Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Wow! Let's count our blessings that we "dodged" another typhoon bullet by only getting a record flooding from Tropical Storm Halong! Kudos to all the Emergency Management personnel, JTWC, NWS, and the various media involved in keeping us updated and informed about the storm's progress. This must be the season for the storms as they are becoming more frequent and getting closer to us!
I am getting better after fighting this pernicious flu bug. It sure has made me less visible and yet I still must work! I miss my water aerobics and morning exercise at the Westin pool. Soon! Very soon...I'll be back! In this newsletter I reached back seven years to a previous newsletter for a topic about Comfort Soups to Cure Life's Aches & Pains. I thought with all this wet weather and colds affecting people, it would be good to have come hot soup to restore us to a better condition. We also want to congratulate the folks at Applebee's Guam for finally opening. It's a beautiful building and I am looking forward to eventually paying a visit to their establishment.
Stay dry and warm, and find a good kadu (soup) somewhere if you can't make your own!
Ken the Guam Food Guy
Guam Reef & Olive Spa Resort 40th Anniversary
1317 Pale San Vitores Rd.
I was invited to attend the 40th Anniversary of the Guam Reef Hotel, now re-labled the Guam Reef & Olive Spa Resort. Of the many guests who attended this celebration at the Top of the Reef (moved from the new Beach Club due to inclement weather last Friday, July 25th), I was part of a smaller, exclusive group of people who had been at the Reef's opening 40 years ago (1974)!! I remember enjoying the breeze at night while standing in the open air lobby and gazing out over Tumon, which was sparsely built with only a few hotels dotting the pristine landscape. Let's see, the Hilton (the smaller original building), Tokyu, Guam Continental (bungalows), Dai Ichi Hotel, Tropicana Hotel, and Fujita Hotel were all south of the new Reef Hotel, then Guam's tallest hotel structure! North of the hotel was the original Guam Hotel Okura building. My have things changed!
Guests at the reception included island dignitaries, members of the hospitality and tourism industries and other special guests from Guam's business and professional community. One of the highlights of the evening was a special presentation made by Yuka "Lisa" Nawano, President CEO Eggs n Things. She presented the Reef's General Manager, Yasuhiro Kotera, a framed set of two pictures taken of the original land clearing for the construction of the hotel. These black & white pictures were taken in 1972 and a sign in one picture reads the "TOWA REEF HOTEL". Congratulations on your 40 Year Anniversary to the staff and management of the Guam Reef and Olive Spa Resort! May your next 40 be as fruitful and exciting as the first! Com
Comfort Soups To Cure Life's Aches & Pains
While my original review some seven years ago (Aug 3, 2007) featured soups from some restaurants that are still open, others have since closed. In honor of my original review, I will still include those restaurants that are still open and add some of the more recent places where I've found great comfort in a tasty bowl of hot soup! (Note: some prices may have increased since these write-ups were created).
Mary's Vietnamese Restaurant
Mary's Vietnamese is my preferred stop for Sinigang with Shrimp, as I find it an ideal restorative to help fight off that nasty flu bug that's making the rounds. The hot, sour, and spicy broth really de-congests and makes one feel better immediately. This is the one soup that I have as take-out, and whenever Zee goes to pick it up, they know that the food guy's not feeling well! It's been so long since I've ordered it as a dinner entree that I don't have any current electronic images to share. It's one for the imagination!
The Lemai Cafe and Restaurant
673 Purple Heart Memorial Highway (Rte 8) next to Cars Plus
It was a wet and dreary Thursday and I needed some hot soup preferably Kadu! Where to go? You got it...Lemai! Yes, you better get there early or call ahead and reserve, because they've got one of the best Beef Shank Kadu's on island. For $10, you get a large bowl of savory broth with lots of boiled cabbage and potato chunks floating above a huge thick slice of tender beef. You also get two big scoops of steamed rice, and finadene. If you ask nicely they'll give you some donne.
