Category Archives: Dining

Tony Romas – Hagatna

When the in-laws call for a last minute dinner, how can you refuse? Bear bumped into them at Docomo. He was there to disconnect our cable and home phone and they were they connecting theirs.

After paying so much for cable with HD channels, we came to the conclusion we no longer needed it since Apple TV suits our needs and we can Netflix & Hulu. When we did watch any cable channels it was for news or Food Network, both of which we can find online. We rarely receive calls on our home phone so we figured that it was pointless to continue paying for it. We kept our internet and Bear’s cellular active but all others are gone along with the expensive bill that came along with them.

To our surprise there were $4-$5 happy hour specials on beer, cocktails, and appetizers from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Happy hour starts at 2:00 pm? Bear was already there when I arrived at 6:15 pm and we immediately placed orders for beer and spinach artichoke dips while we waited for the rest of the family to arrive.

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Doesn’t look busy but it got busy later. That’s Bear enjoying Stella.

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Bear seating available for those wanting a more informal dining experience or the men who want to tune into the ESPN.

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Happy hour spinach artichoke dip $5 but half the size of regular order.

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They provide The Guam Daily Post for your reading pleasure as you wait for your food along with a basket or two or three of fresh hot baguette with butter.

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Although I wanted to order this baby but it was the in-laws treat.

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So I got the miniature version of the lobster. I had a small appetite tonight and the coconut shrimp appetizer and a bowl of french onion soup seemed fitting. Plus I’ve learned over time that I never finish my full size meal. Appetizers are perfect portions to avoid leftovers. By the way, Tony Romas’s french onion soup is one of the best I’ve tried on island.

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The rest of the family ordered 1/2 rack ribs.

Tony Romas – Hagatna
Agana Shopping Center
Open daily: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Happy hour (Mon-Fri) 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Passion: Dining

Pika’s Cafe

Pika's Cafe
Pika’s Cafe

We started going to Pika’s Cafe when they first opened their doors and were located on the opposite end of the building they are currently located. The former location was smaller with only approximately 20 seats. Since expanding, they have grown their image and brand to be one of the island’s favorite breakfast and lunch joints with locals and visitors.

Bear was craving for their breakfast kimchee & bulgogi fried rice and salmon benedict so we rushed over and got there by 10:00 am knowing breakfast service ends at 10:30 am. We were told upon signing the wait list that it’ll be a 10 minute wait so we were happy that we’ll still be able to order breakfast.

During our wait outside one server opened the door as guests were leaving and mentioned that they would be opening on Sundays. I was surprised but saw it coming seeing with how popular the restaurant has become.

I would always tell others that Pika, co-owner of Pika’s Cafe, had mentioned during a Guam Women’s Chamber round table meeting that one of her conditions to her husband before opening the restaurant was that Sunday’s would be their family day to spend time with their children so opening on Sunday was off limits. I always thought this was a great ground rule and example for business owners with children. However on that same token I always thought Sunday was one day that many locals and visitors dined out and was a day that most restaurants should open their doors, especially the popular ones.

I checked their Facebook page and it confirmed January 22 as their first Sunday operation. Yay! We don’t only have Saturday to dine there. The wait would not be as long now that weekend diners have a choice or… are Sunday church goers going to be our next hurdle. The struggle is real with a restaurant in such demand. We need a plan of attack.

With that said, we finally got seated after 30 minutes and the lunch menu was now in effect. Bummers!

Coffee
Coffee first

Our server was courteous and consistently checked on us even as busy as they were.

Our server did not mention to us about opening on Sunday. Yet, I wonder if the owners dedicated another day of the week as their family day or is it still Sunday and they are entrusting the Sunday operation to their dedicated and hard working staff members to keep the restaurant afloat.

Breakfast at Pika's
Lunch at Pika’s

Bear ordered the Classic Burger Champ with Fried Egg. It was a very tasty burger and the ciabata bun, lana sauce, and avocado was a nice touch on the classic burger. However, he would have liked the the classic burger condiments of ketchup, mayo, and mustard in the burger or on the side. The burger was served alone with no starch. Regular or shoe string fries would complete the $15.00 dish. A small portion of fried taro, lemai, or banana chips would add an island touch.

