Fortune Cookie Cafe - Thai Meets Chinese in Dededo with Delicious Results
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
Fortune Cookie Cafe - Tasty Thai with a Chinese Twist!
Dededo (across from the Dededo Flea Market)
Harmon Loop Road
If I've learned one thing about restaurants is they mimic the old
adage, "don't judge a book by its cover", you can't judge a restaurant
by its outside appearance, its name, and location. 'The Fortune
Cookie Cafe is probably not the kind of restaurant people would
want to stop at if they happened to be driving by on Marine Corps
Drive in Dededo or on Harmon Loop Road. I am sure glad we made
it a point to stop by, more out of curiosity than for visiting
some where new.
Why curious? Good question. According to the owners, Peter and Grace
San Nicolas, Fortune Cookie Cafe opened 3 months ago as a Chinese
and Thai restaurant. I wanted to see how this combination of two
great culinary cultures would work. Well, it seems that the Thai
culture won out, and the menu is pretty much exclusively Thai
though there are some unwritten exceptions. That's the charm of
this place - its flexibility. It can be whichever you want! If you
like Sweet & Sour Pork or Shrimp Fried Rice, or Won Ton Soup or
Salt & Pepper Shrimp instead of Thai food - no problem!
If you can see beyond the ramshackle, still-under-construction, road-side
vegetable-stand-fish-market appearance of the Fortune Cookie Cafe
and manage to park in the unfinished rocky, dusty parking lot
(which is actually quite spacious), you will find a diamond in
the rough inside once you walk in the doors. The left wall of
the restaurant has Thai paintings and artwork while the right
has Chinese paintings and artwork. Kind of a strange Asian dichotomy
but who really cares about such things when you are eating good
We were greeted first by Grace (who is Chinese), she gave us
our menus and took our drink orders, and then later were welcomed
by her husband, Peter, who is one of the nicest guys you'll ever
meet and whose life seems to have taken an amazing turn as he
has found himself running a Thai restaurant on his native island
home of Guam. It's an intriguing story that you'll have to get
him to tell you one day!
We ordered Chicken Satay (Gai Satay- $8.50) from the Appetizers
menu, Beef Salad (Yam Neur- $8), the Stir-Fried Kang Kong (Phat
Boon Fai Dang - $7) , the Spicy Pork with Basil (not on the menu
per se, which shows Chicken, Beef and Prawns as choices, but is
known as Phat Krapow Mee - $ 9), and Green Curry with Prawns (
Gang Khoum Whan Kung).
The first to arrive was the Phat Krapow Mee (Thai -style, with
fried egg). This is a dish I always order and it was prepared
as I requested with pork ground. It was a nice surprise coming
out first and I actually didn't try it until after we had the
Satay, which was among the best we've had! The skewers have a
glaze outside that I thought was coconut-based. There are two
dipping bowls on the plate, with one containing a rich spicy peanut
sauce and the other "Thai Finadene" which uses fish sauce as a
base. I went dip crazy...incapable of deciding which I liked better.
Seriously, you could eat these all day! The flavor of my Phat
Krapow Mee, as good as it was, seemed overshadowed by the intensity
of these two dipping sauces. I've had stronger basil flavor at
The Beef Salad (Yam Neur) was a home-run! It touched all the flavor
bases and had fresh, crisp salad ingredients of cucumber, red
onion, sweet cherry tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, and lettuce
with tender beef slices, all doused with that amazingly flavorful
and spicy dressing made with fish sauce, lime juice, mint leaves,
brown sugar, garlic, red peppers, and water.
The Green Curry was also a winner - intensely flavored and chockful
of bamboo shoots, eggplant, green beans, green chilies, and shrimp
in a masterfully prepared curry blend that left your palate abuzz
with flavor and tingling with a little heat(all dishes were prepared
to a temperature level of 4 out of 10).
We were given a free item to sample by the chef who'd heard that
I was in the house. I was delighted to see Mama Pod come out after
her Papaya Salad was delivered. I've known her for years as she
cooked during her years at Ban Thai. She's definitely got her
"groove on" in this kitchen! The Papaya Salad seemed to refresh
and replenish our palates. Again, well prepared with fresh , quality
ingredients. Though I thought we were finished with a few bags
to take out as balutan, we received some piping hot Fried Local
Bananas which were notably greaseless and very good eating.
Fortune Cookie Cafe is still a restaurant under construction and
as time goes on you will see more interior decorations and exterior
improvements. The seating capacity is for 80, but they can accommodate
more if needed. They offer a very popular lunch buffet Monday-Saturday
for $9.50 including Iced Tea, and $11 on Sunday. They are open
daily from 10:30am-2pm for lunch and from 5:30-10pm for dinner.
Party tray and take-out orders are welcome. Fortune Cookie Cafe
is located next to a fresh fish market which certainly makes life
easier for Peter and Grace during Lent! If you order in advance,
you can request a larger sized fish than the typical 1.5 lb. fish
they serve. I truly believe that fortune has graced the folks
at Fortune Cookie Cafe.