Disher Review #13: Roy’s Hawaiian

Next up for critique: Roy’s Hawaiian. And…she liked it! Dishers are such a positive group! No wonder we get along so well. Jump for it.

Last night, an old college friend (OCF) and I had dinner at Roy’s. This was definitely a case where if they had not posted their menu, we would not have gone.  I am allergic to just about everything that comes out of the water, and if they only had fish options, we would have gone elsewhere, and missed a fun evening.  And Roy’s service and attitude about RW diners could NOT have been better.

We arrived early and watched a little Olympics in the bar before being informed that our table was ready. They left both RW menus and regular menus, so that we would have a choice. A server brought a bowl of edamame and offered us a choice of waters (Plano’s finest, please) and left us to finish our drinks. OCF and I were catching up, and ordered another round of drinks (Ginger Daquiri for me, Lychee Caiprihana for OCF). Mine wasn’t as ginger-y as I would have hoped, but was ok. He really enjoyed his. While we were enjoying these, the server brought out an amuse bouche – a chicken-portabello wonton — which was really excellent. Our waitress asked us if it was our first time at Roy’s, and we admitted that it was.

By tradition, OCF and I always order different things to share. For appetizers, I went with the Japanese baby pear salad with a really tart passion fruit dressing, while he had the Hawaiian Fusion Sampler. He had Central Market coupons, and ordered two orders of the Salmon Sushi Rolls. He got my sushi, and I shared in the chicken-portabello wonton and steak satay from his appetizer plate.

Between the appetizer and the dinner, our server (Sera C) stopped by to offer to explain their full menu to us. Her depth of knowledge on the restaurant and the food was impressive, and she managed to be always available without hovering, and friendly without being unctuous.

For dinner, OCF ordered the seared tiger prawns, which came with baby bok choy and fried rice (with the fried egg on top – if they ever open for breakfast, I’m going back just for the egg. It was GREAT.) He enjoyed his, but we both agreed that my braised short ribs were the choice of the evening. The portion was large – perhaps 12 ounces or more – heavily carmelized on the outside, and, oddly, boneless. In appearance, it could have been a small roast. It was served with the sauce it had cooked in, and served with some (pedestrian) whipped potatoes and a napoleon of squashes that was almost Italian in flavor. While the sides were ok, the ribs themselves were fabulous – great meaty flavor, chewy on the outside, and fork-tender on the inside.

On inquiring, Sera told us that the short ribs are cut specifically for them in Hawaii, and arrive boneless.

For dessert, I went with the Kaffir Lime Pie, which Sera explained was made with the leaves of the tree, and not as much of the fruit. It was tart and refreshing without hurting the back of my throat. OCF went with the strawberry shortcake, which was good, but not as good as the pie.

All-in-all, we agreed that Roy’s was fun, and had excellent food. The real winners were the fried rice with the fried egg and the braised short ribs. When we go back, we look forward to trying the pineapple upside down cake.

Final nice touch?  When the valet (complimentary) brought our cars around, he left a bottle of water, with Roy’s label on them.  Since OCF and I both had long drives ahead of us, it was a much appreciated gesture.

Next up, Bolla!

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