Victoria Sayno

Jo McGarry
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Friday - November 23, 2011 Share | | podcast Podcast |

Jo McGarry photo

Occupation: Restaurant Manager, Asahi Grill, Ward Avenue

Where were you born and raised? I was raised in Manila. I came to Hawaii about 23 years ago.

Were you always involved with food and restaurants? Yes, my grandparents owned a restaurant in the Philippines. When I was a little girl, I was always there watching, learning and eventually helping. And they had a catering business, too.

People love the local food at Asahi Grill. What’s the top-selling dish? The oxtail soup, of course, but I think that the fried rice is just as popular now. A lot of people combine them and order both when they come. It’s hard to say what’s more popular everything is so good!

What makes it so special? It’s a Chinese-influenced recipe, so that makes it a little different in flavor. The rest of it, I think, is down to the cooks, who make it with lots of effort and love. I think that’s part of the secret.

A lot of people don’t realize that you’re open for breakfast. Yes, we open at 6:30 in the morning all the way to 10 at night.

When is the best time to come if it’s a first visit? At lunchtime it’s so busy and at nighttime, too. So usually between 9:30 and 11 a.m. is a quieter time to come there’s more parking and then again between 2:30 and 5 it’s a good time. Not too busy.

Do you cook at home? Yes! I love to cook Filipino food. I cook adobo and fresh fish and pancit ... all the Filipino dishes.

What’s always in your fridge? Fruits and vegetables and juices.

A new Asahi Grill opened recently on Keeaumoku Street ... Yes, but we haven’t moved! We’re still here on Ward Avenue. The second Asahi Grill serves the same kind of food, and we are kind of like one family, but we want people to know that nothing has changed and we’re still here!

Who would you most like to see come into the restaurant for dinner?


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