December 16, 2011, Volume 11 Number 23
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Well it's that time of year again when the holiday spirit of Christmas overwhelms and saturates! On Guam we try to find ways to re-create Christmas aesthetics with Noble Fir Christmas trees, imitation snow, and decorative lights galore so that at night you may not be able to distinguish local neighborhoods from Stateside suburbs, except maybe for the lack of real snow in the streets. And frankly, a lack of snow is no bad thing!
If you are looking for Christmas specials for dining and gifting, don't forget to check out our Christmas Specials.
This year we are pleased to see the return of the Hilton's Christmas train, which is a more celestial version viewable from below through an acrylic platform holding the tracks. This is the launch of the Hilton's 40th Anniversary (you could win a new BMW by purchasing a $40 ticket)!
The most spectacular Christmas construct is the Hyatt Regency Guam's Gingerbread House. It is the largest gingerbread house ever built locally, standing 12 feet tall and occupying 144 square feet in the Lobby. All the gingerbread bricks, icing, cookies and candy are edible. Go to the Lobby and see for yourself this amazing edible house which used over 360 egg whites, 500 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of powdered sugar, 200 pounds of honey, and a whole bunch of cinnamon, water, ginger, cloves, sugar, spices, and milk! Kudos to Executive Chef Josef Budde, Pastry Chef Suharto, and the Hyatt's pastry team for creating this elaborate and record-breaking gingerbread house!
We at GuamDiner.com want to wish all of you the best for the holiday season. May your Christmas be merry and may we all prosper in the New Year!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
If you were under the impression that we don't have enough restaurants on Guam and that we need more, then you will be happy to know that your wish is coming true! We know of several restaurants currently under construction with opening dates to be announced early next year.
One is in Upper Tumon in the old Burger King location near East West Center. Logan Farms Honey Glazed Hams & Market Cafe is part of a growing franchise based in Houston, Texas. They are famous for honey-glazed hams, delectable meats, sandwiches and homestyle plate lunches made fresh daily.
In Tumon there are three restaurants under construction. One is Gorilla's Steak House in the Acanta Mall (previously occupied by Pietro). Another is a yet-to-be-named Japanese restaurant in the old Stanlee's building (the owners are from Fuji Ichiban). The third is the Avenue Steak & Lobster restaurant, located in the Outrigger in the Mezzanine location previously occupied by La France.
Two new Thai restaurants will be opening soon. One will be in the Compadres Mall and the other will be the second location for the Fortune Cookie Cafe, which will be in the Agat Commercial Center, near Ho Mai.
I'm sure there are a few more out there that will be opening next year!
Of course, with new restaurants, we have to bid adieu to older ones. I've heard but not confirmed that the venerable Korea Palace in Julale Shopping Center has recently closed its doors. Another recent closure was Thuy's Vietnamese in Hagatna near the Bank of Hawaii while Yummy Tummy Chinese in Tamuning has been closed for a few months. Finally, there is a FOR SALE sign on D'Marianas Trench in the DNA Plaza near Yogurtland.
Waffles in Paradise!
Hyatt Regency's Lobby Lounge
Do you know that for $10 you can have the most luxurious waffle experience on island? Talk about pampered indulgence! On a recent Sunday morning we revisited the Hyatt's lounge in the lobby for a lighter breakfast/brunch alternative to the elaborate spread in La Mirenda. Oddly enough, we ended up just as full!
We were seated at one of the window tables with that fantastic stone garden view and we both ordered a mocha, and the waffle for $10 (plus 10% s.c.). Our server Tiffany first brought each of us a large tray with dishes containing fresh whipped cream, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and sliced almonds. She then brought three choices for drizzling our waffles - maple syrup, chocolate syrup, and strawberry sauce.
Finally, our waffles arrived. There were four halves of a thick battered waffle which are different than the lighter Belgian waffles previously offered. You simply put your own toppings on your waffles and voila, you have the perfect waffle breakfast in one of the most serene and beautiful lobbies in Tumon! What more could you want?
