a quick look see, I will return soon and try out a few of the many menu items they offer. It all looks good and probably is since our old friend Pedro (formerly of Marty's) is heading up the kitchen team there!
O'zapft is! It's tapped!
Oktoberfest @ taste
The Westin Resort Guam
I have been to a number of Oktoberfest dinners and events over the years and this year, things have really been taken to the next level. We went to taste in early October and were overwhelmed by the number of entrees and variety of German dishes served. They were all labeled in German with English translations. Among the dishes were Roast Pigs Knuckle, Cured Pork Loin, Salmon with Clarified Butter, Braised Red Cabbage, Meatballs with Caper Cream(Koningsberger Klopse), Spaetzle with Cheese, Onion Cake, Munich Sausage, Nuremberg Sausage, Consomme with Liver Dumplings, Sauteed Potatoes, Marinated Cold Cut Meats, and one of our favorites, the Farmer's Style Liver Pate (Bauern leberpastete). The Grolsch Beer offered was refreshingly appropriate for the menu.
Finishing up the feast was a Sacher Torte which is a chocolate dream of a dessert, and was enjoyed along with the sugar-coated "Krapfen", a jam-filled donut. You had to be careful biting into to these delectable delights to avoid jam bursting forth and dripping down your chin!
Kudos to Executive Chef Andreas Lorenz (who just happens to be German) and Executive Sous Chef Daniel Lenherr, a Swiss native, who, along with their hard-working culinary team, made this fantastic German feast a memorably delicious one!
Premium Brew Dinner
Hyatt Regency Guam
We had the distinct pleasure of attending an enlightening and intriguing "beer" dinner experience at the Hyatt earlier this month. We were all taken on an amazing culinary tour by our "conductor" (or should I say "tour guide"), Mr. Justin Lamontagne, who is an enthusiastic and passionate beer educator. The concept of pairing premium beers with foods was something all the dinner guests quickly adopted, and Justin extolled the virtues of having a good head on the beer for protection and flavor release, as well as how to appreciate the way beer will cleanse the palette, unlike wine which doesn't have the chemistry to clean the way beer does.
Al Dente's Chef de Cuisine, Chef Jo Ong, prepared an elaborate four-course feast that matched each course with a specific beer provided by the event host, Mid-Pacific Distributing Company. Hors D'oeuvres were served prior to the sit-down dinner and were paired with Henry Weinhard's Blue Boar Ale.
The first course was a delicate Ahi tuna carpaccio ala nicoise, paired with Peroni Nastro Assurro. This was followed by a black tiger prawn in tomato beer broth paired with Grolsch Premium Lager. This had the most flavor for me perhaps because the beer was used in the broth.
The main course was sensational as well, with Chef Jo preparing a sage-crusted pork loin, oven roasted red potatoes with fennel in a shallot-mustard jus paired with Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve.
For dessert, we were pleasantly surprised to discover the exquisite pairing quality of Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss with Chef Jo's fruit cobbler topped with beef-infused whipped cream.
[Photo L-R: Hannah Cho Iriarte, Pacific Daily News; Justin Lamontagne, Beer Educator, SAB Miller; Jessica Ann Rosario, MidPac; Jo Ong, Chef de Cuisine, Al Dente]
All in all, this first-ever beer dinner was a barrier-smashing success, since we all broke through the barriers of our wine-enabled "ignorance" to discover a new way of enjoying the food we eat with the premium beers we drink! Kudos to Chef Jo Ong and the Al Dente kitchen team!
PROST! Oktoberfest 2010
Hilton Guam Resort & Spa
They called it a "Little Bavaria" and so it seemed! The Islander Terrace pulled out all the stops to authenticate the experience with servers wearing Lederhosen costumes and banners were displayed as in a German Beer Garden. Along with the sumptuous buffet filled with German favorites, three beers were offered on tap: Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss, Henry Weinhard's Blue Boar, and Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve. All were utterly delicious, especially as they paired with all the foods we ate.
