October 11, 2002, Volume 2 Number 41
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
A while back in my early days as a "restaurant reviewer", I recall someone telling me that he really liked the way I described the food I'd eat at restaurants, that I brought a lot of life and light to an activity he'd taken for granted. Although he enjoyed eating, he never took the time to analyze nor appreciate a meal's quality, from its ingredients, taste, method of preparation, to its presentation. He tended to "rush" his meals, as though he was performing a mundane task of shoveling food into his mouth and mechanically chewing it. There was no fun nor excitement in his food universe then, however, he has since learned to take the time to discover the art and magic of eating.
A recent dinner experience at the Nikko's Benkay Japanese Restaurant exemplified the importance of taking one's time to enjoy a fine meal. The Benkay's Sushi Paradise is a once-a-year event held in October. It is an "All-You-Can-Eat" experience but the seating is purposely limited. They graciously apologize for not taking reservations after 7pm to "allow for unhurried enjoyment." That's precisely the point! We must take time to savor the flavors of a delicious meal, to enjoy our company, to appreciate the restaurant's ambiance, and to count our blessings for having the awareness to appreciate.
It's been gratifying sharing with you the many dining adventures and food experiences and the good news is that there are many more ahead!
"Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today." Peter Kuzmic, theologian and author.
The Guam Food Guy
In Today's Issue:
- Name Your Favorite Cuisine - "No Such Thing As A Free Lunch?" Survey
- Sushi Paradise At Hotel Nikko Guam's Benkay Japanese Restaurant
- Around the Island - Simply Food, King's, Sushi Tairyo, Hilton & More
- St John's Glee Club - "Crazy For You" A True Musical Extravaganza
- Directions October Issue Features "The Food Guy Takes On Fast Food"
- Wing's Restaurant - Low Fare Dining Eatery Features Good Cantonese
Name Your Favorite Cuisine - "No Such Thing As A Free Lunch?" Survey
The "No Such Thing As A Free Lunch?" Survey is in the final week and the questions are a bit less fact oriented and more interested in what kind of food you like to eat, your attitude about new restaurants and other intriquing questions. Take the survey and check out the Week 1 winners of lunch and gift certificates from Lone Star Steakhouse, Marty's, Planet Hollywood, Sam Choy's and T.G.I.Friday's. You could be the winner this week!
Sushi Paradise At Hotel Nikko Guam's Benkay Japanese Restaurant
If you are a sushi aficionado, you will truly appreciate the high quality sushi dining experience awaiting you at the Nikko's Benkay Japanese Restaurant as they celebrate their annual Sushi Fair, "Sushi Paradise". Held during the month of October, this all-you-can-eat event is a sushi lover's fantasy! The freshness and quality of the sushi served is "top-shelf", and I highly recommend you make reservations for this special feast, by calling 649-8815, ext. 7504/5. In what lasted nearly two hours, I had the good fortune to join a fellow "sushi foodie" in one of the most memorable and pleasurable sushi dining episodes I can recall. Be sure to sit at the counter where you can watch Maui, the engaging Palauan sushi maker, skillfully cut and roll a marvelous assortment of fresh sushi. Maui starts you off with a platter of Maguro (tuna), Shiromi (white fish), Ika (squid), Hoki (clam), and Ebi (Shrimp). The stunning impact of the first bite launched a continuous series of ecstatic murmurs of appreciation punctuated by head nods toward the chefs! An enthusiastic "Oishi"! ("delicious" ) was the best Japanese I could muster, as we watched Maui and Sushi Chef Tosho Tsuchida prepare platter after platter of "Tok-u Jo" (the deluxe assortment of nigiiri sushi) that were delivered to small tables behind us in Benkay's Sushi Bar.
We were treated to exceptional Unagi (broiled eel); Hammachi (a high quality white fish), with one piece having a section of the coveted belly, which had a luscious buttery flavor; Mackeral (for those who prefer a strong fishy taste), Ikura (Salmon roe); Hirami (flounder) that was chopped up and blended with a Japanese red pepper paste and green onions (we called this the "Maui Wowee Special"); Saba Oiishi Sushi (made with a special press); and a California Roll made with real King Crab! We managed to eat more sushi, however there were others we couldn't get around to ordering. For dessert we had a refreshing Azuki (red bean) ice cream. The $30.00/per adult, $15.00/child price is certainly well worth the investment for an evening of "unhurried" pleasure. The Benkay Sushi Bar is highly regarded by the local Japanese community as being a premier sushi destination. If you are a sushi lover, this special October all-you-can-eat sushi festival is a event you don't want to miss.
Around the Island - Okotberfest, Simply Food, Sushi Tairyo, Hilton & More
The Old Hagatna Grill will be celebrating Oktoberfest during their monthly wine dinner - this month it's a "German Beer & Wine Dinner" with an outstanding menu and selection of beverages to complement. Reserve now for Saturday, October 19 at 7pm by calling David at 472-5885. Chef Chris has also updated both the lunch and dinner menus with new taste treats.
Staying in Hagatna, Le Tasi Bistro is also celebrating Oktoberfest with a special set dinner menu featuring German cuisine and the microbrewed beers of the Great Deep Brewing Company. The menu changes weekly so you could go each week and experience more of Chef Bertrand's culinary wizardry! Call 472-7877 for reservations and information.
You can get your healthy dining fix at Simply Food in Agana Heights across from Government House. You'll love the quiet ambiance of this truly all vegetarian place. Simply Food has an easy-to-read fill-out yourself menu/order form, so you can pick and choose from a variety of food options, toppings, and combinations. The Smoothies are terrific - we had an awesome Passion-Orange-Guava Juice Smoothie with Strawberry ($2.95). Read the review for more info.
