Himawari’s new chef: Kazuma Chaen

Posted on Jun 04 2021

Chef Kazuma Chaen brings in new and exciting dishes every week for lunch and dinner at Himawari Restaurant Saipan. (Bea Cabrera)

For 16 years, Himawari Restaurant Saipan located in Garapan has earned the reputation of serving authentic Japanese food at reasonable prices that leaves local residents and tourists satisfied at every visit. Recently, the restaurant welcomed Japanese chef Kazuma Chaen from Kagawa, west side of Osaka, to prepare special dishes that use local ingredients combined with traditional Japanese ingredients that bring unique flavors on the table.

According to Chaen, he is very happy to be on Saipan to make the community experience the new flavors of diverse dishes that he will bring in every week in Himawari’s special menu. “I have been a chef for 23 years and those years made my style of cooking even more meaningful by being creative with the use of different flavors and ingredients that make the customers dining experience enjoyable,” he said.

Always cooked fresh the grouper hot pot is available whole or half size. (Contributed Photo)

“I arrived on Saipan around two months ago and since then, I have been going around, visiting different local markets to find fresh ingredients that I can use for the weekly special dishes. The weekly specials guarantee the use of traditional local ingredients like fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and fuse it with traditional cooking that brings out unique flavors,” he added.

The food items in the weekly special menu are available for both lunch and dinner. For this week, the specials include roast beef, assorted shellfish, lotus root nugget (renkon), tuna karage, and local favorite, yamakake or tuna and yam. For a group of 3 to 5 people, the grouper hot pot or kua nabe in Japanese awaits your indulgence and available in whole or half sizes.

Roast beef that is tender and light on spices so the meat’s flavor isn’t overshadowed. (Contributed Photo)

Chaen, who once owned a restaurant in Japan and was a chef at the Japanese embassy in Sydney, Australia for three years, said that he has been getting good feedback from customers at the restaurant. “I mingle with them, introduce myself, and the reviews that I have gotten so far are very good and encouraging…I love it when they say ‘oishi’ which is delicious in Japanese,” he said.

“I invite the community to try our weekly specials as we try our very best to make every dish unique… I became a chef because I love to eat and I want to pass on that joy in the dishes that I make for the community,” he added.

Himawari Resturant Saipan has two private rooms (one for 10 customers and one for six customers) available for special occasions. They are open from Monday to Sunday, 11am-1:30pm for lunch and 5pm-8:30pm for dinner. For more information, call (670) 233-1531 or (670) 233-1530. Visit their website at https://himawarisaipan.com or Facebook page: Himawari Saipan.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
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