Nafanua Steakhouse & Youthful Second Chances

15 February 2016, 12:00AM

To quote the late inspirational Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a life. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back” -Maya Angelou. This quote aptly applies to the story behind Nafanua Steakhouse and the young team there-in.

Smack in the middle of Tauese Way, is the old Paul’s building, adjacent to the Fire Station.  The building still houses a couple of Apia’s  popular watering hole and eatery, namely the Cocktails on the Rock and Italiano Pizzeria. Transformation has been in the making for some time now on the last unit which will house a new addition to Apia’s culinary delights. 

On a breezy Saturday morning, I had the chance to sit down with Kirsten and her new young team for a chat.

Nafanua Steakhouse & Lounge Bar, is the fulfilment of eclectic Kirsten McGlashan’s long time dream to own and operate her own restaurant. Her love and passion for cooking started early with her mum. She followed by working for 10 years as a waiter and eventually completed studies with a Batchelor’s degree in Hotel Management & Food & Beverage. She is also a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a scuba diving instructor & Emergency 1st responder Diver and a self taught welder.

 Kirsten is Norwegian and has a very clear sense of what she wants to offer. “I wanted to create something different from the current culinary offerings by serving up a different taste.”  Being an avid foodie, I surely wanted to know what else is on the culinary horizon. “It is a steakhouse after all, but with different cuts of beef & pork spare-ribs with a twist of French cooking. And I can’t forget the very popular Norwegian meatballs and special gravy!” enthuses Kirsten. “I  am keen to support our local suppliers and will always prioritise them over imported. Never-the-less I need to ensure that my supply chain is in place in the event I am not able to source some of the goods locally.”

The furniture and fittings in the steakhouse were all handmade by Kirsten and some of her mentees. Her eclectic nature is well and truly stamped on everything you see in the building. On one wall is a large mural painted by one of the young local artists that she had mentored and supported. Likewise, around the lounge bar area are more of delightful artworks.

Kirsten’s new team are all school leavers who had finished school a few years ago with no work and a rather bleak view of the future. Kirsten believed that the second chances that she has been given in life need to be passed on, hence her dedication in teaching and providing opportunities to a young team with zilch experience in the hospitality sector.

“I want this place to be for the young people to learn new skills and showcase their raw artistic talent,” says Kirsten. We wish Kirsten and her team much success.

Nafanua Steakhouse & Lounge bar will be opened initially for lunches whilst the team builds up their confidences and experience. For more information, call Kirsten on 7586342.


 Nynette Sass is a passionate “foodie”, traveller and supporter of #localbusinesses. A former Air Traffic Controller besides many other roles, she is an Accredited Mediator with the Min, of Justice & Courts Administration, Master Educator with OSEP and principal at Sass Consult, specialising in SMEs and NGOs. She is also the Secretary for Samoa For Real Inc., and writes weekly for SFR’s Events Page. Contact [email protected]  if you have any exciting new developments that can be shared with our readers

15 February 2016, 12:00AM

Trending Stories

Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.