Friday, 18 December 2009
Roy's - Waikiki Beach
Roy's - Waikiki Beach
226 Lewers Street
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tummy Points: 4/5
Notes: Service was imbeccable.
A Fixe Menu $35 if available
First opened in 1988 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Roy's has grown into 33 restaurants spread throughout the United States. According to Roy's, they create Asian dishes with European techniques. If you've been to Nobu, Roy's is along the same tracks. If you haven't been to Nobu, I'd agree with Roy's description of their food and add that they focus primarily on seafood and their menu is more european style as they don't have any noodles or rice dishes as is typical of most Asian restaurants. An interesting fact I read on Wikipedia, Roy's had partnered with Outback Steakhouse to grow his chain in continental US.
I've been to Roy's in Texas (my current favorite) so I had high expectations coming to the city that Roy's originated and a city surrounded by the ocean.
The roasted macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi was not my favorite. While eating it, I kept thinking this tasted like fish and chips but rather than batter it was encrusted with macadamia nuts. The top was crunchy and the rest of the fish was a little overcooked and thick like haddock. I thought mahi mahi was supposed to be a light flaky fish.
Edamane with kosher salt and a spicy seasoning was a delightful surprise as a complimentary dish while we waited for our food. The edamane arrived cool but the spicies made it taste really good and hot. But I wish they were steaming warm. They posted the recipe for it online but it uses their own special spices.
Appetizer sampler with tuna sashimi, fire grilled szechuan spiced baby back pork ribs, and spring roll. The ribs tasted like BBQ pork (cha siu) that you find at any Cantonese restaurant but this one had a bone right through the center. Tuna was fresh and thinly sliced. Didn't stand out to me. The spring roll was very hot, fresh, and full of veggies. I favorite are the vegetable spring rolls and this reminded me why I love them so much. Perhaps a little over fried but the inside wasn't trenched with oil.
Grilled scallop, 2 tiger shrimp, and lobster tail. This was definitely a better dish than my mahi mahi. It's a small dish but all the seafood was prepared well and relied on their natural taste. The garnish, sauces, and seasonings were forgetable.
Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé is the signature dish for me at Roy's. This was the dessert that kicked off my obsession over molten lava cakes. This one I got was good with goowey fudge inside. I just wish it came out hotter and a little thicker crisper cake. Definitely a must get whenever you eat at Roy's.
Roy's was very busy during peak dinner hours so arrive early. The patio seating is lovely with the warm Hawaii weather and that's where everyone is sitting too. Service was very impressive with multiple servers available to keep your ice water right at the rim, update you on your order before you start wondering why it's taking too long, and any one of them can handle your requests. All servers greeted everyone, were genuinely polite, and stepped out of any customer's way. There are a lot of other restaurants I want to try in Honolulu the next time I visit but I think I might drop by Roy's again. I recommend paying Roy's a visit if it's in a city you're visiting.