Island Grill at Fugalei welcomes you

By Aruna Lolani ,

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ISLAND GRILL OWNERS: Tupa'i Saleimoa and Rosie Va’ai.

ISLAND GRILL OWNERS: Tupa'i Saleimoa and Rosie Va’ai.

Members of the public now have one more option to choose from when it comes restaurant choices, with a new restaurant opening at Fugalei today.

Island Grill is proudly owned by Tupa’i Sale’imoa and Rosie Vaai.

The couple from Asau Savaii and Siusega is definitely not new to the business world. They also manage a business in Savai’i called Vaimoana Seaside Lodge; Savai’i Koko Exports and were also former Managers of Amani’s Restaurant.

“It is our passion for eating out that we came up with the idea to set up this restaurant and it helps that my wife is a cook,” Tupa’i Saleimoa said.

“For two years we ran Amani’s, it was not our style of restaurant. It was nice but it was not our style so when we got the opportunity to do this new place; we thought we might as well take the time out because we want a certain style of food that we like.”

Tupa’i Saleimoa says they named their eatery Island Grill because they will be concentrating on steak and seafood dishes.

“It took us a little while and I know there’s a lot of eating places around town but we feel that we’re looking for affordability and quality at the same time, so that’s our main aim." 

“I like a good meal but affordable. I mean we love to go out but we couldn’t afford some of the places that we love. So it is our dream to try and make it affordable and hopefully we will get there.”

“You know we’re not aiming for a high end market. We’re looking at a place where you can afford to eat maybe four to five times a week but not once a month."

“Most of our sourcing will be from Savaii.”

He said they wanted to create the business here because their children attended school in Upolu and his wife lived with them. 

Saleimoa and his wife have spent two years planning their business and just within three months this year; their restaurant is now ready.

“We see a lot of challenges but our place in Savaii is renowned for its food.  That’s why people like coming to Vaimoana and we wanted to bring that experience across to Upolu." 

“It’s not high end cooking but hopefully it is quality meal.

“We brought one of our cousins from New Zealand just to help us out with the menu and we try not to complicate things too much because for us we go for simplicity and at the same time, quality food."

“We diversify our business because that’s what we do here in Samoa; we need to diversify a lot of things.”

Island Grill will be open up today at 12:00p.m. It is located at Fugalei, next to Frankie's Supermarket and opposite the Fugalei market. For more informations, please contact Rosie Vaai on 7609090.  

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