NMTI graduate now runs Saipan Food Express

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Finishing a basic culinary course at the Northern Marianas Technical Institute has motivated Saipan Food Express manager and chef Daryll Metran to try different ingredients, herbs, and spices that go into the different ethnic cuisines that they serve at the restaurant.

“Saipan Food Express is a family run business that my father started in 2017 and this inspired me to take up culinary course. All the things that I learned from NMTI, I apply it at the restaurant,” he said.

“We have always been taught to set standards and meet expectations wherever we are and these principles are applied at Saipan Food Express because it is hard to find that combination in other restaurants these days,” he added.

Saipan Food Express is known for serving fusion food and this is true with the different lunch menus they have every day.

“Mondays we serve Filipino food. Tuesdays is allotted to Asian cuisine from Korea, China, and Thailand. Wednesdays we serve Italian and Mexican food and this is a favorite of our local customers. Thursdays we serve a mix of Chamorro and Filipino food. Fridays we serve Japanese food and Saturdays we serve a mix of dishes from the themes during the week,” Metran said.

“The variety of dishes gives us a chance to use various local produce that are in season. We always serve our food fresh as we source our ingredients from local farmers,” Metran added.

Lunch buffet comes with unlimited iced tea all for only $9.99. They also have 1-choice lunch set at $4.25 and 2-choice lunch set at $6.25. According to Metran, what also sets Saipan Food Express apart from other restaurants is their salad bar.

“We have the salad bar to encourage the community to eat healthy and to have a ‘hotel kind of setting’ wherein aside from the main course, there is a salad bar that they can start their meal with or serve as a side dish. The choices in the salad bar are well prepared and thought of.” Metran said.

“People can actually come here and just go for the salad bar buffet for only $6… so we cater to people who want to try different kinds of dishes in one sitting and also people who are on a diet that’s why our salad bar is there because health is wealth,” Metran added.

Saipan Food Express is located at Springs Plaza in Gualo Rai. They are open from Monday to Saturday, 10:30am-2pm lunch, and ala carte dinner 5:30p-9pm. They also do catering services for any occasion for minimum of 20 people at $12.50 per person. For more information, call (670) 233-3277.

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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