Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
The month of May has blown by so quickly we almost missed a publication - thanks to Typhoon Dolphin's knocking out my Internet for over a week! There is so much happening on the restaurant scene with new ones seeming to pop up over night! In fact, I did see a sign for one at the Star Building in Upper Tumon. It is called HIDE Yakitori Japanese Restaurant and is currently under construction. I don't have an opening date but I will definitely be in line waiting to try it out. I happen to love Yakitori, especially when properly grilled. We shall see!
Have you had a chance to try any of the thousands of mangoes that were knocked down by the storm? There will be another Mango Festival in Agat during the weekend of June 5. It's always a fun time for the family. Don't forget to honor your fathers and dad's on Father's Day! This week's newsletter features the current Flavors of Thailand Promotion at the Hyatt's La Mirenda Restaurant, a drive down to Malolojloj to chomp down on McKraut's bratwurst sandwiches, and new dinner menu items at PIC's elegant Bistro restaurant. Eat well!
Ken, the Guam Food Guy!
Flavors of Thailand Dinner Buffet
Hyatt Regency Guam
May 22-30, 2015
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
$40 + 10% per person
Sawadee! Hyatt Regency Guam is pleased to welcome you to the exotic, flavorful, and savory cuisine of Thailand at a dinner buffet extravaganza that ends May 30! Two visiting chefs from the Talay Thai Restaurant in the beach resort property of the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin. Chef Samae and Chef Sukanya will take you on a culinary journey of home-style Thai favorites with a special emphasis on seafood since they are located by the sea.
The daily selections of appetizers, soups, salads, hot dishes curries, and desserts may change, however, you can expect appetizers like Fish cake with cucumber sauce, deep fried chicken with fish and chili sauce, and spicy soups such as Tom Kha Gai (spicy and sour chicken soup with galangal in coconut milk). Your palate will be tantalized by the cool spiciness of the Yum Woon Sen Moo - spicy glass noodle with minced pork salad or a spicy green papaya salad! Of course , Thai curries are one of the must have dishes - the Gaeng Kari Gai (chicken in yellow curry sauce) and Gaen Massaman Nua (beef shank in Massaman curry) are so richly flavored that the aroma will lure you in to get your bowl full! Jumbo prawns, lobster, crab, and chicken are grilled on the patio deck outside and are abundantly available for your dining pleasure!
Be sure to save room for dessert - the sticky rice topped with coconut custard is an all-time favorite. You can also get dumplings in warm coconut milk and sago pudding with coconut cream. This is just a sampling of the splendid food awaiting you! Get to La Mirenda today for the Flavors of Thailand!
Chef Photo: L-R Sukanya Sukduang, Demi Chef, Talay Thai Restaurant (lady) Sanea Sripeaw, Sous Chef, Talay Thai Restaurant Tony Lee, Chef De Cuisine, Hyatt Regency Guam
Taste of the Marianas
Certified Angus Beef Chef's Competition
May 30, 2015
American Memorial Park
Next Saturday evening will be the final night for this year's Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival and Beer Garden. The highlight of this final night is the Professional Chefs Competition, with the theme ingredient being Certified Angus Beef. Island Junior chefs will compete in creating their version of Marianas Albondigas, a dish inspired by the region's rich Spanish history.
If you are able to make it over to Saipan and have not yet attended the Taste of the Marianas (spanning all five Saturdays in May), you will be overwhelmed by this huge festival of food favorites prepared by the island's top hotels and restaurants, available at very affordable prices. There is live entertainment, cultural dances, souvenir booths, art work, handicrafts, and an array of beverages, with some special creations by the Saipan Bartenders Association. I have been attending for years, serving as emcee and judge. It is an honor and privilege for me to attend this exciting, one-of-a-kind event! See you there!!
Mark Dell'Isola's Pacific Mandala Exhibition
May 29 - August 1, 2015
Galerie Atelier 35
Aw shucks! You mean you have to go all the way to Germany to see Mark Dell'Isola's newest artistic unveilings? Seems kind of crazy going that far to see art work you could have easily seen (for FREE) right here on Guam in the Sagan Kotturan Chamoru just above the Hilton! I was fortunate to be able to get to Mark's Guam studio location just before he started rolling up his canvasses in anticipation of Typhoon Dolphin bearing down. I've been a fan of his for years and I had heard (or seen) a blurb on social media about his new work creations theme - "Pacific Mandala" - which offer a totally new level of abstract to his repertoire of artwork.
