May's Restaurant - Where Common Food Means Great Chinese
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
When I asked one of my Chinese acquaintances why she and her husband liked May's Restaurant so much (they are regulars who've lived on Guam for a number of years), she said it was because May served "common food", the kind of food that didn't require ornate platters or silk tablecloths. Just good down-home comfort food, which is the kind everybody loves, whatever culture or cuisine style. Of course, May's Restaurant is Chinese and they are celebrating the Grand Opening of their new location in the Kim Chee Business Complex in Tamuning on Friday, December 19. A private, invitation-only event will be held in the evening, but breakfast and lunch will be open to the public.
May's has become one of my personal favorites and it's easy to see why. May's owner, May Li, is an enthusiastic and energetic chef/owner, who oversees every aspect of her business working with her husband, Joseph, to assure that things run smoothly for their customers. Customer service has been one of their mainstays, though it is possible that when they are super busy this may be stretched a bit. The staff is constantly moving throughout the restaurant filling glasses with iced tea and checking on hot tea pots. It's a place where many Chinese congregate often in large groups of 8 to 12 to eat. May's is a preferred choice for many.
For this dinner review, I was accompanied by a group of special guests who'd not been to May's and who's opinions I value. I also wanted them to understand that I was not exaggerating when I talked about May's fantastic food experience. Joining Zee and myself were friends and colleagues Jon & Mahie Anderson, and Tony & Patti Arroyo Rodriguez. All in all, this was a group of seasoned, well-traveled diners who could give an honest evaluation of their dining experience. Judging from the remants of our evening's feast, I'd say all were satisfied.
We started out with the Hot & Sour Soup ($7), which made a positive first impression - it was hearty, with peppers, tofu, mushrooms, ham, and preserved vegetables...all in a savory broth. This was followed by a procession of dishes, including Honey Walnut Shrimp ($12), fresh Chinese Broccoli with Garlic ($8), a juicy plate of BBQ Charsiu Pork, Salt & Pepper Shrimp ($10), Seafood Crispy Noodles ($13), Crispy Fried Chicken ($15), Whole Roast Duck ($20), and Steamed Lapu-Lapu in Ginger Sauce ($25).
The Seafood Crispy Noodles was a dish Mahie wanted, and it was loaded with scallops, squid, imitation crab, shrimp, bok choy all blended in an oyster sauce infused with ginger. She gave it a "thumbs up!" All of the dishes we had were thoroughly enjoyed - though I could see everyone was surprised by the Crispy Fried Chicken (it's one I really love) and that the Salt & Pepper Shrimp was a big hit though not everyone eats them in their entirety as I do! The Lapu Lapu was simply divine, with hefty white steaming chunks basking in ginger sauce garnished with Chinese parsley. A comment was made that the Walnut Shrimp was not overpowered with mayonnaise, as happens in some Chinese restaurants.
May's offers specials for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with prices starting at $3.50. May prides herself on serving terrific friend rice - locals love her Chamorro Fried Rice that's filled with aromatic Chamorro sausage. You can get any type of fried rice you desire from Shrimp to Combination for $6. May's breakfast includes what Zee jokingly calls "the fat girl special", Corned Beef Hash with Eggs ($3.75)!
Recently, May introduced a family of rice bowls, including Teriyaki Chicken, Kung Pao Beef, Pork Ginger, Chicken Cutlet, Salisbury Steak, and Pork Cutlet at $4.50 each. Now that's a great filling meal at an amazing price! Combos include such exotic, non-Chinese but local favorites as Kalbi & Pork Chop and Kalbi & Teriyaki Chicken - both for $7. You can also order Beef Yakisoba for $6.50 or Chicken Yakisoba for $5.50.
For that family or group gathering where nobody wants to cook but everybody wants to eat well, May's has two private rooms. One accomodates 30 people and the second one seats 15. Take-out and catering orders are welcome and can be made by calling 647-3188/3288. May's is open daily from 7am - 2pm and from 5:30pm - 9:30pm for dinner.
So if you are in the mood for Chinese "Common Food" that I consider to be uncommonly good, try May's Restaurant in Tamuning, and see why so many people are coming back over and over again for more!