Guam Diner Bytes: Shenanigans
Dear Guam Food Guy readers,
Shenanigans is one of Saipan’s more popular restaurants for locals, who are enamored with Shenanigans international fusion cuisine creations. The dinner we had the other night was a model for how a high culinary standard should be maintained.
Though my previous write-ups on Shenanigans raved about their breakfast and lunch selections and how well these were conceived, presented and devoured, it was the dinner experience that pushed the envelope right off the table and into fantasy land!
I was accompanied by my colleague Ben Tabin and we ordered a bottle of Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Merlot ($28). If you order wine at Shenanigans, they are one of the few progressive restaurants who have adopted the Vinturi wine aerators for red and for white wine. The qualitative difference in taste is immediately realized! We shared our dishes while we munched on the foccacia bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The first item we ordered was Insalata Mista ($9.95), which has mixed greens with cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese and olives with balsamic-fig vinaigrette. While one can easily list these elemental ingredients, how they are presented when served makes all the difference!
Our next course was an appetizer, the Fritto Misto ($12.95), which had crispy battered fried prawns, calamari, and mussels, served with pesto tartar and honey mustard vinaigrette. The pesto tartar was a creative condiment for the seafood, and interestingly enough, went well with the honey mustard did justice to the salad beneath.
The soup of the day came with our dinner entree, which was a savory black bean chili. This was a nice creation as well.
When you are perusing the menu at Shenanigans, you will soon learn that ordering here is a very difficult task because you will be overwhelmed with choices and selections. I was told you just have to come back and order the other item next time.
For the main course, we decided on a pasta creation and settled on the Carbonara ($12.95) using linguine pasta (other choices include angel hair, spaghetti, penne, fettuccine and fresh spinach fettuccine). The Carbonara is made using bacon, onion, garlic, egg yolk and cream with sundried tomato and spinach. It is a masterful creation and the linguine noodles were cooked al dente. The thick rich sauce coated each noodle and Ben was very happy indeed eating this incredible Italian specialty.
I had to eat something different and believe me, everything on the menu here is “different!” The Chef’s Steak Special ($25.95) caught my eye and we ordered it. The menu description raised high expectations! It would be made with peppered slices of New York steak and grilled prawns with caramelized onion and roasted garlic with béarnaise sauce and red wine reduction, served with scalloped potato and veggies.
Though I don’t think the potatoes were “scalloped” as I knew they should be, they were small, bite-size bits that still worked well with this extraordinarily presentation. It was food art! Balsamic never drizzled so well! Ben and I gleefully stuffed ourselves, and we chatted with Shenanigans owner Bel Busby.
I didn’t think we had any room left when Bel had our server bring us a dessert sampler (not on the menu yet, but inspired during the lunch Zee and I had last May). Yes, again, Shenanigans’ food artists went to work and put out a beautifully tempting dessert trio that featured their dark chocolate ganache, chocolate cheesecake, and cheesecake. It was a teo-hour dinner experience that we didn’t want to end, but end it did and now it’s enshrined in this review!
Get to Shenanigans Restaurant in Saipan, for a new level in “extraordinary dining!”
Ken The Guam Food Guy