Concentric, hypnotizing, eye-crossing, powerful mind-numbing color patterns penetrate your eyes to radiate your brain. It's an entirely new focus he's creating and he conjoins the old with the new in a vibrant, powerful layering of circles within circles of energized patterns that typify his work. Whatever you do, be sure to keep an eye out for when he's back on Guam in his studio. He is approachable, will share his thoughts and ideas with you, and will talk freely about techniques and pigments. On May 29, he will be introduced by the Mayor of Landstuhl as an international artist whose work will be on display until August 1! Our own Mark Dell'Isola!
18th Annual Auction & Wine-Tasting to Benefit the Guam Girl Scouts
Friday, June 19, 2015 at the Infiniti Art Gallery
Ticket Price: $75
A fun time is guaranteed for all. This will be another opportunity to sample some fine wines from some of the island's premier vendors as well as some tasty hors d'oeuvres to pair with your vino. This adult fund-raiser held by the Guam Girl Scouts board of directors is now in its 18th year. The Girl Scouts Board was one of the early pioneers with this Auction & Wine-tasting concept that is now quite prevalent. Most of the funds raised will be going towards our building fund for the expansion of our Girl Scout Center, which we have outgrown due to our expanding membership. Please plan on attending and helping us get closer to our goal. You may win one of our Grand Raffle Prizes courtesy of United Airlines!
McKraut's Bar & Restaurant
I can remember the first time my friend Lutz (Ludwig Uhmeyer, owner of McKraut's) told me he was going to expand his little roadside stand in the idyllic rustic village of Malojloj (pronounced "Mah Low Low") into a German Beer Garden! I knew he would do it...I just didn't realize how well he would succeed in bringing the tastes and suds of Germany to Guam! Although you can get a wide selection of German beers in bottles and some on tap, you can get an array of craft beers (many of which seem totally new).
It may seem strange to even think about eating at McKraut's, for we had already eaten breakfast at Michele's, had some of the impressive Mother's Day Buffet entrees (King Crab Legs!!) at Jeff's Pirate's Cove, and had already downed a couple of Detmolder Pilsners. Yet, here we were, faced with the hard choice of deciding between the Veal Bratwurst or the Smoked Bratwurst! Decisions decisions! Let's just have both!!
The Veal Bratwurst in Loaf of Basil Bread, Dijon, Salad and Fries is $9.50. The Smoked Bratwurst in Loaf of Basil Bread, Dijon, Salad, and Fries for $9.75. You can load these bad boys up with onions, sauerkraut, mustard, and pickle relish if you want. These are big, meaty, flavorful brats, and you won't be disappointed.
Another customer has ordered something I wanted to get a photo of to share with you. It is the Jagerschnitzel (breaded) Porkloin in Mushroom Cream Sauce with Mashed Potato and Red Cabbage w/ Vegetables ($14.95). This just looks so delectable...the red cabbage is sweet and tart and complements mushroom-gravied pork loin.
Then I saw a dish that was new to me that was on their specials menu. It was a Combination Sausage Plate of Bratwurst and Smoked Sausage, Red Cabbage , Sauerkraut, Mashed Potatoes ($15.95). This was an interesting option going bunless. This is definitely a meat-lovers destination. I happened to see a dessert dish on someone's table and they said it was just heavenly. It looked like an ice cream sundae but I was informed that it was Apple Strudel with Vanilla ice cream! If looks could thrill (they did!!) Well for $4.50, you can't go wrong! McKraut's is open seven days a week. All major credit cards are accepted.
Bistro New Dinner Menu Features
We had the opportunity to try out a few of the recently introduced dinner creations at Bistro, one of the island's premiere casual fine dining destinations. If you arrive just before sunset you will be captivated by the view of Tumon Bay and Two Lover's Point just over the sprawling verdant waterpark below. Dining at Bistro is always a treat, no matter how many times you visit!
Our server, Annette, welcomed us back and we chatted like old friends about some of our recent episodes with Typhoon Dolphin. She took our beverage orders and gave us an overview of some of the new menu changes. We were about to get a special sampling of appetizers, salads, and desserts selected by Executive Sous Chef Darren Dragon, who had been patiently persistent in getting me here. I am sure glad he was as he and his culinary team at Bistro have created some inspired dishes that astonished us. One of the things you will see on your table is a tray holding Bistro's famous "homemade" biscuits and dinner rolls. There's nothing wrong with indulging a little with butter spread on top.