Suphan Thai Restaurant
DNA Plaza (near Yogurtland & Cost-U-Less)
All the rainy weather and cool temperatures we recently experienced resulting from our close call with Tropical Storm Sanvu had us craving for some hot soup! We decided to try what was recommended by several people who had the Noodle Soup ($9.00), which is Thum's specialty. This soup is a little misleading because there are enough rice noodles, minced chicken, and soup broth to feed two or three people. I guess it could be a meal for a big guy with an appetite. You can season this to your liking and add a lot of peppers (if that's your thing). This is a Thai version of our proverbial "chicken soup for the soul. Another soup I've had a few times for take-out is Suphan's Tom Yum Goong (Hot & Sour Soup with Lemongrass and Shrimp). It is also spicy!!
DNA Plaza (Near Cost-U-Less)
Chowon Restaurant is becoming more and more a local favorite for those looking for a flavorful home-style Korean dining experience. I like to use the word "clean" when I describe Chowon because it is small and really has a bright, relaxing ambiance. It is usually filled with Korean customers, so you know you are getting the real deal when you are eating here.
If like me you are feeling the effects of a cold or flu, I can recommend a good soup available at Chowon. It's their Kal-Bi Soup with Egg ($11.99). It comes with rice and panchan (side dishes). This Kalbi soup reminds me of a good Chamorro kadu (beef shank soup) in that the rich beef broth is created from simmering the beef bones for a long time. It's got a heartiness that revitalizes. There are some good sized chunks of tender beef still clinging onto small rib bones. I put one on my rice bowl to show you its size. Believe me, these bones were blanched when I got through - delicious to the last bite! If you want a spicier soup, try the Spicy Beef Soup with Egg ($11.99).
Tumon Trade Center, Ground Floor
When I am asked to recommend a spot for great ramen, I suggest Menkui Ramen without hesitation! I have been enjoying their authentic ramen dishes for nearly four years. My "usual" has been the green onion-laden Special Negi Ramen ($10.50) before I became addicted to Menkui's Chasyu Men ($10.50), which has the tenderest and tastiest pork loin slices. WIth no MSG in the broth and superb noodles, this is a soup you love to savor as you eat! I try not to eat at Menkui too often because I enjoy the "homecoming" I receive after a long absence as I taste the ramen and slurp the delicious broth while sitting at the counter watching NHK! Just as the truth about absence making the heart grow fonder, the same applies to the love of food. Try Menkui for a mouthful of that lovin' feelin'!
Pho Noodle House
This little Vietnamese treasure located on the Ground Floor of the ITC Building next to the House of Brutus has been mentioned several times in this newsletter and I've written two complete reviews over the years.
Owned and operated by Sang Kim and his sibling sisters Phuong and Huong, who do most of the cooking, it's hard to go wrong with anything on the menu. Nonetheless, there are a number of suggested menu items, from Fried or Fresh Lumpia to Lemongrass Chicken (or Beef), Combination Noodles, Beef Salad, Fried Spareribs, and soups such as the one I'm featuring today. Pho aka Vietnamese Beef Soup ($8), is best enjoyed when you prepare it in a particular fashion.
In using a Before and After photo juxtaposition, you can see the soup before and then the soup with all the blended ingredients, which includes fresh basil leaves, lemon, bean sprouts, Sriracha sauce, Hoisin sauce, and red chili pepper paste. Once blended properly and proportionate to your taste preferences, this soup is awesome, and chockfull of be beef from meat balls and sliced beef to tripe.
Of course there are some other restaurants I've gone to for that soup fix. The Chicken Tinola at Nayon Turo Turo has been a favorite go to soup, especially when it has malungay! The Kalbi Soup at Uri Jip has also worked wonders. The Curry Kebab's has a wonderful Tomato Soup, an exquisite Mushroom Soup, and a mean Mulligatawny Soup. Kar Kar (formerly May's) does a great Won Ton Soup as well a savory Hot & Sour Soup. King's and Denny's feature soups that run out before you can get there - beef shank and tinola. Great soups provide therapy - they are definitely soul-nourishing and sustaining!