Guam Diner Bytes: Islander Terrace (Hilton Guam Resort & Spa)

by Ken Stewart
The Guam Food Guy

Something amazing is taking place at the Hilton’s Islander Terrace. I saw it first hand during a Sunday brunch the weekend before last. The entire look and feel of the buffet seems to have been transformed into what is definitely much more appealing. There’s a new vibrancy to the displays and also what I feel is a new orientation to showcase regional Asian cuisines as well as American and Mediterranean.

Fresh seafood (rock crab, snow crab, shrimp and mussels) fill one station, while another location has steamed grouper, crab, shrimp, crab claws, shrimp, sausage and corn. I also noticed a couple of imposing Chinese Lion statues perched up high, guarding and protecting.

While some Sunday brunch buffet spreads try to impress with their volume, Island Terrace aims to impress with their quality, so that instead of carving steamboat, Islander puts out a striploin and top sirloin, both exquisitely seasoned and marinated, then sliced thin for easier consumption. The hot noodle station has all the ready-made fixings for your favorite blend. And if you like duck and charsiu pork, they have an abundance of these. I still can’t figure out how they managed to render that duck to be so tender and juicy! Pressure cooked and roasted?

The “Asian” alley or street market has some interesting offerings. Someone put some thought into presentation aesthetics and the colorful pots contain such delights as Indian seafood curry, Thai chicken green curry, Thai beef red curry, and orange chicken. Crispy pata cubes are also on display. None of these are in the old-style chafing dish pans – these are home-style preparations with just-cooked portioning.

There’s tempura shrimp and vegetables, shwarma and hummus, sushi and scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, pancakes and waffles, and there are also eggs Benedict. My only complaint was that the eggs Benedict weren’t being warmed from beneath so they lacked the temperature you’d get when served a la carte.

The dessert display is equally compelling, with the entire section offering organized rows of elegantly coiffed acrylic tubes of yogurt dessert, mousses, jello, cakes, pies, and fruits, and trifles. Of course, chocolate lovers have to have their molten chocolate fountain!

Free flowing sparkling wine and fresh-squeezed orange juice---does it get better than this? Kudos go to Executive Chef Dennis Salenga, Islander Terrace Manager Karla Kaneshiro, and Food & Beverage Director Kevin Sassano for a refreshing and imaginative upgrading of the Sunday brunch as well as other Islander Terrace buffets.

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