Elevating the dining experience on Saipan


Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan’s culinary team is led by Director of Food and Beverage Martin Jambor at the helm. (Contributed Photo)

With the opening of Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan, five new dining destinations are joining Saipan’s growing culinary landscape: Three that are already operational (The Terrace, Market Place, and Mari Bar) and two that will soon follow suit (Mai Teppanyaki and the Ataari Dinner Show).

Director of Food and Beverage Martin Jambor said they made the conscious decision to retain some of the old dining elements that have become locally popular. “We want our guests to feel excited by putting out new things while, at the same time, still keeping some tried and tested items on the menu,” he said.

Under Jambor’s guidance, the Food and Beverage team has been busy refining the hotel’s culinary offerings, in line with the discriminating taste of today’s modern traveler.

At The Terrace, guests dine on a wide variety of local and international favorites with the view of Saipan’s turquoise waters in the background. The buffet-style spread features a menu that blends international cooking techniques and ingredients. At the moment, this casual dining place only offers a breakfast spread but this will eventually be expanded to cover lunch and dinner services.

Guests are sure to line up at the live carving station, which offers smoked creations while the pastry station has the bread and desserts guaranteed to satisfy the cravings of anyone with a sweet tooth. There is also a raw bar that has the freshest seafood. It is highly recommended that guests order the Crowne Island Omelette.

The Terrace has seats for private rooms and seats 191 guests indoors and 60 outdoors.

For those who are meeting colleagues or catching up on work at the hotel’s “workspace,” the Market Place is where they can find light bites and drinks to ease their hunger while at work. The options range from cookies and cakes to healthy options, all packed for grab-and-go convenience. The Market Place’s freshly brewed coffee and other coffee creations will please any coffee enthusiast, while those who are looking for uncaffeinated alternatives will surely go for the delicious milkshakes with island exclusive gelato and the chef’s signature sundae.

Michelin-starred Executive Chef Gennaro Avagnale is also the Cluster Director of Food & Beverage Culinary. (Contributed Photo)

At the Mari Bar, sip one of their refreshing signature cocktails or choose a drink from an extensive selection of international and domestic wines and spirits and pair it with anything from their menu that feature street-style bites from around the world. The bar’s relaxing ambiance is the place to catch one of Saipan’s romantic sunsets.

Opening in January 2023 is Mai Teppanyaki, a longtime island favorite that features mouthwatering beef and seafood. The Ataari Dinner Show, which is also a guest favorite, will also open in January, 2023. Known as the home of Saipan’s best cultural dining experience, this outdoor buffet that gives guests a taste of the island culture features a nightly show of fire, dance ,and music.

Crowne Plaza’s team of globally experienced culinary minds are ready to up the ante to elevate the local dining scene to new heights.

The hotel’s culinary leadership team is made up of Jambor; Joshua Choi, Cluster Director of Food & Beverage; and a Michelin-starred Executive Chef, Gennaro Avagnale, in the role of Cluster Director of Food & Beverage Culinary. Avagnale promises to deliver a skillful blend of food from his 10 years’ experience of cooking in different regions of the globe. Specializing in Italian cuisine, Avagnale’s experience has already earned him two Michelin stars. “I am honored that I have been selected to join Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan as a culinary master and I am eager to learn about the local culture and the food of the islands in as much as I will share my Italian heritage to offer food that our guests will come back for,” he said.

Assisting Avagnale in the kitchen is sous chef and local son Zenn Tomokane. With a strong foundation in the hospitality industry, Tomokane’s skills in catering, food and beverage, and hotel management round up the talented team.

As in anything that is new, the hotel’s culinary team also has its share of challenges to overcome. On the islands, sourcing quality food and ingredients and the logistics involved in shipping goods and equipment can be hurdles but Jambor said not any of these daunt them. Instead, they get inspired to be more innovative in the use of supply and ingredients that are readily on hand.

“Our team has been given more opportunities to explore and innovate and we are taking advantage of this,” Jambor said,

For more information about the Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan’s food and beverage offerings and to make reservations, call 670-234-6414 or visit the website saipan.crowneplaza.com/restaurant

Teri M. Flores (Correspondent)

Teri M. Flores (Correspondent)
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