Issin Japanese restaurant - teppanyaki dinner

by Ken Stewart
Guam Food Guy

It was the perfect night for a birthday celebration dinner while we had our fabulous Westin “staycation”! That’s what the boss wanted (Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Shower) and she had to have it her way or no way! So I called Issin owner Tamotsu “Tom” Iizuka-san for a table and we started off with a celebratory martini and ordered from the Dinner Special Menu. Zee had the Angus Tenderloin & Shrimp ($45) and I had the Angus Sirloin & Shrimp ($42). We ordered some appetizers from the Dinner Special Menu to balance our martini launch, getting the Sashimi and the Tempura Appetizers (both $9). I have to say that there is a 10% s.c. added, however, with the SP card you can get a 10% discount off your food charges at Issin.

The Sashimi Appetizer plate was almost too beautiful to eat! Adorned and garnished with micro flowers and colorful seaweed, it demonstrated that food can taste as delicious as it looks! I’m glad we ate it instead of just admiring it. The yellowtail, maguro, and squid were perfectly served and enough to share along with the tempura appetizer.

I was in an expansive mood, thanks in no small part to the martini, so I perused the a la carte menu and ordered from the Teppan Yaki choices a plate of Spinach ($8) and the Scallops ($14). We were certainly pleased with the spinach, which had been sauteed in a butter sauce with garlic.

The real surprise came with our order of scallops, which were sizable, succulent, and mesmerizingly delicious! Zee is not a big fan of scallops, however these changed her belief system. The savory sauce they used for these was rich and memorable - one of the best I recollect having anywhere.

Both our teppanyaki plates were extraordinary! Everything was expertly cut and grilled by Teppan Chef Jesse Borja, who was definitely on his game that night! Our steaks were perfectly medium rare, the tiger prawns were firm and grilled just right, and the vegetables (eggplant, bean sprouts, red & green bell peppers, and onion) could not have been better. And yes, the garlic, we do love our “gaahlick” grilled to crisp perfection! The Teppan dinner specials come with rice, miso soup, and oshinko (Japanese pickled vegetable).

Then came a surprise. Iizuka-san gave us each a gift of Chawan Mushi ($7) (Japanese egg custard), which is a savory dish served hot. There was a piece of crab meat along with soy beans, button mushroom, and a mini leaf. It was probably one of the most artistic I’ve seen and you could tell they take a great deal of pride in their presentations which is as it should be in a Japanese fine dining restaurant. The flavors were spot on! Zee never cared much for this type of custard before, but her mind and heart changed after this. Beautiful!

So be sure to make a stop at Issin Japanese Restaurant when you visit the Westin Resort Guam, or do like we did and make it a Heavenly “staycation”!


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