Classic Burger
Classic Burger Champ $15.00

I was glad to a different item and ordered the Shrimp Club panini. The chili aioli had a slight kick and the panini was grilled to perfection. At $14.00, I also would have liked a starch to accompany my meal and maybe a creamy dipping sauce like ranch dressing to mellow down the chili aioli.

Shrimp Panini
Shrimp Club $14.00

I am glad to see how successful Pika’s Cafe has become. They have won in different categories for Pika’s Best over the years. We will continue to dine here even without the condiments and starches. It is one of our highly recommended places to visiting family, friends, and clients.

Pika’s Cafe $$
Open daily: 7:30am-3:00pm
888 N. Marine Corps Drive
Star Building,
Tumon
(Chamorro directions: across St. John’s school)
671-647-PIKA (7452)

View their menus at:
To Go: http://tinyurl.com/PikasToGo2015
Kids: http://tinyurl.com/PikasKids2013
Catering & Private Party Menu: http://tinyurl.com/Catering2014Pikas

Passion: Dining

VIP Restaurant

This past weekend we celebrated my mother and sister’s birthday at one of my mother’s favorite buffets, VIP House Chinese Seafood Restaurant aka VIP Restaurant. Mom’s birthday was on Saturday the 14th and Nita’s on Sunday the 15th.

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Before mom and Nita arrived, we set the table with their personal size birthday cake and pistachio cupcakes that we bought from Crown Bakery. We love that Crown Bakery has a variety of grab & go personal size cakes that are simply decorated and you can add a personal message, as we did. Our gathering was bitter sweet since my son and little sis & family live off-island. Mom was able to Facetime with them before lunch. Of course, we know that dad was watching over us and smiling down at mom.

The buffet offers 4 sections – fruits/appetizers, salad, hot items, and soups/dim sum. Coffee and tea are included. The self-serve ice cream station of approximately 6 different flavors helps complete your meal. I say it’s my palette cleanser station but that just helps me sleep guilt free at night.

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My buffet favorites are the fresh lumpia with peanut sauce, gin dui (sesame balls with red bean filling), bean sprout salad, fried wontons with sweet chili dipping sauce, and honey walnut shrimp. Bear’s favorites are the sashimi, kimchi, fresh lumpia, salt & pepper pork chop, and hot & sour soup.

Located within Pacific Bay Hotel in Tumon, the restaurant is ideal for small to large gatherings. Grab a quick bite to eat with coworkers, celebrate various occasions, or meet with clients.

Sections in main dining room contain 8pax rounds as well as regular tables for 2-4pax. Private rooms can accommodate up to 20 or more people. As a matter of fact, my company celebrated my birthday last year in one of the two private rooms which allowed us to setup gifts and laugh as loud as we wanted without disturbing other restaurant guests.

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Voted Pika’s Best Chinese Food in 2014, 2015 and 2016 says it all. I am very pleased that they revamped their menu and atmosphere.

VIP Restaurant, Pacific Bay Hotel
1000 San Vitores Road, Tumon
(Chamorro directions: next to Dr. Kabob, left of Churassco)
671-649-3222/8001
Open daily for lunch and dinner
Reservations recommended for groups 8 or more people

Passion: Dining, Familia

Thunder Chicken

After naming every restaurant in Tumon for dinner with our daughter Sera last night we decided on Thunder Chicken. We went to our usual spot, Tairyo Sushi, the other night and wanted to try something different.

We discovered this Korean fusion restaurant months after they opened their doors in 2015 and we’re glad did. A slow stroll through Tumon to find a restaurant we hadn’t tried and a quick glimpse under Jamaican Grill was all it took. Something in its name gets us every time. Finding parking can be troublesome with limited parking shared by Jamaican Grill and ABC Store customers. Fortunately, I was early and found parking in the front.

This Korea franchise restaurant is located in Tumon near other restaurants and shops. You can miss it from the main street since it is set back within the parking structure, and partially hidden by the Jamaican Grill staircase. The white rope lighting is attempt to draw customers inside.

You’ll notice the unique decor going on, something you’ll find in a burger/pub joint. License plates from around world, sports memorabilia, and beer ads adorn the walls. Tiki gods greet you at the entrance. There is open seating as well as 4 pax tables in semi private cubicles.

