October 2, 2015, Volume 15 Number 17
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Is it really October already? I am not quite sure what happened to make time fly so quickly...can you believe Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are just around the corner? Christmas decorations are on sale at Kmart and the Guam Girl Scouts are pre-selling Christmas Trees! I am going to have to write another newsletter devoted to all the new restaurants coming to the island. It seems that Hagatna is becoming the new restaurant destination of choice. It is understandable since the Museum will be a permanent draw for tourists! Do you think they'll award food concessions outside the Museum or inside? The beauty of Hagatna is that most of the key attractions and destinations are within walking distance...nothing is too far...even the Agana Shopping Center is only a short distance from Chamorro Village. The question is, how many of us local residents would even consider walking from Chamorro Village to the Agana Shopping Center? Something to think about!
In keeping with October traditions, you will be able to celebrate Oktoberfest at McKraut's Fast Food & Beer Garden in sunny Malojloj! Tell Lutz the Food Guy sent you!!! Enjoy!
Ken the Guam Food Guy!
Nit's Thai Cuisine
DhSP Plaza, Route 8
Purple Heart Highway
Barrigada (near Golden Sea Restaurant)
Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Whenever I find myself driving in Barrigada on Purple Heart Highway I tend to slow down to glance at Nit's Thai Cuisine to see if there are any parking slots. I did find a parking space today at lunch and was delighted to find out that there was plenty of seating available inside Nit's. I'd not been here for some time (probably over a year - time is flying way too fast!).
There are some new things on her menu (new to me!). One thing that caught my eye was the Chicken Fried Wonton ($8.00). These little gems have their own special ground chicken filling that they put in side these wonton wrappers that they fry to a golden crisp. These are served with a sweet and sour sauce. I actually enjoyed these, and ate all of them myself!!
I also ordered the Deep Fried Spare Ribs ($12.00), since they were new to the menu and I do like to compare these to other places known for their fried spare-ribs. These marinated ribs are served with steamed rice and a green salad with a sesame vinaigrette. Nit's ribs are marinated so they have a rich, seasoned flavor when you bite them. There is a dipping sauce (similar to the sweet & sour sauce used for the wontons. I actually like eating the cabbage that's used as a garnish.
The final thing I ordered that was different to me was Pad Mee Krati ($12.00), which sounds more like something you do rather than eat! This is a completely unusual item for most people who are used to the typical Pad Thai noodle dish. This features stir-fried thin rice noodles with a creamy coconut curry base, bean sprouts, egg and chives that are topped with roasted peanuts. I did ask for this to be spicy so there were some peppers mixed in. This version came with four shrimp (The combination Chicken and Shrimp are available for the same $12.00 price). This was definitely a new Thai dining experience for me. The coconut milk is well-absorbed by the vermicelli noodles, which have a richness and thickness you don't get with the other noodle dishes I enjoy, such as Pad See Ew and Thai Drunken Noodles. One thing about these is that they will fill you up quicker so there was a good portion left over for balutan along with about four ribs. I've got to get back to Nit's more frequently to try some of her other "new" (to me) menu items including Dried Pork, Tofu Soup with Glass Noodles, Beef Shank Soup, and Banana Lumpia! They also have Weekday Specials that are priced between $7 - 10, including Garlic Shrimp, Chicken Penang, and several Fried Rice Variations.
Leo Palace Musical Experience
An International Cultural Exchange Music Seminar
October 5 - 11
Lobby Lounge Amika
Live Performances at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is FREE
Don't miss this extraordinary music opportunity made possible by the Honorary Consulate of Italy in Guam and the Leo Palace Resort Guam. Roberto Fracassini Productions is proud to present this superb line-up of Classical Music performers from Japan. Special featured guest perform is Japanese Concert Pianist Keisuke Shimatani. He is joined by Violinist Fumiko Tashiro, Soprano Takako Tamura, Soprano Hiroko Yamanaka, and Jazz Pianist Yuki Tateichi. This is not a formal concert, folks! It is a relaxed, casual musical sharing and you will have an opportunity to interact with the performers. Also, there will be Master Classes available (arranged by appointment). Guam musicians are encouraged to attend and participate. For information contact Roberto Fracassini Productions at 632-9037, 637-0826, 727-6570, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chamorro Village - Hagatna - 472-2000
Tumon - Across PIC - 647-3000
Dededo Mall - Dededo - 633-3000
If you don't frequent Jamaican Grill at least once a week, you might be missing something! They have been SERIOUSLY expanding their menu and I had an opportunity to dine with some visiting media friends who wanted to try out some of the new items being featured along with their standard rib & chicken combo platter. Before I go any further into our dining adventure, I want to give an "attaboy" shout-out to Frank, Tim & their Jamaican Grill team for their newly-designed website: www.jamaicangrill.com, which is probably the most exciting, visually stimulating and seriously real food preparation experiences ever made locally! It is impressive and if you watch long enough you will probably see some people you recognize prepping, grilling, serving, or eating!
One of the appetizers we ordered was the "Jerk" Sesig (Bangus Belly) aka "Jerk" Bangus ($9.50). This is served with some titiyas and has pepperoncino peppers and lemon to drizzle over before jumping in with our spoon, fork, chopsticks, or fingers! Once you start, you will have a hard time stopping! This is seriously delicious, and reminds me of chicken kelaguen.