So, aside from having one of the region's best Indian Restaurants (the Taj), Palau can now boast having an authentic Italian restaurant as well!! Yes, Little Italy Restaurant & Bar has opened for business and has been pleasing a lot of customers with their tasty Italian fare.
Omer Bornovski, brother-in-law of my good friend Tova Bornovski of Fish n Fins and Bar-ra-cu-da Restaurant, has managed to build a quaint little (60 seats) ristorante that has all the accouterments of a genuine Italian eatery.
Among the dishes available are Linguine ai Frutti di Mare (seafood linguine), Pasta in Pesto Sauce, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, Tiramisu and more.
I have not yet been there, however, judging from the pictures, I'd say that it has a bright future as one of the new places visitors and local residents will enjoy!
Shoreline Bar + Kitchen
Something wonderful had happened at Shoreline! This past Monday a brand new menu concept launched. It represents and reflects a unique and impressive collaboration of the Shoreline staff with members of one of Guam's most successful and highly-acclaimed restaurants, PROA. Executive Chef Geoffrey Perez and PROA's Chris Bejado have worked in an advisory capacity to help formulate a dynamic new menu for Shoreline's Sous Chef Randy Bell and his team. This new menu has kept the team busy churning out sandwiches, appetizers, salads, and entrees that have been very well-received by Shoreline's customers during lunch and dinner service.
I had the opportunity to try out two of the new menu items, specifically the Fried Chicken, Avocado and Bacon Sandwich ($9.95), with a Creamy Tarragon Dressing and Organic Garden Greens. I was in a fried chicken mood and wasn't disappointed. The sandwich was large, owing mainly to the fact that the toasted buns were baked by Main Street Deli and Bakery (the famous Cinda Bread). I've been more carb-conscious recently and probably could have had half the bread served and been content. The fresh tomato, avocado, bacon, lettuce, and chicken with that notable Tarragon dressing made this sandwich work! It would make a perfect wrap or salad, too. This sandwich is served with curly fries.
Next up was the Grilled Shrimp with Organic Mixed Greens ($13.95). This has mango slivers, long beans, red onions, avocado, and is drenched in a tomato lime culantro dressing. Talk about using local ingredients to the MAX! Fantastic and original flavors dominated this dish. The visual presentation is stunning and alluring! How can one resist this invitation to dine exquisitely? Garden fresh long beans, cherry tomato , avocado, and mango, and organic greens. This is a big deal in our local culinary world as we are showcasing local farm raised produce. The best part is you can taste the freshness! Of course, the dressing makes everything work together so you have sweet and sour to go with crispy and crunchy. Well done, guys!
The new menu alsp features some cool tapas like Pan Seared Scallops with Thai Lime Papaya Salad and Red Pepper Mint Sauce; Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb and a Big-Eye Ahi Slider with Miso Hondashi Black Pepper Mayonnaise and curly fries!
Notable entrees are Bacon Wrapped Prawns (mango, red pepper garnish, ginger citrus carrot dressing); "Shoreline Seafood Paella"; CAB Grilled Ribeye; and Charbroiled Big Eye Ahi Fillet with sweet onion and Aji Amarillo sauce.
I can't wait to get down to Shoreline again to try out more of these great new menu additions. What a brilliant connection these folks have made! You can even get Sweet Relief desserts here.
Delmonico Kitchen & Bar
Just when you thought good couldn't get better, Chef Eddie Chien has done it again! Arguably one of the island's best chefs and among the most experienced (try walking a mile in Eddie's Profis), this guy has a universe of flavor and taste concepts floating around in his head! I knew that a menu re-vamp was imminent and was pleased to run into Eddie last Monday at Pay-Less when he informed me that they'd just launched their new menu. He said they brought back a lot of the famous steaks from COLORS Red.