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The prices are quite reasonable unless you want to try every flavor of chicken offered – Crispy, Soy Sauce, Seasoned, Chili, Onion7 Soy Sauce, Onion, Garlic, Green Onion, and Crispy Bonesless/Wing. Half orders are offered at $13.00, whole orders at $22.00-$24.00, as well as 1/2 Crispy and 1/2 Your Choice at $22.00.

Our Order
Fried Dumplings $5.00
1/2 Crispy and 1/2 Your Choice $22.00
– comes with side salad
Fried Rice $8.00
Cheese Corn $8.00 (1st time to order)

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Order up

Their menu contains many items with their chicken being the main focus. Cutlets, soups/stews, fried/steamed egg, squid, udon, ramon, rice cake, shrimp, french fries, onion rings, rice balls, and even chicken feet & gizzard. Did I mention it is Korean Fusion.

It was our first time ordering the cheese corn and it was surprisingly addicting. I’m a sucker for corn and when paired with cheese… OMGosh! I feel like placing a to go order of this. Sweet corn, butter, and mozzarella cheese. The fried rice has julienned cabbage, onion, & green onion with scrambled eggs.

The menu warns that their chicken is lightly seasoned but don’t let that fool you if  you are sensitive to spicy dishes like I am. It is Korean franchised, owned, and operated…enough said. The crispy chicken was, like the warning, lightly seasoned but tolerable. The garlic chicken on the other hand leaves a nice kick at the back of your throat but my warning… you won’t be able to stop eating it.

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Fried dumpling/gyoza
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Cheese corn
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Cheese corn goodness
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1/2 crispy, 1/2 garlic

Thunder Chicken Tumon
Carol Rose Tumon Plaza
Located across P.I.C. Hotel, under Jamaican Grill
Phone: 649-8088
http://www.mythunder.co.kr

Passion: Dining

Tairyo Sushi

The choice for an impromptu lunch today with the Sales & Marketing ladies/coworkers of Holiday Resort & Spa Guam was Tairyo Sushi. Not only it is next door to the hotel, it is also affordable.

(L-R) Kiyome “Omes”, Masami “Mimi”, Ina “Mama”, Me, Ritchell “Love”, Gabbi “Hanai”

It was the first time dining at Tairyo for Masami, Ina, Ritchell, and Gabbi and they loved it. When Bear and I can’t decide on where to eat, we normally end up here.

Insider tip: Go to Masami’s Japanese Blog -> Bambino est2009

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Rotary sushi belt ready for us

Bring it on!

Before you move further, let me show you how I orgami my chopstick wrapper into a simple chopstick holder/rest.

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Orgami chopstick rest
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Spicy mayo shrimp and mussel rolls & prawn nigiri

My favorites!

20170111_123921aTower of hunger

Tairyo is located within the Blue Lagoon Plaza, between The Pentagon (if you’re a clubber, you would know) and Tairyo’s sister company Kai Japanese Restaurant.

Tairyo offers a small selection of sushi but enough to satisfy your quick appetite. Seating is limited so best to get there as soon as they open plus the rotary is filled.

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Tairyo Sushi
Lunch: 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm-10:00pm

Passion: Dining

Jamaican Grill

Our son is officially Alexander is 21! Time needs to stop because I can’t keep up with him and his many life changing events. 2 days prior to today he exchanged vows with Anna and nearly 2 years ago they had their son Ayden.

Although today I wanted to legally have a beer with him, he chose a mixed cocktail.

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With 3 convenient locations spanning from Hagatna to Dededo, Jamaican Grill is the perfect family gathering place with Ya Mon Serious Food grinds. We went to the Hagatna location and although we were not able to sit inside, the lanai seating was just fine. You can order individual dishes but family platters offer a great value.

Although the restaurant was quite full of patrons, the turn around our order was quick and the staff never let up. They consistently checked on us and cleared dishes when needed.

We ordered 1 pitcher of splash juice and 1 pitcher of water, which was just enough. We started with their addicting Jerk Fries and then ordered the chicken/rib family platter combo with included an order of house salad, chicken kelaguen appetizer, and roasted banana & ice cream for dessert. There was 6 adults, 1 child, and 1 baby in our party and we still had leftovers.