I started liking milk-fish (bangus) at Ben & Yan's (Sizzling Bangus) and when I had it here I felt these guys really tapped into something great! A lot of customers will appreciate this Jerk rendition of this classic Filipino staple.
Though I've had this other item before, it was a first for my friends and they relished this Jamaican Grill version of another Filipino cuisine standard, Adobo!. Their Jerk Adobo Ribs (Bite-size Ribs - $13.95) are spot on! Tender, flavorful, and abundant, this has become a big seller for Jamaican Grill.
I also wanted my media colleagues to try one of Jamaican Grill's other super popular menu items - their "Jerk" Burger ($11.50), which has two beef patties (grilled to your liking), with Cheese, Curry Mayo, Grilled Tomato, Grilled Red Onion, and Grilled Buns. While not the biggest burger on island, it probably has the biggest flavor and it won't leave you feeling overly stuffed. My media friends definitely enjoyed this hamburger and discovered the unique flavor of curry mayo! Ya Mon, Serious Food things happening at Jamaican Grill!!!
MCA's Maila' Ta Fan Chesa #4 a Resounding Sold-Out Success!
Hyatt Regency Guam
30 September 2015
The Micronesian Chefs Association did it again and it seemed to be in a bigger and better way! The Hyatt Regency Guam's Ballroom was transformed into a small community of island villages that were the featured destinations of the produce they had provided the chef teams who were tasked with creating beverages, appetizers, and desserts! They had to make "chesa" sized dishes for over 500 people to indulge and savor. This year the chef teams were highly imaginative and you could see that they have learned from prior years about preparing for huge crowds of hungry people. The actual food and beverage creations were simply astonishing, demonstrating the unlimited capacity of our island's culinary genius, with FRESH being the key element! They also paid some serious attention to their displays and presentations, making elaborate and fantastic settings that still retained a warmly welcoming "island theme". We also want to celebrate and honor the farmers who made this collaboration the successful event that it has become. To help take the edge off a hard day of work, a complimentary wine bar treated guests to a selection of wines from Francis Ford Coppola and Montes wineries.
For those of you who were unable to attend this past Wednesday's event, we want to share with you some of the culinary highlights from the Maila Ta Fan Chesa: The Hilton's Executive Chef, Dennis Salenga and his team had Papaya as their featured fruit and made a refreshing beverage called Tropical Bliss - a Wild Papaya Coconut Fusion. Their farmer provider was Diego Mendiola and they represented Inarajan. Their chesa was a Crunchy Fried Emperor Fish (Sea Urchin Coconut Sauce & Binaklen Papaya). Dessert was a Crusty Papaya Tart with Island Chara Chutney.
Team Delmonico's Chef Eddie Chien and Hyatt's Executive Chef Mirko Agostini also represented the southern village of Inanalan and used Cucumber provided by farmer Brian L.G. They innovated an inspired beverage called Cucumber Yogurt SL Kucumba (Cucumber) Inalahan, Chef Eddie Chien Delmonico, Chef Mirko Agostini, Hyatt - Cucumber Yogurt Slush that used the cucumber as an edible container for their drink! They didn't leave much for Peggy Denny to clean up!!
Team PIC Guam's dynamic Duo was Executive Chef Simplicio Taga and Executive Sous Chef Darren Dragon, and their produce selection was Donne (hot pepper) from Barrigada farmer Eugenio Aguon. They made a virtual Margarita called Fire and Ice Mango Slush! They cut up Grilled Black Mountain Striploin and served bite-sized beef chunks that could be enhanced with three PIC Pepper Sauces: Hot Pepper Dinanche, Hot Pepper Bourbon BBQ Sauce and Molino Local Pepper. Their desserts were hot - Sweet n Spicy Macaroon, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Hot Peppers.
Team Pacific Star Resort's Executive Chef Leland Feng and The Westin Resort Guam's Executive Chef Daniel Lenherr pooled their talents to transform Kamuti (Sweet Potato) from Ma'ina's farmer Jesse Cruz into a Purple Dream Beverage. They also created Spicy Sweet Potato and Chicken Croquettes with spicy slaw, Chicken Kelaguen with Sweet Potato Bread and a bite-sized Sweet Potato Muffin with Sour Cream Icing!
The Westin's Chef Daniel Lenherr did double duty in collaborating with MCA President and Meskla Owner Chef Peter Duenas and his Executive Chef Ernie Merfalen to transform Lemmai (breadfruit) from Malohloh farmer Mike Aguon's fertile trees into three gourmet creations. They concocted a breadfruit punch beverage, then imagined a delectable Country Bacon-Lemmai Hash Cakes with Braised Beef and Truffle Essence! To finish they improvised with a Lemmai Ice cream with Candied Lemmai with Coconut Caramel!
Sea Grill's Executive Chef Rey Dasalla joined forces with Hyatt Executive Chef Mirko Agostini to create hugely popular chesas from Dedidu farmer Vincent Velasquez's Green and Ripe Chotda/Aga (Bananas). They conceptualized greatness in their Banana Caramel Frappuccino. They stole the show with their delectable Grilled Baby Back Ribs, Glazed with Banana Honey BBQ Sauce & Spicy banana tomato jam! Then they slam-dunked the desserts with an insanely decadent Banana Coconut Bread Pudding French Toasts with Banana Foster Cream Anglaise!
Don't miss the MCA's next Maila' Ta Fan Chesa event! You now have an idea of the fantastic things you would miss!
Bon Appetit & Gof Mannge!
Ken the Guam Food Guy
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