Roy's Restaurant: Reviews

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Roys Canoe for Two AppetizerRoys Classic Trio-Salmon, Ahi, Misoyaki ButterfishRoys Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle
Roy’s Canoe for Two Appetizer, Roy’s Classic Trio (Salmon, Ahi, Misoyaki Butterfish), Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle



Patricia Muniosguren
Name: Patricia
Occupation: Montessori Pre-School Teacher
Location: Redwood City
Favorite Restaurant: Roy’s Restaurant
Reviewed Roy’s Restaurant: Sunday, December 7, 2008


Going to Roy’s is always a pleasure. The ambience is elegant and tasteful, reminiscent of the serenity of Hawaii without any of the touristy kitsch. One major focal point of the restaurant is a large wall with a wooden, rolling ladder reminiscent of old world libraries. Instead of housing books, it houses their superb collection of wines in a carefully moderated refrigeration unit.

Seafood is their forte. Each dish is a married blend of Asian flavors with Island staples. Roy’s excels in creating inventive sauces that complement their dishes. The potstickers and ahi were heavenly — the true joy of eating them was making sure that each piece was slathered in sauce. In a lesser restaurant, we would have asked for bread so as not to waste a drop.

If I could choose a last meal, it would have to be Roy’s Misoyaki Butterfish. It never fails to disappoint. Each bite of flaky cod melts in your mouth like a little orgasm of flavor. It comes on a bed of white rice that soaks up the sauce perfectly. The meat dishes were soft and shredded easily. They took the work out of the ribs — no bones!

Every restaurant boasts of their soufflé, but the Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé is a step above the rest. When the dessert spoon penetrates the souffle, a cascade of molten chocolate oozes onto the plate. It is served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, which tempers the thickness of the chocolate.

I would recommend making reservations and getting there with ample time to find parking, especially during the day.

The restaurant is expensive, no qualms about that. Eating there could be reserved for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. But I promise it does not suffer from the Law of Diminishing Returns — the food is always excellent and never disappoints no matter how often you go.


Duncan Cook
Name: Duncan
Occupation: Handyman and Wedding Officiator
Location: Berkeley
Favorite Restaurant: La Mediterranee
Reviewed Roy’s Restaurant: Saturday, November 29, 2009


When I think Hawaiian food, I think pineapples and Spam. When I think fusion, I think experimental and crappy. This place removed my preconceptions.

First of all, I had a reservation, but was running late because I got off at the wrong BART station, and they were very patient and kind. We arrived, and the place was nice and soothing, pretty elegant but not menacing. When I sat and looked at the menu, I decided that $200 would be probable spending for the evening and resigned myself to it. Between two people, we had a big appetizer sampler, two entrees, four drinks and a dessert. The bill was a pleasant and well-spent $144. I wish I had ordered more.

On to the food. Everything was quite creative but not overworked. A chief feature that my friend and I relished were the sauces. Many of our choices had some type of complementary sauce artfully drizzled around the edge of the item. I loved how we had the option to taste the pristine food, and then slather it in the sauces, which really set off a festival on our palates. Top among them were the citrus sauce on and around my roasted chicken, it was simple, direct, and vibrant. Another treat for me were the fried lobster pot stickers with a decadent coconut butter sauce.

The service was engaged, but not intrusive. Everyone that we asked for opinions had great tips. There seemed to be genuine commitment and teamwork. I loved the fact that there was a stealthy army of servers, some pouring water, others delivering food, but all forming an orchestra of flawless attendance.

The only gripe I have is that the bed of rice and veggies that my delicious chicken was on seemed tired and worn out, almost like leftovers. But aside from that, the dishes were lovingly crafted and demanded to be eaten very slowly, savored and recorded in memory to daydream about later. One great surprise along these lines for us was the ahi tuna poke. I like to eat raw fish in sushi, but honestly sometimes I will hurry through it before I get grossed out. Our appetizer sampler canoe included a small dish of this beautiful treat. At first, I was gonna let my friend eat it all, but decided to try it, so I could have something to say. When I put it in my mouth, the world ceased to exist. My usual perfunctory mastication and quick swallow for raw fish became a new thing. I rolled the fish back and forth across my tongue, nibbled on the fresh meat with my front teeth, and then lightly chewed and swirled it around my mouth for a last flavorful dance before swallowing.

I loved this place. I will go here when I have done a good thing and want to reward myself. I will take a friend here when they do something good to treat them. I will bring out of town friends here for a wonderful, elegant, cozy night out. I will invent holidays to facilitate eating at this magnificent, self-worth-affirming, and enriching establishment.


George Habit
Name: George
Occupation: Retired Journalist
Location: Redwood City
Favorite Restaurant: Joe’s of Westlake
Reviewed Roy’s Restaurant: Friday, December 5, 2008


Hawaiian hospitality for a fine dining experience at Roy’s Hawaiian. The building resembles a restaurant you would expect to find in Hawaii. As you enter, there is a bar that looks like it came from the South Sea Islands. It was a Friday night; the place was crowded. We had to wait for a table. We enjoyed an original Hawaiian Martini.

The menu featured many exotic original seafood dishes. The phyllo-wrapped baked Brie and Bibb lettuce salad was a delightful starter. My date enjoyed the teppanyaki sea scallops with banana leaf-wrapped mango black rice and Thai “creviche” sauce. My Hawaiian-style misoyaki butterfish with sizzling rice wine and soy vinaigrette was well worth the trip to the City. The special signature Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé topped off a perfect evening with a romantic Hawaiian atmosphere. The fresh original entrees were worth at least one stop on our return visit to San Francisco.

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  • http://www.cheers2wine.com Steve Howe

    Roy’s is always a great experience. I’d go back again just for the souffle.

  • Julie Sayers

    We ordered exactly what you pictured above: Canoe for Two appetizer, Classic Trio and Chocolate Souffle. My husband and I shared and there was plenty for us both. Everything was delicious. Meat and seafood was cooked perfectly. Sauces were special and infused with flavor. Recommend Ginger Pineapple Mojito and Hawaiian Martini. Both yummy. One block to Montgomery BART.

  • Mr and Mrs Anderson

    Valentines Day 2010 – special menu – made reservations before they were even taking them for the holiday – Ie: I was the first one to make a reservation for Valentines Day. And what it got us was a very small table that the serving plates barley fit upon. The Mai Tai turned out to be the only thing my wife and I could agree would be worth a return visit, although we did feel the staff bussing the tables were excellent. Had we not been comp’d our dinner, we would have left with a very bad feeling. The fact that they did comp our dinner is the indicator of how it went for us. They may have over reached in trying to serve too many. Our dishes did not meet a high standard and the service was comical in its ineptness. After waiting 45 minutes for our soup and salad, we were instead served our entrees.
    The kind and patient couple at the next table were served the wrong soup and salad 3 times in a row and had nothing on their table to eat for over an hour.
    After my wife mentioned a deficiency in the womens restroom – when she returned later -it was still not taken care of.
    I hope that Roy’s will not overextend itself in the future. It has a great reputation but we have too many choices to return to a restraunt that fails in it’s mission.
    We do appreciate that our meal was comp’d and that says alot for the professionalism of the management. We wish them all the best.
    Sincerely,
    Mr and Mrs Anderson

  • Robert

    Been to Roy’s once. Will never return. Expensive for mediocre food. If I want true sushi I head to Japantown and get fresh fresh fish for half of the price.