My huge endorsement for Roy’s is that this is the 5th time I’ve been to any Roy’s nationwide, with a strong desire to go to the flagship, original in Hawaii as well. My first time was in San Francisco, which marked the first time I’d had a molten chocolate lava cake (or a chocolate souffle, or a warm chocolate cake, whatever the heck you call it, it is the same: a chocolate cake in individual portion that when you break open, chocolate flows); the next three times were in NYC, twice for Summer Restaurant Week (the first time in 2004 for dinner, the second time in 2005 for lunch), and the fourth and final time was this year with my best friend, purposefully the week before Restaurant Week.
Basically, I don’t really need to tell you that I like this place, despite its status as, well, a chain. The menu that changes daily and the super fresh fish regardless of where we’re eating (specifically, hello, ARIZONA, which is in the middle of a desert!!) endears this place to me. (Insane girl that I am, I now need to make a trip to morimoto nyc (check the archives, there are three separate posts dedicated to this place and it’s only been open since February 06) because as my all time favorite restaurant, I can’t have been to another place more times!!! Um.. anyway.)
I took a trip to Phoenix, AZ last week and before I left, I asked my closet-foodie boss if he had any recommendations. To my surprise, he mentioned having gone to Roy’s while out there, and said he enjoyed it more than the Roy’s he’d been to in Hawaii (there are 3 or 4 Roy’s in Hawaii state- each on a different island, so it makes total sense). This put Roy’s on my radar, especially since the day before, I’d been on Miss Beancurd’s site and she’d mentioned Roy’s in NYC as on her To-Eat list.
On top of which, I hadn’t been able to find too many interesting places to eat during my internet searches, so when we got there, I decided to chance it and go for Roy’s. Why not? Expense account dining is always fun!
Much to my surprise, there were three Roy’s listed under AZ- one in Phoenix (Desert Ridge), one in Chandler and one in Scottsdale. A quick call to the concierge informed me that the Scottsdale location was closest, and a reservation for 7:30 was made.
A brief note: I wasn’t pleased when we arrived 5 minutes early for our reservation and made to wait at the bar for 15 minutes. I had to get up and hunt down the hostess who cheerily informed me that she was just about to go get us. Riiiight. Then, at the end of our meal, we requested a cab be called (you can’t just hail taxis in Phoenix), and it took 45 minutes for them to realize the cab had picked up the wrong people so they needed to call another cab. Oh well. But now, on to the food pr0n!!!
crabcake appetizer: yummy as usual, though not the best ever, still very good. my dining companion said it was a bit too mushy for her liking, and not lump crabmeat, to her disappointment.
lobster potsticker: my dining companion’s choice. it tasted like a seafood pancake/dumpling at dimsum, but not in a good way. it was tasty, but not as good as the price might suggest. order elsewhere instead, if you must.
tuna ahi poke: this was by far my favorite appetizer of the night and my first time having it. basically just fresh tuna, chopped up and mixed with some avocado, maybe some other things, we ate it so quickly I couldn’t tell you exactly what went into it, though I know plenty of people who say this dish is easy and quick to make but impressive to behold. the flying fish roe on top was a nice salty complement, and the wasabi touched sauce on the edges worked nicely but even plain, the whole dish was just delish. my dining companion and I dogged this. DEFINITELY order this when you go. (and the chili glazed rock shrimp if they have it that day)
macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi with lobster butter sauce. what can I say, my dining companion adores lobster. this dish was, as expected, delicious and well-received (it’s a dish I recommend over and over again to whomever goes to Roy’s with me).
misoyaki butterfish: seriously, if you read my last review, I mention having this dish in a trio, smaller portion sized and how I’d go back to order the regular entree of it. so I did. and it was everything I remembered and better, since it was more. I was not disappointed by the fish, though the veggies underneath were alright and the rice too sticky- too much water when they made it- but not major complaints. I was very pleased with my entree.
Hawaiian upside-down pineapple cake: I would guess this dessert is MUCH better in Hawaii, where friends who’ve gone before have told me that fresh pineapple brings a whole new meaning to… fresh pineapple. um. yeah. the cake was good, warm and moist, delicious in its own right, though I couldn’t sample the toasted coconut sorbet properly (I’m allergic to coconut, and the server apologized profusely when she saw we didn’t eat it [she asked if it was alright] and I confessed my allergy; she said she would have brought us something else on the side if she’d known. she was SO NICE.). I say all this despite not being fond of cooked/hot fruit, so take that as you will. also- this dessert has not been on the menu when I’ve been at the Roy’s in NYC, but it also requires ordering at the start of dinner in order that the kitchen is given enough time to make it.
molten chocolate souffle with vanilla bean ice cream: their signature dessert, you must order this when you order your dinner so that it is prepared in time. I think this is my favorite molten chocolate cake from all the restaurants. it’s got the right amount of chocolate ooze, the right fluff/dense proportions and the ice cream always complements nicely. the raspberry sauce doesn’t do anything for me (I’m also allergic to raspberries) but it’s something I have to order everytime I go to Roy’s.
Yvo says: Yeah, go here. Don’t worry about the price because they’re not that bad. If you do worry so much, here’s a 20% off your entire bill (except drinks/tax/tip) coupon. I really like this place and its consistency; though I haven’t liked all of the food I’ve tried (the lobster potstickers weren’t exactly a hit with me, but they are what they are), they are very consistent with the quality, the ambiance is always nice, service is good and overall, it’s just a great restaurant. It’s worth what you pay.