‘Outdoor Chef’ welcomes diners indoors at Meskla

by Rafaelito DeAusen
Stripes Guam Archives

If you've seen any local television you just may know a thing or two about the “Outdoor Chef.” Now, Peter Duenas, the host of the show, has opened his doors to the public with Meskla Chamorro Fusion Bistro in Agana, just off the Chief Kepuha Loop.

From the big screen to your dinner table, Meskla invites all to enjoy unique fusion cuisine in an elegant culinary haven where you can fall in love with local food all over again.

With ample parking, you drive there during lunch hour enjoy their spacious interior. It includes a roomy nook with tables for a quick meal or a stop at the bar for a snack and drink to hold you over till dinner.

You can even reserve a private room for 10 or more guest for that special occasion. Bear in mind, Meskla is not your dine-on-a-dime kind of kitchen.

Entrees range from $17.95 for lemongrass crusted chicken to $25.95 for tuba marinated lamb chops. But you’re also paying for a great serving of tasty food that puts your standard fiesta plate to shame.

I ordered from their vegetarian selections and went with the vegetable and tofu curry, but I added some chicken for $3.00. All entrees come with your choice of steamed or red rice, mushroom sticky rice featured on the “Outdoor Chef,” garlic roasted “lemai” (breadfruit) or “titiyas,” a kind of Chamorro-style tortilla.

The orders don't take much time at all. My not so vegetarian curry was accompanied by the mushroom sticky rice and was spicy and well prepared. At first, the spiciness caught me off guard but I grew with it.

"Some of the military customers aren't familiar with local Chamorro food terms," my server Angela Sudo said with a laugh. "Some learn the hard way that 'pika' means 'hot’ or ‘spicy.'"

The tofu had a nice bite to it. I wouldn't have missed the chicken if I didn't have it added and the mushroom sticky rice complimented the dish very well. Spice up your rice and try it mushroom-sticky style.

Meskla’s children's menu makes it an ideal spot for a family occasion. Be sure to ask for mild if you are squeamish when it comes to spice. Unfortunately, it’s not clearly stated on the menu if a dish is spicy or not, much like my vegetable and tofu curry.

A desert menu can't be found, but servers seem to know the menu and its ingredients like they cooked the food themselves. The chocolate cheesecake definitely whets the appetite, even after a large-portioned entree.

Meskla shifts your perception of Guam's famous local food away from plastic plates and forks. Its friendly atmosphere and staff take good care of you and the menu has something for everyone. For the taste, service and ambiance, it makes a great spot for a family dinner. Throw in the cost, and it’s also an impressive restaurant for a surprise date.

Meskla is open Mondays to Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and for dinner on Sundays. For reservations, call 479-2653.

Photo by Rafaelito DeAusen

This story was originally published in Stripes Guam, May 31, 2009 edition.

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