Joinus Restaurant expands with New Dining Area
Joinus RestaurantCuisine: Japanese
Joinus Restaurant, Guam's longest-running Teppanyaki restaurant (since 1974) has recently expanded by adding a brand new, ultra-modern dining space with new teppan grills all showcased to give passersby a stunning view of the Joinus Teppan experience! They are offering a 25% discount on their DINNER MENU from August 17-19, so you have until this Friday to receive this special.
I had just returned from Saipan a few hours before when I was asked by Aileen L if I wanted to go see Mark Oku of PWS performing a wine sampling at Joinus. While I was delighted to stop by and see the new dining space, I didn't know that it would turn out to be a walk down memory lane!!! The Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc was the perfect remedy for a long and arduous day of finishing up Saipan business and the ordeal of travelling back to Guam.
The sleek new dining area is an upgraded expansion of the "boutique" design created in the 2007 renovation. It is a stark contrast from the original dimly-lit, intimate ambiance that had typified Joinus for decades. I had first reviewed Joinus in 2001, and it was a thrilling surprise to see my old friend, Senior Teppan Chef Eddie Cruz come over to greet me! He'd been gone for some time on personal leave and had only recently returned. We were smiling and embracing as we recounted our years of friendship.There are two dinner menus - one has Set Menu, and an a la carte options with appetizers and side orders, with set menu prices ranging from $42 to over $100 depending on your selections. They are using Certified Angus Beef steaks so you are assured of premium taste and quality.
This menu is one for special occasions and celebrations. Fortunately, there is the Resident Teppanyaki Special Menu that has set menu prices ranging from $28 - $38, which is the one from which we ordered our dinner. Aileen has the Mix Grilled Beef, Chicken and Shrimp ($29.50) and I had the Angus Beef Tenderloin ($38). These set menus include a side Sashimi or Tempura, Salad, Seasonal Vegetables, Teppanyaki, Rice and Miso Soup. A 10% service charge is applicable.
While we waited for our meal we were joined briefly by Executive Chef Shinzo Nakamura who was beaming with pride over this renovated extension that increased seating capacity by a third. We talked about the years that have passed in Guam's teppanyaki scene, noting that he's been the longest operating teppan restaurant while many of the greats have passed on or transformed.
When Eddie came to cook our meal we chatted back and forth as he deftly cut up the carrots, onions, bell pepper, and tofu while grilling the bacon-wrapped shrimp, and chicken thighs, before starting on the beef. Crispy garlic chips were also grilled and put before us to savor with our vegetables. It's a familiar ritual leading up to the grand finale of the flare up! A little cognac tossed on the grill and torched and voila! The exclamations by guests and smart phone photo snaps memorialize this special magical incendiary moment.
We were later joined by another familiar face in the teppan scene - Chef Danny Rosario! Like me, he has grown with age however his face still has that cherubic smile that broadens into a happy grin when he sees you! Also, we were surprised to see yet another known person in food circles - Kenichi Nakanishi, who had previously been with Onward Beach Resort. He is the new Joinus Restaurant Manager. Yes, it was a night of deja vu and reconnecting with old friends...that's so appropriate for this wonderful restaurant "Joinus"!