Afterthoughts – The Best of Hawaii at Roy’s, Oahu / Hawaii
I first heard about Roy’s during a wedding in Laguna Beach, where we were recommended to visit the Roy’s in San Francisco for the unforgettable food. We had to give it a miss on that trip because of our packed schedule, so I made it a goal to try Roy’s during this trip, especially on it’s home turf.
To sum up Roy’s as a Hawaiian food chain restaurant would be to do it gross injustice, because the establishment is so much more than that. Walking into Roy’s is like walking into a cozy, yet elegant Hawaiian cottage filled with mouth watering food and friendly service. The Roy’s in Waikiki is minutes away from the beach, and boasts a full house on almost any given day. So make sure to make your reservations in advance!
On this particular night, we met up with some friends who’ve been vacationing in Oahu for the past seven or so Christmases and they’ve come back to Roy’s year after year for the sumptuous food. We started the evening with a round of drinks, including my delightfully pink Mai Tai and also opened a couple bottles of wine.
Chili-dusted edamame played accompaniment to our drinks.
We started with Szechuan baby back ribs, served family style. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone good, and so juicy. Each rib was slightly charred on the outside, and oozing with tender porky goodness. Each tender morsel was brushed with just a hint of sweet sauce. However, I didn’t taste any of the characteristic spiciness or numbness associated with Sichuan cuisine, but really, with ribs this good, who cares?
Since we are in Hawaii, and we just had ribs, everyone at the table decided to go with fish for mains. We picked some of the most popular and time-tested offerings, such as the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi nestled in lobster sauce (pictured below). The golden crust gave a crisp crackle while the tender fish inside forked easily into succulent cloves.
Having tasted Hawaiian butterfish on several occasions already during our trip, I was obsessed about ordering this at Roy’s. Just the name, butterfish, sounds drool-worthy. Hawaiian butterfish usually is some sort of cod, or other buttery white fish. Roy’s rendition is made Hawaiian style with misoyaki butterfish seated in a pool of buttery wasabi sauce. It was sweet, with a bit of a kick from the wasabi, and oh so delicious!
The fish also came with a side of fragrant garlic rice, which made mixing with the wasabi sauce utterly dreamy.
The Mister couldn’t decide what to get, so he got the sample platter with 3 of the most popular fish dishes: macadamia nut mahi mahi, Hawaiian butterfish, and Hibachi grilled salmon with ponzu. All of the dishes were amazing, and I maximized the fun by stealing from his plate.
Some of our friends also ordered the tempura roll, which was crunchy and delicious.
The spicy tuna roll, however, was a little too hot.
After the amazing mains and a couple bottles of wine, we came to dessert. First up was Roy’s famous chocolate molten cake with vanilla ice-cream drizzled with raspberry coulis. This dish would be a sure hit anywhere, because who can deny the sexiness of gooey warm chocolate trickling through soft spongy cake? It was a great dish, although a very predictable one.
Next up came a golden, caramel-y macadamia nut tart. I didn’t try this one but it looked fantastic.
And for the kiddies at the table, came an adorable ice-cream cookie sandwich complete with cherry and sprinkles!
Verdict: This is my dream Hawaiian restaurant serving the best representation of fine island cuisine with the freshest produce. There is NOTHING I can fault about this place, and I only wish there is a Roy’s closer to home so I can make it a regular hangout. I still often dream about that melt-in-your-mouth butterfish, and am looking forward to my next visit at Roy’s! This is a restaurant with a lot of buzzing energy, and also a great family venue. The kiddies at our table were subdued with lots of colouring sheets and crayons, and there is a kids’ menu for little tummies. Sure, there are lots of fancy options in Oahu, but if there is one restaurant you must visit in Waikiki for down-to-earth yet elegant Hawaiian cuisine, make it Roy’s!
226 Lewers Street
Tel: (808) 923 7697