'A Taste of Vietnam' on Guam

by Ken Stewart
Stripes Guam
I can't remember how many times I've gone to Islander Terrace's theme night buffets over the years. It's always exciting though when they change an evening and try something new and different. This time they really nailed it with an impressive spread of Vietnamese classics. Local residents really enjoy eating at their favorite Vietnamese restaurants and we have a few here on island. However, the Hilton team must have recruited some culinary experts who worked on perfecting the unique flavors and tastes you'd expect to have when eating Vietnamese cuisine. The quality of the ingredients used by the Hilton's kitchen team puts them ahead of most Vietnamese restaurants who just don't have the resources to procure them.
There are some things you must try, though, when you come here. Make your own soup - either the Bun Bo Hue (spicy Beef noodle) or Pho (beef noodle soup) start out with rich broths and there separate noodles. The Fresh Lumpia (Goi Cuon) is one of my favorites as it is a healthier option. The combination of vegetables (carrot, lettuce, bean sprouts, shrimp, and chicken) wrapped in a rice skin with basil and dipped in hoisin sauce is a blissful mouthful! I tried the Pan Cake (Banh Xeo) and the Rice Roll (Banh Cuon) - both you have to eat as they have different textures and flavor profiles. You can enhance these tastes with fish sauce. You can even make your own fresh lumpia (they have a stiff wrapper you can moisturize until it becomes pliant to roll and fill with ingredients). I just recall eating a lot of vegetables and even indulged in that traditional local favorite, Fried Lumpia (wrapped up in a Romaine roll with bean sprouts, noodles, and fish sauce!). For variety, diversity, and taste, you are getting a real bargain when you consider how many dishes you'd have to buy a la carte to match this large buffet spread. You really can't beat it! Make your reservations now!

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