Roy’s Waikoloa Beach Restaurant Review
We have arrived at Roy’s Restaurant in Waikoloa Beach right before closing. At the behest of the manager Brian we are back again. We stopped by last month for pupus but had to run. The pupus were really good and so we vowed to get back. We haven’t been avoiding the place because of the price, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Not being familiar with Roy’s menu and trusting Brian’s knowledge, I tell him to bring whatever he feels is best, “We are looking for dinner for two and keep it light.” I do not want a heavy meal, the last thing in the day and then have drive home.
The restaurant has an beautiful feel to it except for the noise level, the hard surfaces make it quite noisy. When you are outside the restaurant and the door opens, you can hear the noise loudly outside. We start with pupus (appetizers) of Big Island Beet Salad with candied garlic vinaigrette dressing, sprinkled with local pomegranate and roasted pumpkin seed, all on a light bed of greens… It is wonderful. The diversity of flavors and the light complexities dance like starburst fairies in the back of my mind. On the side they bring a bowl of edamame which has a perfectly balanced Szechwan spice, light yet lingering. These are complimented by the fresh passion fruit juice to drink. This is a very nice start. They have set the tone and our expectations are high. I hope they don’t disappoint.
For the entree we are brought the Jade Pesto Steamed Kona Kampachi and the Lemongrass Crusted Hawaiian Manchong. Both are local fish dishes. Starting with the kampachi the flavor of the fish is fantastic and with great texture that melts in my mouth. The bok choy is lightly steamed to perfection in a sesame sauce lending the right amount of flavor to the dish. I love bok choy. Topped with thinly sliced light Chinese noodles and lomi lomi tomatoes and a pesto sauce which uses no basil or pine nuts. It’s actually a cilantro scallion pesto. Instead of using salt, being Asian, Roy uses an oyster sauce. Wow, it is delicious.
The Monchong is equally amazing. First flavors response is more hot spices, I love it. Other than the first 3 bites at one end of the fish which were a little dry, the fish is baked to perfection. The appearance is beautiful. The balance of flavors is fantastic. The peanut sauce sneaks up on you and is tempered by the snow peas and balanced with coconut sauce. With about 25 different ingredients the mix of flavors is amazing. The perfectly cooked noodles on top are also light which contrasts the power of the spicy peanut sauce which has grown in strength and impact. I find myself slowing down my eating to savor each bite and all the flavors dancing in my mouth. I find myself pausing to truly analyze the depth and dance of the subtle flavors as one yields and fades in favor of the next. I just noticed that the snow peas have the same Szechuan spice as the edamame. Wow. I was not expecting that. I find myself at a loss for proper description because of the complexity of flavors which intermix in a symphony of magnificent flavors.
Leise just commented that she can’t believe we ordered dessert also. I now understand why I often see people waddling out of here. Roy’s has very smart management. The waitstaff brings you the dessert menu before you receive your main course. They inform you that certain desserts, including their signature, will take 25-30 minutes to prepare. Thus you check your watch and realize it is better to order sooner than later so you don’t end up waiting around for your dessert. This is a very good tactic. We probably would have not ordered dessert, because of how full we were by the end of the entree. That would have been a mistake.
As we square off with the dessert I find myself praying over my food in gratitude. I don’t think I have ever done that in the middle of the meal. Wow.
Big Island Coffee Cake is amazing!!!! With pineapple and maple bacon. They take the maple bacon fat and put it into the batter and then fold some strips into the batter before baking it. I just tasted the bacon flavor. It’s nice and subtly bold. The Coffee Cake is served with light Lemon Creme Fresh. The lemon compliments and balances the pineapple nicely. The pineapple flavor isn’t just when you bite the pineapple pieces. It is a theme throughout the coffee cake.
Leise ordered the Creme Brûlée. It’s a vanilla creme brûlée, again baked to perfection, topped with fresh pineapple, blueberries, and Waimea strawberries. It is very smooth and creamy. Seldom, if ever, will I back away from a good dessert. I did marry a pastry chef for a reason. I actually just pushed away the coffee cake with two bites left.
Roy’s was such a great choice. Brian’s meal choices for us, which he notes are their best dishes, was perfect. With fresh fish deliveries are 6 days a week so the food is very fresh. The entire meal was punctuated by the boldness of subtleties. Sadly for Roy’s, Brian is changing employment. He starts at Three Fat Pigs, Ippy Aiona’s restaurant at the other end of the Kings’ Shops in a few days.
With the amazing food and drink we truly enjoyed this experience and will come back again. For ambiance I give Roy’s 4 out of 5 surfboards, because it is so noisy with all the hard surfaces. For food quality I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 5 surfboards. This is one of the best meals we have ever had.
Aloha, James Christopher