We had decided on our soups, one the traditional signature Lobster Bisque ($6.50) that has a dollop of fresh cream on top, with garlic herb crostini, and the other (my choice) was the Chef's Soup of the Day ($5.00), which was a fantastic Minestrone! I excitedly told Chef Darren that I could eat that soup all day...it was one of the best I've had with a boatload of ingredients with flavors galore!
Our appetizer selection was second to arrive. It was a right-sized combination taster of three popular appetizers, a la "Tapas" if you will. There was Baked Escargot with garlic toast ($12.50); Curry Crab Cake made with blue lump crab on a toasted brioche with mango cilantro relish and a delightful curry aioli sauce($11.50); and Flat Breads with Dip, which paired sun-dried tomato and basil flat breads with baba ganoush, romesco, and caramelized onion dips ($7.50). We appreciated the portioning of the sampler - just enough to satisfy our curiosity. Escargot is a traditional favorite and they keep it real! The crab cake was quite good and enhanced by the tangy sweet mango. I couldn't decide which I liked better, the curry aioli or the relish - they both were winners. We liked both the baba ganoush and the romesco, which is a Spanish tomato based sauce made with almonds, garlic, bread, roasted red peppers, and smoked paprika. This has a distinct smoky flavor.
Then we were brought two amazing salad creations. The first was the Local Caprese Insalata ($15) made with Breaded fried local eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and fresh marinated mozzarella and balsamic caviar. I don't know how to describe these caviar other than to say they created a sensation on my palate as they exploded their intense flavor. Well-presented, this dish was crafted to display freshness - the basil and local lettuce. It was a playful dish with salami slices that would meld with the mozzarella and eggplant.
The other salad, the Carpaccio Nicoise Salad ($16), was our favorite. It was made with thinly sliced soy, mirin, garlic, and sake marinated tuna loin with baby mixed salad, soft boiled egg, pickled baby carrot, radish, olives, and sweet potato chips. Every aspect of this salad was carefully constructed for optimum flavor and texture. The crispiness of the potato chip was surprising. The marinated carrot was unusual but delicious. The tuna was divine, however there was one element that was not mentioned on the menu description - it was a chipotle aioli sauce that brought fine points of pika to our mouths! This was awesome yet not for those who can't handle the heat! Most locals would love this and probably ask for sauce on the side!
The main courses we tried were Grilled Ribeye ($34), featuring a 20 oz. citrus soy marinated Angus Beef Ribeye served with a trio of sauces - green peppercorn, finadene, and creamy gorgonzola; and the Cobia and Shrimp Rigatoni Ala Puttancesca ($21.00), which sauteed both shrimp and cobia in a tangy garlicky Puttanesca sauce. This came with toasted French bread and garnished with fresh basil and a fried parmesan chip. The portions for this dish are ideal - probably one of the most exotic tastes you'll have - anchovies, olives, garlic, and tomatoes!
The Ribeye's presentation was fanciful and each element was placed for optimal effect and ease of access. Cute squash buttons were placed like little domes and sliced carrot, cucumber, asparagus stick and cauliflower were all playing a part. The garlic mashed potatoes worked best for me rather than rice. The sauce trio was a nice idea for variety and comparison, however, my favorite was the peppercorn, with the creamy gorgonzola second.
As you can see, we had eaten a lot and then there was dessert! We were brought three of their selection which was a form of divine torture! The first was the Creme Brulee Trio ($8.00), which is a trio sampling of the chef's daily creme brulee creations (tonight's flavors were Ube, Vanilla, and Green Tea). Good to at least try these! They are colorful and accented by fresh raspberries and blueberries!
The next dessert was the Baked Chocolate Lava Cake ($8.00). It is served with vanilla ice cream, fresh berries and a drizzling of raspberry coulis (it was absent). This is one of those Valentine's desserts - it'll spoil you with its goodness.
The third and last dessert was the killer!! Chocolate Decadence Cake($8.00), which was true to its name!! Filled with hazelnut flavored caramel, topped with a chocolate disc then enrobed with a hot chocolate ganache (and vanilla ice cream). This dessert was definitely the ultimate and pushed all of our pleasure buttons (and the belly button!!)...I really had a hard time stopping. I did have an illy Americano to revive me!
Our Bistro experience was memorable and we were left wanting to return for more...they have a lot of food offerings that will entice and delight you as much as what we experienced - maybe more! You need to come here and find out for yourself! Bon Appetit!