A ‘Divine’ Mix of Modern & Traditional Flavors
Executive Chef Peter “the Outdoor Chef” Duenas has done it again! Always on the go and always ahead of the crowd, Chef Pete has re-vamped his menu and introduced bold new selections that reflect his creative instincts to do what hasn’t been done before. Although we couldn’t try everything on the new menu, we did give it our best effort to tackle some of the items that first caught our attention.
Meskla’s Signature Ala King - $14.95. Local-style chowder with your choice of shrimp or chicken, olives, mixed vegetables, and boiled eggs, baked in a fresh cut coconut shell and puff pastry blanket. It’s described as “Fit for a King!” I think anyone would be impressed with this unique local creation. We had the shrimp and let me tell you, it was loaded with them. The puff pastry reminds you of the pot pies we used to eat all the time. Using coconut is brilliant and a tribute to the island culture. The coconut shell imparts a rich and semi-sweet flavor to the chowder. The shell and coconut meat can be eaten later - we had ours broken up.
Big Mike’s Chalakilis - $4.95. A Chamoru-style spicy rice porridge with grilled chicken. The Chalakilis delivers everything you’d expect from this local favorite. It’s comfort food and eaten with titiyas, is plenty enough a meal.
The Kaduku Chamoru - $14.95. A Chamoru version of the Hawaiian favorite “Loco Moco”. It boasts a homemade 8 oz hamburger steak served over red rice, topped with tinaktak sauce and crowned with an over easy egg. This is a superlative creation and represents a cross-cultural culinary fusion. I don’t think I’ve had a tastier version of the loco moco since the hamburger steak is well seasoned and the tinakatak sauce with long green beans, eggplant, onion and coconut milk seems the ideal companion for this riff on classic “steak & egg” combination.
We also tried the Tinak Attack Pasta - $16.95 (ground sirloin, eggplant, green beans, & cherry tomatoes cooked in a flavorful coconut cream sauce, tossed with spaghetti noodles. For some reason, as appealing as this looked, the taste was kind of muted. It is possible we had too much spice on our palate from the other dishes but I added a little salt and it opened this right up. My sense is that the spaghetti absorbed some of the seasoning in the sauce. I also added some finadene dinanche to the mix and wow, did that perk this bad boy up! The quality of the ingredients made this dish notable, as well. There’s a lot of sirloin here and the beans, eggplant, and tomatoes are locally grown and fresh.
Our final item was the Dinanche Glazed Pork Chops - One Chop $10.95, Two Chops, $15.95 . These are tender bone-in large pork chops griddled to order and brushed with a local-style pepper mash and served with mushroom cream sauce. We had the single chop, which was all we could have eaten anyway, though I could come back and have the double on my own. This will probably be one of Chef Peter’s more popular dishes as the pork chop is one of the island’s favorite foods. This is one great chop. It is succulent and flavorful, cooked just right and the mushroom sauce complements it along with the sauteed vegetables. Yet it another comfort dish from Chef Peter. Personally, I would brush a bit more dinanche on this as I’m a big fan of this condiment!
Other new items include a Chamoru Pizza, The Award Winning BBQ Ribs, Moni’s Crispy Fried Ito Salad, The Chamoru Flat Bread Caesar, Chef Peter’s Spicy Savory Cheesecakes, and Garlic Mustard Fried Chicken.I can’t wait to go back.
Now for you super eaters, you can take the Meskla Challenge. The Pika Challenge ($24.95). If you can finish Chef Peter’s super hot and spicy Kadun Pika in 10 minutes, it’s on Meskla and your name will go on Meskla’s “Wall of Fame”. If not, you gotta pay the $24.95 and your name will go on Meskla’s “Wall of Shame”.
The other Meskla Challenge is the “Big Boy Challenge” ($100), wherein you have to eat a 3.5 lb. “Chamoru Cut” Ribeye Steak with the chef’s choice of starch and sauteed veggies. If you can finish in 20 minutes (lick the plate and eat all the fat), you don’t have to pay and your name is placed on Meskla’s “Wall of Fame”.
Sounds like fun! Any takers?!!
For me, I’ll just settle for eating and enjoying Chef Peter’s compelling creations - he has done so much to further the appreciation of our island’s food culture.
Hagatna 479-BOKA (2562)