Sushi Tairyo, in Blue Lagoon Plaza, has joined our line-up of excellent specials at GuamDiner.com. This rotary sushi bar is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, serving good quality sushi at very affordable prices. This restaurant was featured in the Guam Food Guy's Top Ten Reviews for 2001! Sushi Tairyo - they do sushi right!
The new issue of Hilton Happenings is on-line at GuamDiner.com and we can look forward to some great events through November. Upcoming next week is a visit to Guam by Chef Mark Hehir from the Hilton Tokyo's 'Twenty One' Restaurant. Chef Mark will be at Roy's preparing a menu based on his special French-Pacific style which incorporates classic French cooking methods with Asian touches. He will also hold a cooking class on Saturday, October 19. Get all the details and make your reservations.
After the Saturday night performance of "Arsenic & Old Lace", I went to King's Restaurant in Harmon for an early morning meal. The $2.99 Pancake Sand was just the right thing, with 3 buttermilk pancakes and a sausage patty. It's wonderful to get a value meal that satisfies one's taste and appetite at the same time!
Chef James Lin is wowing diners with his unique, meticulously-crafted creations at PIC's Bistro. His weekly lunch specials are ever-changing with cuisine styles that span the continents. I recently was treated to his Southwest Grilled Swordfish with Crabmeat Butter Sauce! That was a marvelous combination. The chocolate cake he made for dessert was beyond decadent - made with a premium chocolate that was silky rich, semi-sweet, and designed to melt in your mouth
St John's Glee Club - "Crazy For You" A True Musical Extravaganza
The St. John's School Glee Club presents "Crazy For You" a spectacular musical production based on George and Ira Gershwin's 1930 hit "Girl Crazy". Crammed with standards like "I Got Rhythm" and "Embraceable You"; "Crazy For You" garnered 1992's Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Choreography and Best Costume Design. The story is about the adventures of a stage-struck playboy in a Nevada mining town - where romance, mistaken identities, and show stopping musical numbers all add up to irresistible fun. The Gala Opening of "Crazy For You" is Friday, November 1 at 8pm, there is an evening performance at 7pm on Saturday, November 2 with matinees at 3pm on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3. Tickets are available at the school and are $10 for General Admission and $7 for Students. For information about the play, the cast and all things about "Crazy For You" visit the St. John's website or call the school at 646-8080.
Directions October Issue Features "The Food Guy Takes On Fast Food"
Coming soon to your favorite bookstores and bookstands is the October issue of Directions Magazine, which features the Guam Food Guy's article on Guam's fast food industry. I'm still shaking my head in amazement at the picture they took of me holding 3 sandwiches with 4 hands! The cover of the magazine features Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau. You can take an in-depth look at Palau in several well-written articles covering the economy, business, government, and current, as well as future projects. The ad for the Palau Aquarium is fantastic, with rich, colorful imagery of the sea life. The articles on Palau have a panoramic top border showcasing Palau's natural beauty and unique culture. This issue offers a fascinating view of Palau in a brilliance rarely seen published before. Good job, guys!
Wing's Restaurant - Low Fare Eatery Features Good Cantonese
Looking for a quick, inexpensive, good-tasting Chinese meal that's made fresh to order? Well, for over ten years, Wing's Restaurant has filled that order for hundreds of residents who come to eat in this unassuming little restaurant. Wing's is located right off of Marine Drive just south of the Airport Hotel in a little plaza across the street from the 76 Station. You'll have to drive slowly in the right lane and turn down into the parking lot that is below-street level so as not to miss it! Don't worry - once you've found it, you'll always remember it!
Most working people like Wing's casual atmosphere, with its floral-patterned acrylic table covers, simple plates and laid back hospitality - meant in the spirit of letting you eat in your own space, kind of like "home". You do get attention when arriving, and you can either sit in a smoking or non-smoking room.
We arrived for dinner and ordered the Pancit Guisado (with vegetables only, for $8.00), Young Chow Fried Rice ($7.50), Crispy Fried Chicken (one of their "signature" dishes, for $7.50), Mo Po Tofu ($7.00), Roast Duck, (sm., $6.50), and Kang Kong ($7.50). Our server, Angela, began delivering our dishes one by one, with the fried rice coming first. It's prepared well, with generous amounts of diced char siu pork, shrimp, chicken, and egg, with enough to serve 4 people when sharing a lot of dishes. My companion specifically wanted the Pancit Guisado, which had thin noodles mixed with cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and green onions, with a nice, lightly-spiced flavor. I have to confess, I've never had a dinner at Wing's when I didn't order their Crispy Fried Chicken. It is a half-chicken that's deep fried after some type of marination that gives it a special flavor. It's fried to a dark golden color reminding me of broasted chicken, and it is served with a garnish of shrimp crackers. The white finadene that accompanies it knocks it up another notch and you've got yourself a "darned good chicken dish". It seems that 4 out of 5 customers orders this as one of their entrees!
Click here for the Full Story
The Guam Food Guy
Don't miss this week's features at GuamDiner.com!
- Featured Recipe - Chef Singh's Hearty Beef & Veggie Stew
- Wine Feature - Should All Wines Be Red? An Argument for Whites
- Other Beverage Feature - A Primer on Brandy - Spanish, Italian & German
- Health & Nutrition Feature - Antioxidants - Important to Your Health
- View Past Newsletters - Click here for our Newsletter Archives
- Submit Your Favorite Recipe - Click here to send
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