Guam Diner Bytes: Giovanni's Sunday Brunch
I have been travelling to Saipan on a monthly frequency for the past year and a half. This past January I had the pleasure of revisiting what I've always considered to be the best Sunday Brunch in the Marianas.
Time has been generous to this escape from the trials and tribulations encountered in our daily grind. Consider what I wrote about this fabulous dining experience in a review we did in 2006:"...guests are treated to a breathtaking cornucopia of culinary delights served in an elegant room bathed in natural sunlight with a scenic tropical garden view.
Add to this a pianist playing both classical and contemporary melodies that sooth, inspire, and relax, compounding the pleasure of dining while sipping champagne.""
The Hyatt's Sunday Brunch combines the talents and facilities of several of its outlets. The main dining area is Giovanni's, renowned for its authentic Italian fare. Teppanyaki provides the phalanx of grills that are used for cooking and serving a range of courses, including Omelettes, Belgian Waffles, Prime Rib Roast, Pancakes, Crepes, Pasta Creations, Pizzas and Whole Roast Pig.
Several live cooking stations are featured here and I highly recommend taking a tour of these stations to watch and interact with the different chefs who are preparing made-to-order dishes.
A highlight is the sushi station where Miyako's chefs deftly roll hand-made sushi.""One of the first things that strikes you on entering is the abundance and variety of foods displayed on glass-topped tables arranged against the windows.
Here you will find lox and bagels with capers and cream cheese, quiche Lorraine, cheeses, Black Forest ham, salami, sliced turkey breast, Kalamata olives, chutney, pickles, Asparagus & Ham Rolls, breads, rolls, pastries, croissants, cold salads, and stuffed mussels.
Then, in the center of this first entrance area is a long ice-filled boat-shaped trough that's piled with chilled seafood, including mixed sashimi, oysters, prawn, King Crab legs, and Australian Spanner crab with salsa.
I forgot to mention that there are plants, cut bamboo, and flowers everywhere, highlighting and decorating the food trays, creating a tropical feeling throughout. This works on both conscious and subliminal levels, and you can't help but feel you are dining in paradise."
While there have been slight changes in the menu selections since this last big review, there are also noticeable changes in the employee and server composition.
There are more local workers working as servers and cooks than ever before. Also, you will note that there are a lot more younger workers, too. This is one of the opportunities that the Hyatt had cultivated years ago - hiring locals (many quite young with little to no experience) and then training them.
Hyatt has been in the forefront of the local labor force development initiative and the results have been astounding, especially in the culinary arts.
So when I sat at my corner table overlooking the idyllic garden and sipping my iLLY cappuccino, I was able to reconnect with my years of being satisfied by the diligent and tireless efforts of Executive Chef Gabriele Colombo and his kitchen team. If you are planning a Saipan visit and will be there over the weekend, I recommend you test-drive the Hyatt's Sunday Brunch at Giovanni's.
While there are other great Sunday Brunches on Saipan and Guam, I believe that the Hyatt Saipan is the premier buffet dining experience. The culinary fantasy I had harbored for years turned out to be completely true and possibly even better than I remembered!"
Ken “The Guam Food Guy” Stewart
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