Guam Diner Bytes: Doraku Restaurant
Owned by Chef Hideyuki Otsuka, Doraku has been in business about ten years. He had previously been the chef at the Fujita Hotel. The Pia Resort in Tumon can be reached by driving up behind the DFS Galleria, and then past R&C Tours HQ Bldg. There are not many parking spaces available (there are 6 assigned), however, there is parking along side the road. I wouldn’t let parking get in the way of eating Doraku’s excellent food.
When we arrived, all of Doraku’s tables were occupied so we sat at the side counter near the main sushi bar. I bowed to Chef Otuka who smiled when we entered. I always feel a little bad when I’ve been away too long. It has to have been nearly 2 years! When our server came we ordered the large Asahi, the California roll ($14), assorted sashimi (3 kinds assorted- $15), oshinko maki ($3), Japanese Fried Chicken (tori karaage, $6.50), vegetable green salad ($2), edamame ($3.50 ), hiyayako (soy bean cured cold tofu ($3.50), and Japanese yakisoba noodle ($7.50).
The tofu and edamame were the first to arrive and we started eating. When we saw the California Roll, we audibly gasped as it was probably the largest California Roll we’d ever seen. We felt a little worried because we had ordered so much food. We knew we would be in for a long eating ordeal. Of course, as we were eating, the tastes were exceptional.
The sashimi sampler had fresh salmon, delicious and beautifully red maguro, and yellow tail. The California Roll was too big to eat in one bite. All the components were quite good, especially the avocado, which had two pieces inside. One of our challenges is that we’ve been trying to minimize our rice consumption, and these rolls came with a lot of rice on their rims! Other ingredients were the artificial crab and tomago (egg).
I got a bit excited when I saw the chicken kaarage. It came with shredded cabbage that had the creamy dressing blended in. The chicken was golden brown and perfectly crisped. When I had my first bite I knew then that this was no ordinary karaage! It was top tier!
Another dish I tried for the first time was the Yakisoba, which had slices of pork sausage mixed in. It was an good sized portion and well balanced with cabbage and noodles.
Our single most challenging experience was in trying to eat all of the California roll. It was just not possible as I had tried to finish everything else. We will make it point to return to Doraku and order what we can eat without overdoing it. After all, Doraku has a menu full of Japanese favorites that are waiting to be eaten. Well, what are you waiting for?
Ita daki masu!
Ken “The Guam Food Guy” Stewart