Hard Rock Cafe's Sizzlin' Summer Steak Menu Signals New Culinary Direction for Guam & Saipan Eateries
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
It's a "Brand New Day" at the Hard Rock Cafe, and it's not a song by "Sting" that I'm talking about, rather is a new menu promotion created by "Singh," as in HRC's Executive Chef, Kotwal Singh. The "Sizzlin Summer Steak Set Menu" features a selection of Certified Angus steaks, that can be ordered alone or combined with a lobster tail. The set menu includes a large Caesar salad, steamed rice, baked or mashed potato, or French Fries, fresh sautéed vegetables, a glass of Fetzer Eagle's Peak Merlot, and a dish of Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream.
Hard Rock Cafe is celebrating its 30th Anniversary, and there are more surprises coming up in the near future. Executive Chef Singh was previously with the Hyatt Regency Guam when I'd first met him. He is the force behind these culinary enhancements that are taking the Hard Rock Cafe on both Guam and Saipan to a new level of quality dining. It's what you call "breaking the mold" and "thinking out of the box," and represents a departure from the "same old things" that have been on the HRC's menus for years.
The new set menu will be available now through October. It is a large blue menu with color photos (revealing big, juicy grilled steaks) next to each menu selection. I actually compared my order to the picture and it was nearly identical! The sets are: Filet Mignon Set, 10 oz., in Red Wine Sauce ($41.95), and $52.95 with lobster tail; Rib Eye Steak Set, 16 oz., ($39.95) and $50.90 with lobster tail; T-Bone Set, 16 oz., ($38.95), and $49.90 with lobster tail; and the Honey Bourbon New York Strip (with special HRC sauce) 12 oz., ($39.95) and $46.95 with lobster tail. Don't let these prices fool you...considering all that you receive, it's a value.
I opted for the New York Strip without the lobster tail. The Caesar Salad was quite large, and my friendly waitress, Arita, assured me that it was their regular side salad size. The romaine lettuce was crisp and covered with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Large crouton cubes were mixed in with the tangy (and surprisingly good) dressing. Black olives garnished this salad. When the steak was delivered, I was taken by the way it appeared to have jumped out of the picture on the menu and onto my plate. Of course, since it was Angus beef, you know it was delicious. I ordered it medium rare and I've got pictures of my own as evidence of their meeting my expectation.
The Honey Bourbon barbecue sauce is proprietary to the Hard Rock Cafe. It had a bit of a kick to it, and with a nice peppery flavor blend that complemented the meat's natural taste. The Merlot was also a good complement to the steak, with hints of oak, coffee and cherry, with a smoothness and clarity that was notable.
The sautéed vegetable selection varies according to what's available. Tonight, the vegetables were broccoli and carrots, and they were cooked just to the limit of doneness that I prefer. I was served rice, although I probably should have asked for a baked potato. When the ice cream was delivered, I was already full, and managed to put this refreshing frozen luxury to rest with a cup of coffee.
On the back of the set menu is a picture of a seafood special, which is the Whole Arctic Live Lobster Set Menu for $59.95. The salad, vegetables, and starch choices are included. As an added incentive, however, you can receive a free draft beef in a souvenir 20 oz. Pilsner glass with every set menu purchase. If that's not an inducement for serious HRC collectors, I don't know what is! Hard Rock Cafe Guam is open Sunday - Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. and Fridays/Saturdays is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. The restaurant serves food until 12:00 midnite, and converts into an enormously popular "club scene" from then until closing.
Chef Singh spends his time commuting back and forth between Guam HRC and Saipan location. He has written food articles for the Marianas Variety and has a radio talk show in Saipan. He is also a Celebrity Chef Contributor to the guamdiner.com website. Singh is a professional who takes immense pride in his calling, and takes every opportunity to enthusiastically share his knowledge. It's Singh's trademark smile that reveals his enthusiasm whenever you encounter him, and his warmth of spirit is infectious! As I said before, it's a "Brand New Day" at the Hard Rock Cafe, and you can still listen to good old Rock N Roll and order their signature Hard Rock Cafe Hamburgers whenever you want!