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Birthday Dinner at Roy's Waikiki

Macadamia Nut Crusted Monchong with Main Lobster Cream Sauce

Roy’s, by Hawaii regional cuisine celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi opened the latest in their worldwide stable of fine dining restaurants in the new heartbeat of Waikiki. The establishment opened several months ago, located at the makai end of Outrigger’s new Outrigger Beach Walk, on the corner of Lewers and Kalia Road, across the street from the Halekulani Hotel.

Roy’s Waikiki main entrance, located on the makai end of Lewers St. and Kalia Rd, across the street from the Halekulani Hotel

The patio at the entrance includes the reservations and greeting counter, followed by an outside bar area. As you enter inside, you’re greeted by a seating area with a large screen TV that looks to be multi-functional as either seating for the outside bar or as a seating area while you wait for your table…

Roy’s Waikiki seating/waiting/inside bar entrance area

A multi-tiered industrial wine chiller dominates a short hallway which leads to the main dining room inside…

As you enter the main dining area, you’ll immediately notice the lively open kitchen which also includes a small sushi bar on the entrance end…

Roy’s Waikiki open kitchen and sushi bar

Because this was a birthday celebration for my girlfriend, I requested a more private booth area, which they kindly provided, located on the back right end of the main dining area. Here’s a view of where we were sitting, looking towards the main dining area…

Roy’s Waikiki main dining area

Notice the Gyotaku style fish art on the wall across the way. The lighting was dim, yet ambient enough to see your food. Our booth had a recessed light fixture pointing towards the back of our table, which made it perfect for me to get good photos of our food. Speaking of photos, the staff was very cool about picture taking (I asked permission), as many in the restaurant were snapping away at themselves and the various artwork decorating the room. Overall the ambiance is elegant without being pretentious. Just like the Roy’s in Hawaii Kai, it’s quite LOUD, with many speaking at regular to sub-shouting levels, which doesn’t bother us, but might annoy others. This seems partially due just to how busy the restaurant is, which on our July 3rd visit (holiday the next day), the house was PACKED. In fact, just after I took that photo above, that round table on the right had just been seated (full). It was a 100% capacity night.

Establishments get booked full capacity for a reason, and like most restaurants should be, Roy’s is all about the FOOD. so let’s get to that!

Upon reading the Mock Dinner at Roy’s review over at Hawaii Diner.com, I had an idea what to expect on the menu. The Waikiki menu includes sushi dishes such as Trio of Yellowfin Ahi, Main Lobster California Roll. Sample items such as Roy’s Classic Dim Sum Canoe for Two: baby back ribs, blackened ahi, spring rolls, shrimp stixx & crab cake. Entrees include dishes such as Honey Mustard & Garlic Beef Short Ribs, Kaffir Butter Grilled Island Fish and Peppercorn Grilled Filet Mignon with a Truffle Madeira Sauce. Sumptuous desserts and a wide selection of wines to choose by glass or bottle. Those items mentioned were just a few of many more to choose on their full menu.

Upon being seated, we’re immediately given water, a request for drinks and given a complimentary bowl of seasoned Edamame (boiled Soy Beans). I must say, whatever seasoning (furikake and/or chili flakes?) they had on them besides salt, they sure were tasty!

Complimentary Edamame (seasoned soy beans)

To keep it simple – and thankfully it was on the menu – we both ordered Roy’s Three-Course “Hawaiian Fusion” Prix Fixe selection at $39.5o per person.

The first course to this “Hawaiian Fusion” dinner is “Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Sampler”…

Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Sampler – Blackened Ahi, Szechuan Baby Back Rib & Chinatown Chicken Spring Roll

One bite of this “triple treat of heaven on a plate”, and we knew were in for one AMAZING dinner. That generous portion of seared rare Ahi just melts in your mouth, combined by that just delicious cream sauce (which I couldn’t figure out) was probably the best twist of eating raw ahi I’ve ever experienced. Not tasted. Experienced. That Szechuan baby back pork rib was just as amazing. Fall-off-the-bone tender, flavorful, with a nicely seared grilled crust and that Szechuan flavoring, which was similar to Charsiu. I could eat a whole RACK of these babies. The chicken spring was crispy and mild, leaving the flavoring up to the bold sauce it came with. Overall, nice. The sum of this appetizer and all its parts? Incredible.

