Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
It is already September and I am amazed by how rapidly this year is passing! You may recall the oft-used phrase "sign of the times"! Apparently our new "times" has more signs than ever as we see them dotting the landscape (not talking about election or political signs"!). We stopped by the "newest" sign to to set up on Guam -- Jack in the Box, which had a soft-opening on Sept 1 in its just-constructed co-location with Shell, which also features its new-concept convenience store, Foody's. If you haven't seen Foody's you should stop by for a short tour...it's definitely not your ordinary convenience store! They have a "walk-in beer cooler" called the Beer Cave, a Wine Cellar, Hot Bento, Coffees, Teas, Snacks, Bread, and more, all cleverly merchandised!
This new food destination is located on Marine Corps Drive in Harmon across from Wendy's. I should also say that Shell also sells gas so you can feed your car!
Today's newsletter is written from Saipan so will be a shortened version.
Ken the Guam Food Guy
KFC's Grilled Chicken in Saipan is the "Real Deal"
Earlier this year I wrote a short feature on the excellent Grilled Chicken being sold at Saipan's Kentucky Fried Chicken. I had commented at the time that Guam did not have "Grilled Chicken". Well, a few months after my Saipan article Guam's KFC introduced "Grilled Chicken", and they even used large color posters and full color page advertising in the paper. These posters and ads showed enticing perfectly grilled chicken pieces that you just had to try! However, when you get your order of "grilled chicken", you receive chicken that's not at all grilled! No grill marks nor caramelized skin! I have ordered Guam's KFC Grilled Chicken a number of times and I have talked to some of their managers about this. I believe their chicken is baked, not grilled, and there is simply no comparison in taste and texture.
Take a look at these two photos of Saipan's KFC Grilled Chicken. The box we had over a month ago and the plate is from a meal I had this past Wednesday. The grill marks are easy to see and the chicken looks juicy and appealing. I suggest that Guam's KFC management team look into this difference and upgrade their equipment to grillers so they can serve the same "grilled" chicken they are falsely advertising!
Sushi Ebisu Opening Soon in Royal Orchid!
2nd Floor Royal Orchid Hotel (formerly Singapura)
Sushi Ebisu Japanese Restaurant, one of the island's best restaurants, is expecting to re-open (maybe next week) in their brand new location on the 2nd floor of the Royal Orchid Hotel next to Capricciosa. It was my expectation to announce their opening on Thursday night, however, as of this writing owner Fumiya Nakamura is still awaiting a final approval from the Guam Fire Department's inspection team.
Ebisu's new home is spacious and now features those fabulous views of Tumon's panoramic vistas, from the bay in front of the Pacific Star Resort to Two Lover's Point in the far distance. This corner location on the 2nd floor gives Ebisu's customers a new environment for enjoying their favorite Ebisu creations. The red booths can now accommodate more people (the booth colors coincidentally match the trademark Ebisu logo.
We are excited about Ebisu's imminent re-opening after a two month relocation hiatus. There are hundreds of local customers who are eagerly anticipating the moment when Fumi-san can open his doors again! We will keep you posted!
Apericena! Giovanni's at 19
Anniversary Celebration a Culinary Fantasy Realized
23 August 2014
Hyatt Regency Saipan
"Apericena" is a clever hybridization of two Italian words generic to dining. "Aperitivo" translated means "small plates" akin to tapas. "Cena" means dinner or supper. So "apericena" is precisely what we didl!!! We indulged in small plates of incredibly delicious rustic creations derived from age-old traditions of the Italian countryside. Of course, one cannot say Giovanni's without conjuring up the maestro himself, Executive Chef Gabriele Colombo, who prides himself in serving simple, unpretentious dishes made with fresh, natural ingredients that are reflective of the gastronomic culture instilled in his soul.
The occasion of Giovanni's 19th anniversary was celebrated with both style and substance, with Italian wines that paired with a myriad of creations we tasted and enjoyed. Among the notable delectables were home-style Potato Gnocchi with sage butter, pear, duck ragout and fontina crust as well as an amazing Risotto alla Milanese served directly from a grana padano wheel! Some of the appetizers were Asari clam tortas, polenta cake, gorgonzola, pancettta chips, zucchini boat, spicy pork sausages, honey mustard, Anchovy fillet, fava beans, arugula, and lime oil, not forgetting about the Tuna crudo, orange, capers, and oregano (the ingredients alone are mesmerizing)! The Marinated Zucchini sticks and Shrimp & Cuttlefish skewers created a compelling visual display.
From the region of Toscana, Chef Colombo excited meat-lovers with his Roasted Lamb involtini, seasoned with fine herbs, garlic, provolone, olive stuffing and sauteed green beans. However, the acclaimed favorite was the Fiorentina chargrilled Certified Angus Beef rib cutlet, aromatic salt, rosemary and garnished with forest mushrooms. The live carving of these huge beef ribs was a sight to behold! The meat was succulent, expertly seasoned, and cut into bite-sized chunks. A few of us "mega eaters" scored the rib bone with all of its delectable bounty!
Ending this glorious buffet spread was the Tavolo di Dolci (dessert table), where I must admit, I succumbed to my cravings (and glad I did!). Imagine a selection that included Caramel chocolate Florentine, amaretto chocolate truffles, macarons, baci di dama, cantucci on Himalayan rock-salt cubes, crispy zeppole, apple frittelle, and berries coulis. The chocolates were the freshest and best I've ever tast I even gave in to the live station featuring finger banana flambee, marsala zabayon, almond tuille and walnut ice cream! (Mama mia!) Thanks Team Hyatt Saipan for an unforgettable dining adventure!
I strongly suggest that you make reservations today for next year's 20th anniversary celebration of Giovanni's, or just make it a point to stop by Giovanni's on your next visit to Saipan for a memorable dining experience!
Ken the GFG