Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
April has been one busy month and we are almost ready to jump into an even busier month - May! This weekend you may want to drop by the Talofofo Banana Festival at Ipan Beach Park, starting Friday (from 5-10pm) and running through Sunday. There will be many vendors, some competitions, and fun activities for the entire family to enjoy! You will literally go bananas - there are so many varieties you'll be amazed! May will feature the Auction & Wine Tasting fundraiser to benefit the Guam Girl Scouts (May 15 at the Infiniti Showroom) and will also feature Saipan's Taste of the Marianas, a month-long celebration held every Saturday at the American Memorial Park in Garapan. May also celebrates our love for Margaritas, guacamole, ceviche, tortilla chips and salsa during Cinco de Mayo! Don't forget to make your Mother's Day reservations! As I said, so many things to do and not enough time in a day!! Eat well!
Ken the Guam Food Guy
Ban Thai Celebrates 15 Years!
Ban Thai Restaurant
This past Wednesday night was a night that seemed to last forever as Ban Thai celebrated 15 years of doing business in its famous Tumon landmark location. For you old-timers out there, Ban Thai is in a building that previously housed Leo's Restaurant (known for having half of a VW Beetle sticking out one of its walls facing the road). Going back, this building was home to the legendary Salzberg Chalet where continental cuisine was celebrated in style. Ban Thai is Guam's most popular Thai restaurant and boasts a weekday lunch buffet that serves to a packed house. The party was thrown by Lek and Greg to show their appreciation to their friends and customers. There were performances by Thai dancers as well as musical entertainment by popular vocalist Peter Santos and a talented new (to me) musician vocalist Nicole Leon Guerrero. There was an endless buffet of delicious Thai food that actually outlasted the guests (who stayed for hours)...there must have been three roasted pigs carved up that night and there was even Alaskan King Crab legs! Ban Thai's bar is a destination in itself! When I first reviewed Ban Thai in 2001, I had not yet been to Thailand! Since having visited Thailand, I can honestly see that Ban Thai's ambiance, atmosphere, cuisine, and energy replicates Thai night life like no other restaurant on Guam.
Happy 15 years, Ban Thai Restaurant!
Guam Girl Scouts Celebrates 80 Years
The Sheraton Ballroom was transformed into a Big Tent Carnival atmosphere this past Sunday as hundreds of Guam Girl Scouts and family members engaged in a wide variety of games and fun activities that kept volunteer booth operators on their feet for hours trying to keep up with the energized young celebrants! Face-painting, weaving, ring toss, sack races, friendship bracelets, bowling, hanging bean bag toss, and other carnival games of skill filled the ballroom. Of course, one of the highlights was Board Member Bert Johnston's S'Mores booth - yummy Hershey's Chocolate melted with marshmallow between two Graham Crackers - need I say more? (or should I say "S'MORES!!!) Yum!! Thanks to former Board Member Mildred Gabriel for organizing this celebratory event commemorating 80 terrific years of Girl Scouting on Guam. Thanks also to Vickie Fish, Executive Director, for her two decades of service to the cause (she'll be retiring this year, but will still be active)! Thanks to all the volunteers and staff who worked to make this birthday party a roaring success - it's all for the girls! We are so very proud of them!
Thai Noodle Cuisine
Hours: Mon - Sat
Lunch : 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dinner : 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
One of the newer Thai restaurants to open in Tumon is Thai Noodle Cuisine, now open for just over 4 months. I'd been meaning to stop by sooner and I'm glad we finally did. Ideally located in the busy Park Arcade across from the Hyatt Regency, Thai Noodle Cuisine is clean with comfortable seating in a well air-conditioned dining room. The decor gives tribute to Thailand, with official portraits of the King and Queen of Thailand, along with some appetizing food posters, artwork, a large elephant painting and what I thought was most notable, a beautiful parade of carved elephants displayed on a wall shelf. There is a large screen TV that should have Thai videos and music but doesn't, so it kind of detracts from the Thai ambiance (local news?). However, we are not here to watch TV, we are here to EAT!
