Roger Asakil Joya can get his second restaurant with Michelin star – NRK Rogaland – Local news, TV and radio

– I’m getting old. I want more people to have the opportunity to see what I’m doing.

40-year-old Roger Asakil Joya says “old” with a smile. But he has long thought that his Michelin-starred restaurant Sabi Omakase needs an extension.

So in April last year, in the middle of the pandemic, Joya opened the restaurant Sabi Enso.

– We’ve had busy days. A lot of people are starting to come, he says.

Now it is whispered quite loudly that this restaurant may also end up with a star in the Michelin guide.

The award ceremony will take place on Monday night in Stavanger Concert Hall.

– Michelin is a recognition of what we do. It will be an honor to receive a star for Sabi Enso, says Joya.

Restaurant reviewer Harald Birkevold in Stavanger Aftenblad believes Sabi Enso is a solid candidate for star.

– Roger Joya has already shown that he is able to create a concept that gets a star. Sabi Enso is a slightly different concept, but based on the same philosophy. So I do not rule out anything, he says.

Harald Birkevold in Stavanger Aftenblad

Harald Birkevold is a restaurant reviewer in Stavanger Aftenblad.

Photo: Anett Johansen Espeland / NRK

Found vacant room in the middle of the night

Filipino Roger Asakil Joya grew up on a rice plantation outside Manila. His father was a sailor and ended up in Norway.

As a 17-year-old, Joya went to Norway for family reunification.

– I started working at a sushi restaurant and supported myself as an 18-year-old. I realized that sushi is the future for me, not university studies.

Joya was discovered by the chef at the renowned restaurant Alex Sushi. After several years there, he began to feel the urge to run his own place.

The motivation was to make sushi with Norwegian ingredients. But where?

– I looked for premises throughout Norway. Then I found Pedersgata 38 in Stavanger on Finn, at 01 at night.

Joya got a lease and moved. In 2011, he started Sabi Sushi, which eventually became a chain. The gourmet restaurant Sabi Omakase opened four years later.

– The pandemic was brutal

Joya has lost many talented employees during the corona. Now he spends a lot of time building a new team at the new restaurant.

Roger Joya

– Someone has grown up with a silver spoon in his mouth and can take over the family company. Others need to build something from scratch. I had to, says Roger Joya.

Photo: Anett Johansen Espeland / NRK

– The pandemic was brutal. We are not done with this crisis. But after all, I do what I love. It’s both business and passion.

Joya is not that fond of talk.

– I do things and see the results of what I do.

He has been in Norway more than half his life. And here he stays.

– When I wake up and hear my children speak the Sandnes dialect, I realize that I am really stuck here in Rogaland, he says and laughs.

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