20170109_184507aSplash Juice

20170109_185734aOh-So-Good Jerk Fries

20170109_185801aJerk Chicken Kelaguen with fried Tatiyas

Oh kelaguen! I don’t eat kelaguen of any kind (yes I’m a fake Chamorro girl) but I have never acquired the taste for it. However, keleguen is a way of preparing the dish, which is very similar to ceviche. There are a variety of kelaguen dishes – fish, shrimp, chicken, beef, deer, crabmeat, and many others. The lemon in the dish cooks the meat which normally will not require you to cook it, but we do recommend to boil/bbq the chicken. I have made chicken kelaguen (no taste testing on my part, only fingers crossing that I made it correctly with my mom’s semi detailed instructions). Many of my mainland friends absolutely love it and call it cold lemon chicken. Fresh coconut adds flare and depth to the dish but can also pose a risk of spoilage which is why kelaguen dishes must be kept cold or not left out for a long period. Normally eaten with corn tatiyas (aka tortillas), it can also be served over salad or enjoyed alone.

20170109_185844aChicken/Rib Combo

The platter consists of pieces of 1 whole chicken, full slab of pork ribs, and 50/50 Jamaican Rice & Chamorro Red Rice. If you are new to Guam and have not had red rice, do yourself a favor and order. If not, get used to it because you’ll find it on many restaurant menus… including KFC.

20170109_190345aA side of finadene is a must when eating any kind of BBQ on Guam

Finadene is another staple of Guam. In most restaurants, you can most likely ask for finadene and they will have it. Made of soy sauce/shoyu, water, vinegar, white/yellow onion, green onion, lemon, and donne (chili pepper). Don’t ask for measurements because it is by taste when we know it’s just right… that goes for most Chamorro dishes.

20170109_193909aRoasted banana with ice cream and all the fixins

20170109_193855aAlthough the mango cheesecake did not come with the platter combo, I had to get this.

20170109_193443aLeftovers for tommorrow

Jamaican Grill 10am-10pm daily
Dine In, Take Out, or Order Online
Hagatna: 472-2000/2600 hagatna@jamaicangrill.comTumon: 647-3000/4000 tumon@jamaicangrill.com
Dededo: 633-3000/4000 dededo@jamaicangrill.com

Ask them about their fundraiser programs.

Ya Mon Special January 2017: Sweet n’ Sour Jerk Pork

Passion: Dining

World Cafe, Fiesta Resort

Welcome back home Carol, well at least for a few days! It is always nice to get together with friends, and in this case sizzys as we call ourselves, especially those visiting home again. Although a very short trip and Carol not feeling 100% herself, we found the time to replenish our bodies with good Indian food (Monday’s theme) at World Cafe’s buffet lunch.

20170109_124309aStacy, my sister Nita, Me, and Carol

Located within the Fiesta Resort, Tumon, Guam, World Cafe is known for their large themed buffet spread (the kanak attack buffet I would say) and you can’t go wrong at a price of $18.95 + 10% per person for lunch. From standard items in their international buffet section of mashed potatoes, pot roast, shumai, and more, they have a large cold items section of appetizers, and teppanyaki show station to a section of their themed lunch items, and my all time favorite… their cheese, crackers, and hummus station (I call it the french/greek station).

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I love the “french/greek” station so much that I find myself paying the full buffet price just to have those items, especially the port wine cheese (purple) and sage derby cheese (green).

Yes… this was all I had today and I was content. Of course, I had to get the Malabari Shrimp Curry and Indian Koftas (meatballs)… yum!

Oh, and let’s not forget my staple drink… iced tea with Coffee-Mate. That’s correct, my own version of milk tea. I get the occasional raised eyebrow when I request creamer yet there was no coffee ordered and once I start pouring it into my drink… amazement.

20170109_114231aNita’s round 1 at the buffet

Another part of the dining experience at World Cafe is the magnificent view you get from their main dining area. Reservations are highly recommended. 2 private rooms with no view are available but many prefer the 2 other private rooms overlooking Tumon Bay. They can also accommodate groups within the main dining area.

20170109_112652aView from our table (Young fellas modeling by the beach, never noticed.)

20170109_112740aConference table seating for group of 16

20170109_112751aFloor to ceiling glass windows offer a spectacular view of Tumon Bay

World Cafe
Fiesta Resort Guam
671-646-5881
http://www.fiestaguam.com/dining

Open Daily
Breakfast 7am-10:30am
Lunch 11:30am-2pm
Dinner 6pm-10pm

Passion: Dining