You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

A world of flavors on a plate

  • Updated
  • Comments
  • 2 min to read
Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

CHEF SHINOBU: Chef Shinobu Kamino offers a tapas menu at Bistro El Kamino in Tumon. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Bistro El Kamino. Kevin Milan/The Guam Daily Post

A chef drawing on nearly 50 years of experience decided to trade in his culinary position in the cruise industry and retire to open a quaint and cozy bistro in Tumon, right in the midst of a debilitating pandemic. 

When he was working on cruise ships, Chef Shinobu Kamino and his team were responsible for providing three multi-course meals as well as snacks to meet the needs and appetites of hundreds of diners daily in his decades long career. All of the meals were prepared while out at sea.

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

PIPING HOT: Listed on the menu as "Mushrooms,"($10) the dish comes out piping hot with the mushrooms still popping in oil. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

OMELET: Slices of Spanish Omelet are available for dinner service at $6 per slice. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Keeping busy

Now "retired," Chef Kamino is crafting stylish cuisine at the cozy Bistro El Kamino, near the Fokai shop in Tumon. He is not preparing food for thousands, but perhaps for several dozen discerning diners every day. The shop seats about a dozen people with some seating on the patio for those who prefer an al fresco atmosphere.

Chef Kamino started the bistro in February of this year, saying through a translator, "I just wanted to have fun in retirement. I thought I was going to be able to bring in seasonal vegetables and specialty ingredients from Japan, but the pandemic changed the plans."

There are several ways you can sample the flavors at Bistro El Kamino. There is a selection of grab-and-go items, like their housemade tofu, baked salmon or roasted chicken with rosemary in the food displays at the front of the store. Chef Kamino also provides lunch specials in the afternoon, but it's during dinner service when things get interesting. 

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

CIAO TIME: The Tomato Caprese dish faithfully represents the colors of the Italian flag. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

DRIZZLED WITH HONEY: Honey is drizzled on the mascarpone cheese ($6), which is spread on bread – making a sweet impact on the flavor. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

A tapas-inspired menu is offered during the evening hours, small dishes that are served hot or cold, and very often served with wine or spirits. The dishes may be comprised of just a few bites of a particular flavor or, simply combined ingredients. Chef Kamino provides an assortment of wines, if a diner is inclined for a pairing. The cuisine is meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, savored with friends and family over a lively discussion about the artfully designed menu items or topics of the day.

Mascarpone cheese is served on toast, drizzled with honey and carefully arranged on a small plate. The tomato caprese dish is balanced nicely with olive oil, and faithfully represents the colors of the Italian flag. Olive oil is applied liberally to many of the items.

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

GRAB AND GO: Roasted chicken with a sprig of rosemary is one of the grab-and-go items at Bistro El Kamino. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Chef Kamino will be introducing jamón in the very near future, if it hasn't been already placed on the menu at the time of this writing. Jamón is one of the crown jewels of the culinary world, a cured leg of pork meticulously produced in Spain or Portugal. Jamón is made from a particular breed of pig, with a very particular diet, the best being a free range diet of acorns. Because of the effort and time involved in the process, jamón has become a rarity as worldwide demand has increased. Often times its availability is compared to that of Japan's prized Kobe beef. 

'Happy to receive local customers'

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

ROASTED TO PERFECTION: Salmon, roasted to perfection, is available in the grab-and-go section at Bistro El Kamino. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Tapas at Bistro El Kamino

TOFU TO GO: Bistro El Kamino makes its own tofu for grab-and-go customers. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Chef Kamino welcomes island residents to sample his cooking, saying, "I'm so happy to receive local customers. I am able to connect with local people, and because I have local customers, I feel like local people have accepted my cooking. Our dishes are small, but I think people will be surprised by the flavors."

The chef added: "I want to cook more healthy dishes, so people can eat in a healthier way. Guam style is big dishes. Our style is smaller dishes, with the focus on the flavors that I experienced in Europe.

4
0
0
0
0

Recommended for you