For the main dish (2nd course) you can choose either the Macadamia Nut Crusted Whitefish, the Slow Braised and Broiled Short Ribs of Beef or the Hibachi Style Grilled Salmon.

In my order of the Macadamia Nut Crusted Whitefish, which featured today was Monchong (my favorite!), you can see how wonderfully moist this rather uncommon fish is….

Macadamia Nut Crusted Monchong

The cook prepared the Monchong perfectly, just under medium. The Main Lobster Cream Sauce complimented it beautifully. It was a bit complex, but remained a “back-up singer” to the star instead attempting to take lead vocals. The Macadamia Nut crust was a nice texture contrast to the soft and moist Monchong, flavorful without overpowering the delicate fish. Tender spears of Asparagus, baby potatoes and chopped scallion rounds this absolutely fabulous dish out.

She opted for the braised beef…

Slow Braised and Broiled Short Ribs of Beef (shown sliced open to reveal its tenderness)

This includes a generous portion of “no knife needed” tender slow-braised beef, set atop a cooked potato and tender pieces of zucchini (shown with the green skin) in a hearty demi-glace reduction sauce. Without meaning to subtract from the level this is at, let’s just say this is like the “Ultimate Pot Roast”. Excellent, excellent.

Will we have room for dessert? It’s part of the dinner, so we’ll try!

Knowing it was my guest’s birthday, they provided a complimentary “Birthday Parfait”…

Complimentary Birthday Parfait

How nice of them! This was unexpected. The parfait was nicely chilled with swirls of yogurt, candied Macadamia Nuts, sliced strawberry and mint leaf garnish. It was delicious!

For the actual dessert (3rd course), she opted for “Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle'”…

Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle’

Melting chocolate is the word… hot too!

The chocolate souffle’ is accompanied with a scoop of home-made style ground vanilla bean ice cream.

I opted for the Macadamia Nut Tart…

Macadamia Nut Tart

“Ooey, gooey, caramely and macadamia nut crunchety”, with the contrast of the cold home-made style vanilla ice cream. Yummmmmmmmmmmy!

For drinks, she ordered a Lava Flow (her favorite) and I tried one of Roy’s Private Reserve Beers…

Roy’s Private Reserve Beer

This ale beer is brewed by Hilo’s Mehana Brewing Company. It reminded alot of Kona Brewing Company’s standard ale.. a bit bitter, without biting too much, with a balanced body and head to it.

Along with that the complimentary birthday parfait, they also had a birthday party hat awaiting on our table..

Above the beautiful ambiance and absolutely incredible dinner, the service was over and beyond all expectations. Our server, Melanie was very courteous and friendly, knew the menu well, and was attentive, yet not overdoing it and making us feel “hovered over”. Every staff member walking around the restaurant acknowledged us with a smile and greeting as if we were VIPs. Speaking of which, the staff looks mostly in their younger 20’s, good looking and well trained in working at a Roy’s restaurant and meeting guests expectations. Kudos to everyone working that night.

Our dinner at Roy’s Waikiki was absolutely stellar on every level, giving them a unique rating here at Tasty Island that’s never been seen before…


Da’ Best! (highest recommendation)

Roy’s Waikiki

6 thoughts on “Birthday Dinner at Roy's Waikiki

  • July 5, 2007 at 8:15 am

    what a great way to celebrate! everything looks ono!

  • July 6, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Happy Birthday to your birthday girl and your blog. Lots of good looking pictures…and a beautiful dinner.

  • July 12, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Hi…I randomly found this blog, and love it! Makes me miss Hawaii even more :)

  • July 14, 2007 at 1:24 am

    I love Roy’s! Their choc souffle is to die for! I swear I almost made myself sick the last time because I need to scrape up every bit of that good stuff. I recommend the appetizer canoe, everything on it was superb. I love their misoyaki butterfish (as an entree). My only gripe (and this is small) they didn’t serve local kine rice with the dish! It was this black rice/bean things. IT was still tasty but c’mon with misoyaki butterfish, you need da white sticky rice!

  • July 22, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    We have always enjoyed Roys at both loccations….we went with friends to the new Waikiki location and were not disappointed. Delicious food, GREAT service, and nice atmosphere. Can’t forget to mention the amazing chocolate souffle’…dinner wouldn’t be complete at Roys without it!

  • July 26, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Mm. The mac nut monchong looks wonderful! I’ve only had lunch at Roy’s (Big Island), but you’ve inspired me to push for dinner. Mmm.


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