Shinsen Sushi: A favorite of local diners

Posted on Aug 16 2019

Shinsen Sushi is located across GIG in Garapan and has been in business since 2004. (Mark Rabago)

It is located in the tourist district of Garapan, but Shinsen Sushi has always counted on locals at its No. 1 customers in the 15 years it has existed.

Since 2004, Shinsen Sushi has always catered to local customers, said restaurant manager Jung Gon “Kris” Kim, since, unlike the tourist market that relies a lot on external factors, the local market is more stable.

“We always treat our local customers like family and that’s why they keep coming back all these years,” he said.

To his estimation, up to 90% of Shinsen Sushi’s customers are local residents, with 10% made up of tourists.

Another selling point of the Japanese restaurant is its competitive prices. Kim said they haven’t raised prices in the last 10 years.

It helps that the owners of Shinsen Sushi own the building it is located in and don’t have to pay for rent.

Among the bestsellers at the Japanese sushi place are its spicy tuna tempura, sushi rolls, and it’s very affordable bento meals that are a steal for $10 for two. In all, Shinsen Sushi’s menu has 111 items.

Shinsen Sushi’s fresh mahi mahi. (Contributed Photo)

Another secret to Shinsen Sushi’s longevity and popularity among local customers is they always serve fresh fish. Kim himself buys the fish at the many fish stores along Beach Road every morning.

He said it’s imperative for Japanese restaurants to stock on fresh seafood every day, as that particular item is a staple to their business.

Like other businesses in the CNMI, Shinsen Sushi also suffered in the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu. The restaurant was shuttered for three months and he and his staff had to rely on disaster food stamps to survive.

Fortunately, the Garapan landmark’s long hiatus didn’t have an effect on its loyal customers; they immediately formed a beeline to Shinsen Sushi when it finally reopened in January.

Shinsen Sushi’s garlic tuna. (Contributed Photo)

To reward their loyalty, Kim said Shinsen Sushi currently has a summer promotion where it sells gift certificates at 20% off—$20 for a $25 gift certificate, $28 for a $35 gift certificate, and $36 for a $45 one.

“It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our beloved customers,” he said.

Shinsen Sushi also has a frequent customer card where 10 stamps will get customers a free $15 dish. One stamp is equivalent to $15 worth of food and drinks and are applicable for dine-in and takeout.

Shinsen Sushi is located across GIG in Garapan and is open Monday-Saturday, from 11am to 2pm and 5:30m to 10pm. On Sunday, it is only open from 5:30pm to 10pm. The Japanese sushi restaurant can comfortably seat 60 diners and has parking slots for 11 vehicles.

For more information on Shinsen Sushi, call 233-1600 or click on their Facebook page.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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