The islands’ oldest Japanese restaurant is having its ruby anniversary today when it turns 40. To celebrate, Kinpachi Restaurant will have a special menu to share with its loyal customers.
The $40 special menu is composed of shrimp tempura, tuna sushi, and shrimp sushi. All three items are the Garapan restaurant’s certified bestsellers and what better way to commemorate four decades of diligently serving the island community by offering these local favorites, according to owner Misako Kamata.
“Our 40 years in the business is credited to our customers. We really appreciate the business and relationship they gave us. They are our extended family who support and help our business grow,” she said.
Kamata also fondly shared that customers that love the authentic Japanese food they’ve been serving since the ’80s and ’90s, when her father first established Kinpachi Restaurant, are now grandfathers and grandmothers themselves and have introduced the iconic Garapan restaurant to the next generation—their own children and grandchildren.
“We grew up together and we know each other’s family. We are grateful for them being part of our 40 years. In spite of the present situation, we thank them for making this year special for us and we hope to continue serving them in the coming years,” she said.
The current crisis Kamata is alluding to is, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not only affecting the CNMI but the entire world.
“We actually never expected that our restaurant will reach its 40th year, especially this challenging year. We cannot really celebrate because of the situation but still we want to recognize our 40 years of service to the community,” Kamata said.
Aside from the $40 special menu, Kinpachi Restaurant is also holding a 40-year anniversary raffle today where they will draw 40 giveaways. The prizes include $40 gift certificates, Japanese special sake, and other gifts from Japan. Raffle winners don’t need to be present during the drawing as Kinpachi Restaurant will notify them via telephone.
“Because of the support of the local community [and] our customers’ loyalty to us, we can still survive in spite of the lack of tourists. Hopefully we can still continue for another 40 years to come,” said Kamata.
Kamata’s father, Yoshio, established Kinpachi Restaurant on Sept. 15, 1980. After his death in 1987, Kamata was thrust into a leadership role in the company and has grown the business into one of the CNMI’s most recognizable and iconic restaurants serving authentic Japanese cuisine. By her side all these years in successfully running the restaurant is her mother, Keiko.
Kinpachi Restaurant is located along Coral Tree Avenue on Saipan’s premier tourist district of Garapan. It is open daily from 11am to 2pm for lunch and from 5pm to 9pm for dinner. Last order is at 8:30pm. To make reservations, advance orders, or for more information, call 234-6900.