The buffet included Butter Spaetzle, Pork Schnitzel, a fantastic Rainbow Trout with Almond Butter and Parsley Sauce, Polish style Cauliflower, Braised Cabbage with Apples, Veal a la Zurichoise, Poached Beef Tongue, and Bayrisch Cream Mit Schokolade as a dessert item.
There were cheeses and breads and meats and sausages galore, so much that we had to limit what we could eat! Hilton's new Executive Chef, Christopher House, worked with his kitchen team to make this yet another fine Hilton culinary event achievement.
Manhattan Dine & Ride V
Guam Marriott Resort & Spa
The Manhattan Steakhouse, located in the Guam Marriott Resort & Spa, is the island's best fine-dining steakhouse. It is atmospheric and reminiscent of the great steak houses of New York City, which says a lot about this special place. The service standard here is high, yet diners can enjoy a casual elegance when eating here and don't need to wear a coat and tie to enter!
The food is extraordinary, with Prime Certified Angus steaks grilled to your liking. Fine wines, perfect martinis, appealing appetizers, and a menu full of entrees that stand on their own are what you can expect and receive at Manhattan Steakhouse. And yet, there is still more, much much more that you can do and have at Manhattan! Yes, you have an opportunity in the next few days (before the end of the month) to dine at Manhattan and qualify for a chance to win a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle as the grand prize in the annual Manhattan's Dine & Ride fund-raising promotion which is finishing up its 5th year! Proceeds are to benefit Habitat for Humanity, Rainbows for Children, and Autism Community Together. The key drawing will be held early in November with the final drawing date to be announced.
We had the opportunity to dine at the Manhattan this week and wanted to try some of the newer items on the menu along with a few favorites. We ordered the Five Onion Soup ($10), which is a traditional French Onion soup made with yellow onions, red onions, leeks, shallots, and garlic, gratined with Gruyere and Emmental cheeses. The rich hearty taste of this soup paired well with the glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
One of the new additions to the menu was the Blue Crab Salad ($18), which features lemon-zested lump crab meat stacked with local baby greens and tobiko (flying fish roe). A light vinaigrette is drizzled over the greens and crab meat making this a really satisfying starter. Crisp Melba toast and Roma tomatoes are adorning enhancements.
We also ordered a newly added entree, the Scallops (8 pcs/$36), which feature huge scallops sauted with shallots in a fresh lime and green peppercorn & caper butter sauce. If you are a scallop lover, you will not be disappointed with these. They're just awesome with this piquant yet smooth sauce which blends peppercorns with capers.
Since the beef is really the star here at Manhattan, I couldn't help but order the Prime C.A.B. New York Steak (12 Oz, $40), requesting it be cooked medium rare. This is a stand-alone steak experience. The meat cuts easily and the flavors are enormously satisfying. All entrees at Manhattan are accompanied by Manhattan's Signature Vegetable Board which allows you to select mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, straw onion rings, and creamed spinach as you wish.
Be sure to save room for dessert and coffee. We had the Manhattan Dessert Sampler ($9), which combines three featured desserts, at the moment these are Banana & Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding (to die for!), Jack Fruit Cheese Cake, and the signature Baked Alaska! The plating of this heavenly trio was a sinfully red triangular platter, and when it was placed in front of us, we were awe-struck, and then, after a sip of the Illy Caramel Macchiato (Illy expresso blended to perfection infused with vanilla syrup and caramel), we proceeded to eat. This was "WOW!" cubed! The Baked Alaska had strawberry and chocolate ice cream under the baked whipped cream exterior and the crispy, cookie-like crust underneath earned this classic dessert additional points from me.
We thanked our server, Argen, for a delightful dining experience. They do service right here at Manhattan! Be sure to come before the end of the month for a chance to win a Harley Davidson. It's in support of some great organizations in our community, and you'll love every bite you take of your dinner!
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