Naked Fish: Saipan’s version of a pub

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Naked garlic fish is Naked Fish’s famous dish that has been on their menu for the past 15 years. (Contributed Photo)

Local favorite Naked Fish relocated from its old home in Susupe to a new location in Garapan across the American Memorial Park last May.

While the big move was geared toward attracting a wider clientele, it didn’t change Naked Fish’s vision for the last 15 years and that is to remain Saipan’s version of a local pub where people can find solace and cheer after a long and busy day.

“There was so much damage in the old location after Super Typhoon Yutu so the move was inevitable. Construction in Garapan started in January and despite the shortage in labor and materials, we were able to open in May. The place now is much smaller compared to our space in Susupe, but it’s cozier and we are in the heart of Garapan so we are easily accessible,” said general manager and co-owner Joe Guerrero.

“The move gave us a chance to add more like new furniture and décor plus all the photos around are about the Marianas taken by a local photographer, Joe Kuan. We have a nice, clean environment and good food that locals, working professionals, expats, and visitors will enjoy,” he added.

Just like any other pub, Naked Fish has this welcoming and relaxed atmosphere—easy lights and music, tall tables, bar stools, a wide array of cocktails, beer, and a specific selection of beers on tap.

“As for food, we still have the local favorites that have been in the menu for the past 15 years like naked garlic fish, garlic octopus, fried fish, and titiyas… we didn’t want to veer away from the classic stuff,” said chef Inos Hocog.

“On top of that, we stretched it out and used it in different ways just to give people variety. We also know that people want substantial meals so we have pasta and sandwiches,” Hocog added.

Inos said if there’s one thing Naked Fish is known for is that it showcases local food. “Since we are now in Garapan, closer to the hotels and tourists, my philosophy is since Saipan is a small island, we should be showcasing our own as opposed to catering to the tastes of countries where our tourists come from.”

“I think the lack of local cuisine or local chefs showing their kind of food is something that needs to be tapped into. We got a lot of great talents that needs exposure so Naked Fish does just that—it offers local food with a twist made by local guys,” Hocog added.

With the new location, Naked Fish is also leveling up with plans to have a space for fine dining at the second floor. “This space can accommodate dinners and parties good for 25-30 people… The course down menu will be set in pre-fixed prices… if guests want a signature dish from our local chefs at Naked Fish with many years of hotel experience, we can create that for them,” Hocog said.

“We can also serve food from our regular menu for private parties… our motto in the kitchen is ‘keeping it fresh’ so everything that we serve are fresh and have clean flavors—simple dishes but full of flavor,” Hocog added.

A patio is also currently under construction for people who want to drink and dine al fresco.

Guerrero extends his thanks to the community for their continued patronage for the last 15 years. “We are humbled and appreciate everyone for the support… for our part, we showcase local food and talent and we want to give people value for their money with the quality of drinks and food that we serve,” he said.

Naked Fish is open Monday -Wednesday from 5:30pm to 10pm and Thursday to Saturday from 5:30pm to 12mn. For reservations, call (670) 235-3474.

The cozy interiors of the new Naked Fish located in Garapan intends to delight and put people at easy after a long day at work. (Contributed Photo)

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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