Roy Yamaguchi was one of the first celebrity chefs to develop Hawaiian regional cuisine and remains one of its best practitioners. His restaurant in ... More
Roy Yamaguchi was one of the first celebrity chefs to develop Hawaiian regional cuisine and remains one of its best practitioners. His restaurant in Hawai'i Kai is famous for its cutting-edge Euro-Asian food and glorious sunset views. There are 25 nightly specials, always including a selection of individual pizzas with exotic toppings, as well as seafood entrees such as Pan Fried Oysters with Lobster Curry Sauce. An innovative and extensive wine list compliments the Pacific Rim cuisine, bottles range from USD22 to more than USD100. There is also a good selection of wines by the glass. Beware, the decibel level in this popular dining spot can be deafening.
I am a vegetarian and am also gluten intolerant. The chefs at Roy's restaurants in Hawaii Kai and Waikiki have always been very, very good at creating some wonderful meals for me. I have been to both restaurants many times and have always been very pleased with each and every dish.
In addition to this the service at both restaurants is flawless! I frequent many of the top restaurants in Hawaii and hands-down Roy's has the very best service any where! All of the staff are knowledgeable, prompt, cheerful, gracious and professional.
I recommend this restaurant to everyone. You will not be disappointed.
Be sure to try the chocolate souffle, gluten free and fabulous!
Cannot recommend any of the Roy's restaurants. It is never a pleasant experience. We are PAU with Roy's. We really WANT to like the restaurants. We live in Honolulu and travel to NYC often where we have been to NY Roy's. Better than average food is just not enough to get us to return again. Children and teens are eager to leave before the food arrives because it is so very unsettling for them in the madhouses although the BBQ ribs are a hit with kids. (Do take out)! Waiting for reserved tables is no fun in the bar or anywhere as it is impossible to talk or even stand next to the others in our group.
Hawaii Kai and Waikiki are especially unpleasant experiences. They are excructiatingly, unbearably noisy. They are chaotic with open noisy, hot kitchens and racing waiters, banging plates and blenders blaring. It is impossible during dinner to talk to anyone including the person next to you because the noise level is at sonic boom measurements.
FOOD: Red bell peppers (ruin beautiful local fish) or soy sauce permeate most items and the black bean sauces are overpowering, unrefined and used in abundance. Roy is a master when he is in the kitchen creating new items (which he never remembers how he did it to repeat it). Unfortunately, he has rarely been in any of his multi-investor now generic and formularic mediocre restaurants. The bottom line is the gross...they are on the way to being just that.
The new Waikiki restaurant is so VERY disappointing in its lack of decor and design. Too bad it's just awful. It was a great opportunity to be fantastic. It is like a dank, low ceiling cave and also VERY, VERY noisy. The decor is again the "never was cool" coffee shop look. They had a rare opportunity in Waikiki to make the outside dining a great fun romantic spot looking out to a newly redeveloped very upscale exciting area. It could have been the best fun people-watching bar in Waikiki. Instead it looks like an enclosed make-shift trailor park big central strictly utilitarian bar area with a few close together or perimeter surrounging ugly fast food looking seating area. It affords no view to anything except the butts of folks seated on tall bar stools. The big central "back alley" bar looks like an industrial waiters' bus station. And naturally the ouside bar is noisy with blenders, waiters yelling. It might even be the service area as it also looks the after thought for diners.
I have to say that I prefer the Roy's at Ko'olina much more than the one on the east side. I guess it was just too noisy for me and I did feel like it was too crowded. I like a more intimate setting so that is why I go to the one in Ko'olina. I really enjoy the food.. it is excellent - especially the butterfish! :)
The food was beautifully prepared and very tasty. I am picky about my ribs, but these were amazing. I was disappointed that it wasn't the "noisy, hectic" atmosphere that is advertised though. It was a serene dining experience. We had a large group, so one dinner was forgotten, but they gave him a free chocolate dessert...that was "to die for...melt in your mouth" delicious. It is in the book 1001 things to do before you die. I do recommend it...but they need to pump up the volume a bit.
This is one of the better restaurants on Oahu. The food and service is very good. Only downside is the volume from all the patrons. These guys really hooked my wife and I on our anniversary with a nice cake. The choc. souffle is excellent.
I heard about Roy's from many people since I grew up being surounded by chefs. First of all, my dining experience at Roy's was a disapointment. I don't even remember what I ate or about any dishes...(meaning the food wasn't captivating). Second, The deserts was already decorated on the plate and was brought out straight from the fridge since all the decorations on the plate was extremly cold and I couldn't even use the chocolate sause that was spread out on the plate because the sause was stuck on it (since it was in fridge for awhile). The ambiance is not very impressive. The tables are too close together so you would have to talk loud with your guest(s) and the waiter made a mistake with wine that we ordered and didn't even apologize. They should first learn the etiquette of service. I'm guessing that the waiter treated us in that manner because we were a very young couple BUT it shouldn't be that way. Their job is to treat everyone equaly and not buy our age. Since then I bought the cooking book of Roy Yamaguchi because I respect him a chef but never returned to the restaurant. I think it's sad that the quality goes down after opening few more restaurants and not have the time keep close look himself to his employees.
One of the best dining experiences on Oahu. The service in amazing, the food is great and it is a nice change from the zoo that is waikiki. Some favorites are the ribs and the butterfish. Be sure to make this a stop on your vacation!
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