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Lunar New Year at the Hyatt

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From left: Hyatt Chinese sales manager Mei Demapan, Hyatt chef Shawn Lee, chef Eric Ni from Andaz Xintiandi in Shanghai, China, Hyatt executive chef Gabrielle Colombo, and Hyatt chef Zen Tomokane. (Bea Cabrera)

Hyatt Regency Saipan welcomes the Year of the Pig this week with a special menu prepared by a visiting chef from the Andaz Xintiandi, a Hyatt boutique hotel in Shanghai, China.

Kili Café & Terrace will be open from 6pm to 9pm on Feb. 4-6, Monday to Wednesday, to highlight the best dishes of Chef Eric Ni.

Ni will prepare “Shanghainese cuisine” with a modern twist, in hopes of offering the most authentic Chinese New Year experience. His food will showcase traditional food eaten by families in China during this celebration.

“The array of dishes that I will cook are the same dishes served by Chinese families in China to celebrate the new year. …The different dishes coming together…represents families reuniting for this special occasion,” he said. “I hope everyone will enjoy this special food and flavors that I brought all the way from Shanghai.”

Finding the correct ingredients here on Saipan was a challenge but Ni rose to the challenge, saying his favorite dishes on the menu involves shrimps. “The shrimps are very fresh and Hyatt chef Shawn Lee helped me in many ways, concocting the special sauces so its is very tasty and special.”

He describes Shanghai dishes as less spicy and salty. “In every dish, I make sure the natural flavor is preserved and come out, ensuring a light taste that will appeal to anyone,” Ni said. “It is my first time on Saipan and the experience inspires me a lot…and I hope to translate that inspiration to the dishes that I will prepare.”

According to Hyatt Chinese sales manager Mei Demapan, the new year celebration is also a celebration of families coming together. “More than Christmas, the Lunar New Year is the one really anticipated in China. This is a time for family members who work in the city to come back to their hometowns and be with their families,” she said.

“In the same way, we hope to bring families on Saipan together to enjoy the celebration and hope for good things to come in the new year,” she added.

Demapan said that different menus will be served on the three nights of the Lunar New Year celebration. “For every night, different dishes will be served. In a way, our guests can come every night and still experience something new every time.” she said.

A traditional lion dance will be performed by the Chinese Association of Saipan at the Hyatt lobby to greet and welcome guests and paper lanterns will be displayed on tables to complete the Lunar New Year ambiance.

Hyatt assistant marketing communications manager Claudine Camacho encourages everyone to book reservations at 234-1234. Dinner price is at $60 per person and $40 for Club at the Hyatt members.

The Lunar New Year falls on Feb. 5 this year. It is believed to bring stability in wealth and health.

This is Hyatt’s fifth year of celebrating what is considered China’s most important festival, the Lunar New Year, which, according to the Chinese calendar, is the start of the new moon.

A sample of four kinds of cold cuts that includes shrimp, braised beef, jellyfish, and fried carp. (Bea Cabrera)

The Crispy King Prawn will captivate you with its sweet and chili sauce, one of the main entrees at the 2019 Lunar New Year celebration of the Hyatt Regency Saipan. (Bea Cabrera)

The desserts will be composed of Hyatt’s well-known mango pudding, chocolate sesame ball and vanilla ice cream. (Bea Cabrera)

Bea Cabrera
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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