Pacific Star Cafe's Dim Sum Wednesday - Fabulous Treats to Touch Your Heart!
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
If you love dim sum as I do, then you absolutely must go to the Pacific Star Cafe on Wednesday for the all-you-can-eat Dim Sum, which literally translates as "to touch your heart", and that's what these delicacies do! From now until May 31, you can eat dim sum to your heart's content either for lunch or dinner, and only on Wednesdays! Although Dim Sum gets the top billing, the Marriott Cafe has an impressive buffet spread with a lunch time price of only $15 (plus 10% sc), which is without a doubt the best dim sum value on Guam. The dinner buffet is $35 for adults, $17.50 for children 6-12 years and the usual 10% service charge is added.
It also the best quality dim sum on island, and there is an excellent reason. The dim sum is prepared by the husband and wife chef team of LeLand and LiFen Feng, who originally made the revered dim sum for the legendary Lotus Garden, the famous Chinese Restaurant that was the pride of the Pacific Star Hotel before it became the Marriott. When you arrive for lunch or dinner, you will see LiFen busily working moving steaming baskets up and down at her dim sum stall. She explains to customers what type of dim sum they are selecting, and answers any questions they have. I was both surprised and impressed by the variety of unique and enticing dim sum dishes that are available. Among these are Shrimp Ball with Egg White, Crab Meat Roll with Spicy Sauce, Salmon and Chinese Olive on Tofu, Sweet Rice Ball Dumpling, Shumai with Quail Eggs, Chicken and Portabella Mushroom, and Pan-Fried Shumai.
All in all, I had probably a dozen or so different Dim Sum dishes, so the majority of the buffet hot line and salad items, including dessert, were beyond my capacity. I had a dollup of hot chili paste on a plate and Chef Leland (who is also Marriott's Executive Sous Chef ) had a continuous procession of dim sum plates delivered to my table. I savored the flavors and relished the delicate textures of these remarkable pairings, as most came in a selection of two. The salmon was steamed to a perfectly delicate state, and then topped by a Chinese black olive. Both of these were placed atop a plank of tofu that was afloat in a truly magnificent sauce, which seemed to be a blend of soy sauce and Chinese wine, flavored by chives.
Another delicacy was the Shumai with Quail Eggs. This had a half of the egg placed on the top of the dumpling, under the flour wrapper. Another dish was a rice ball that had dried shrimp with sweet Chinese sausage in a ball of seasoned rice. I ate from basket to basket. The crab meat (imitation) was placed atop a ground pork dumpling and then wrapped in bands of clear rice noodles. These came with a spicy red chili sauce. Some of the baskets had banana leaves while others were just open. The tops of some were decorated with tamarind and other colorful seeds that were steamed and served to accompany the dim sum.
The buffet line during lunch had such entrees as Stir-Fried Beef with Vegetables, Steamed Basa Filet with Soy Sauce, Sauteed Mussels, Beef Sichuan with Tofu, seasoned and grilled fresh fish from the live griddle station, sushi rolls, sashimi, soups, salad, and many cold, artistically created seafood appetizers. Lunch hours are from 11am-2pm and dinner hours are from 6-10pm.
I highly recommend Dim Sum Wednesday at the Marriott Cafe to all dim sum aficionados. It's great to have this caliber and variety of dim sum available to eat without having to board a plane to Hong Kong!