Our exuberant server, Ning, has a wonderful service personality and knows the menu as well as what to recommend. The spiciness range is 1-10, and we ended up about medium (5) for our Thai dishes. The menu has photos of all the food served. Zee had a Thai Tea and I enjoyed a Singha. We ordered Fresh Lumpia ($9) as an appetizer. You get 4 thick rolls (the menu photo shows 6 pieces). These also have chicken inside, so if you want vegan, you need to mention that. You also need to mention that you don't want any MSG in your dishes. I was surprised to see that they had Deep Fried Tofu ($10) as an appetizer, along with other " fried" things like Calamari, Shrimp, Chicken, Wings, Lumpia, and Wonton. The lumpia were pretty good and the tasty peanut dipping sauce went quickly!
Our next dish was Combination Penang ($14), which had shrimp and chicken in a savory penang sauce that had just enough heat to bring a little sweat to your brow. The portion was more than adequate and it tasted good enough to order again.
We then had our Pad Siew Chicken ($10), which came out wok-fresh with broccoli buds and bits of chili (it was #5). It was also quite good and the portion was larger than many we've had. There was also plenty of chicken and I liked that some of the wide flat noodles had a little char on their edges. Another tasty dish I could recommend.
The dishes we'd ordered had been delivered and we were enjoying them, however I wanted at least one more dish and asked Ning to order one of my favorite Thai dishes, the Pad Ka Pao Moo ($10 - Pork) with egg on top. She then brought out some Nam Pla Prik (spicy condiment sauce with chilies and fish sauce). Putting this on the Pad Ka Pao Moo truly enhanced the taste of this already delicious dish.
We enjoyed our dinner at Thai Noodle Cuisine and will probably come back to try some of the other Thai dishes.
Tumon (Across from Ipao Beach, Beneath Tower of London)
Mon - Thu: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
If you have not been to Frost Bite yet, you are missing out one of the the island's best dessert destinations. The owner of Frost Bite, Andrew Miller, has re-located from the Star Bldg. in Upper Tumon. The new location has seating outside and inside and parking on both sides of the building, which is nice since we now have the pleasure of walking along San Vitores on the wide walkway fronting the store. We stopped by after our Thai dinner with the intention of getting something refreshing to cool our palates.
We spent some time talking to Andrew about his amazing variety of dessert creations, which are on display. Desserts like Japanese Cheesecake, Baked Mochi, Eggless Tiramisu, Roti Buns, Banana Bread Pudding, and others. The specials board had Almond Roca Cheesecake ($6) and Banana Latiya Japanese Cheesecake ($6), Tiramisu ($7.95), and Lava Cakes ($4). I ordered the Almond Roca Cheesecake (which was awesome). Andrew bakes everything on site - he has mastered the recipes for these desserts. Although they are served in plastic boxes (take-out), they are as good as you'd find in a fancy restaurant (if not better).
The Banana Latiya Japanese Cheesecake was equally phenomenal - these are layered dishes and he has used a graham cracker crust. As I was enjoying this dessert I contemplated coming back for more (they have a lot of different menu items). I'd ordered a Calamansi Cream Soda ($3.50) with a little Pomegranate syrup instead of an illy espresso-based coffee drink (I can get one of those next time). The cream soda was certainly refreshing and not something I'd usually order.
Zee ordered a Mango Snow Ice bowl (Small - $4.75/Large is $6.50). These come with two toppings (she had toasted almonds and a colorful Konjac blend). Konjac which is a starch from the root of the konjac plant grown in Taiwan, Japan and China. This fibrous material is known in Japan as konnyaku, and is made into food that looks like squares or strips of stiff gelatin, with a slightly rubbery texture. It is considered a health food and considered good for "intestinal function" The Snow Ice desserts served at Frost Bite are amazing creations, available in dairy and non-dairy, but all using this thinly shaved ice mixed with a variety of flavors and toppings,
We had arrived on a weeknight just around 8:30 so we only had a half hour before closing. I can now see stopping here during the daytime to try other goodies like the fresh-baked Roti Buns which sell out quickly. I also want to try some of Andrew's other cheesecake creations, like the White Chocolate Japanese Cheesecake! These are not overly sweet however they are rich and delectable. Another unusual creation we have to try is the Imagawayaki, which are baked pastries Filled with red bean or Nutella. The lava cakes are baked to order (Ube is one of the flavors). Get your dessert on at Frost Bite, Tumon's new dessert destination!
Owner Andrew Miller and Ken "Guam Food Guy" Stewart