I perused the new menu and decided on a light and simple appetizer, the "Shrimp Cocktail" ($13) withThai Mango Salad, Minted Sweet Chili. This is a must have if you can handle spicy heat! The shrimp are plump with a firm meaty texture and sprinkled with Cayenne and chili pepper. Served on a long platter with a fantastic, mouth-watering combination of mango with fish sauce and sweet chili sauce it's just an exceptional flavor contrast that will leave you begging for more. Flecks of mint didn't go unnoticed or uneaten. What a fiery, flavorful spicy delight!
My main course was first mentioned by Darlene, Delmonico's manager, then later reinforced by Chef Eddie, who said I had to do "Da Bone", which is a dramatic Tender Braised Whole Short Rib with Garlic Demi Glace, Mash and Garlic Chips ($17). Talk about Alley Oop and the Caveman days! I don't think the photos do this justice - it's a huge beef bone crowned by a clump of the most tender braised beef I've had in some time. The demi glace is garlicky and reinforced by garlic chips for a veritable double whammy of flavor that really brings out the best in this succulent meat. I vaguely remember eating the grilled eggplant slices and mashed potatoes. I did have an excellent Cabernet called Earthquake with this "beef bomb" and this wine is a real gem from Lodi, California!
Among the steaks Eddie's resurrected are the Chasseur "The Hunter" Ribeye; The Horseradish; the Moroccan NY; The Cajun NY; The Maitre D', and the Teppan Garlic. He also has flank steak a variety of ways, including Apple Wood, Mongolian, "Chessa" style, and Huevos Ranchero. I'm going to have to come back for more!
Churrasco Brazilian BBQ & Salad Bar New Dessert Menu Introduced
1st Floor Pacific Bay Hotel
One of the best parts of being the Guam Food Guy is that I get invited to try out new and innovative creations by some very talented chefs. In this case, we were going to test drive some of Churassco's Pastry Chef Raoul Cordero's creations. I think you'll love these!
Our first item was a Coconut Tapioca Pudding (Diced Pineapples, Coconut Tuile, Choice of Guava, Passion Fruit and Mango Sorbets ($5.00). Ours had the Mango Sorbet. Now I'm not a big fan of tapioca and this was a very unusual pudding combination with a taste I enjoyed. The Coconut tuile (a crisp cookie which is French for tiles) was a nice touch and the mango sorbet with the diced pineapples had both competing and complementing tastes.
The Warm Banana Bread Pudding includes Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce, Cashew Brittle and White Chocolate Ice Cream ($6.50) and was like a Snicker's bar on a plate! This was way "yummy" and was delicious from the first taste until the last.
The next item was a Lemongrass-Coconut Flan (Bruled Pineapple and Mango Sorbet ($5.00). Although Zee rarely does the flan, this one was an exception. I don't know how but Raoul captured the essence of lemon grass and infused it into every bite of the flan.
When Raoul told us about his Stout Beer Ice Cream Sundae of Coconut Brigadeiros, Brownies, Blondies with Chocolate and Caramel Sauces ($6.50), I had my reservations. It wasn't the first time I'd had beer-infused Ice cream. This one was actually quite delicious as there were some amazing blend of brownies and cookies. The ice cream did have a bit of an aftertaste, but it wasn't unpleasant. It held up against the sugary sweetness of everything else.
Our final dessert was inspired by one of Raoul's dreams, kind of his "fantasy dessert"! Completely unique and definitely creative, this Raspberry Panna Cotta and Red Wine Ice Cream with Orange Blossom Water and Lychees ($6.50) is like something from the Musuem of Modern Art, and in this case, it would be culinary art! The key to this is to combine the elements in your mouth to get the full flavor impact. The orange blossom water is delicate and airy and it serves as a "soup" that you put a piece of lychee in as you bring it to your mouth. The silky texture of the panna cotta and the smooth coolness of the ice cream offer contrasting mouth feels that parallel their flavors. This is definitely Raoul going over the top! So, when you go to Churrasco, save room for dessert!