Roy’s – Lahaina, Hawaii

On our Hawaiian vacation, we were recommended a number of restaurants, including Roy’s. We didn’t know much about Roy’s, except for the fact that it was close to our hotel, and they had phenomenal fish.

It’s right on a golf country club, so there really isn’t much of a Hawaiian beach view, but rather the view of many white-haired middle-aged men riding around on golf carts (sorry if the above picture is misleading… I couldn’t resist throwing in a good picture of Hawaii).

It’s a little bit of a let down to see that there was no “good” view. In Hawaii, it’s easy to become spoiled with expectations of crystal blue waters, spectacular cliffs, and sand beaches in front of your restaurant. Nevertheless, it was apparent that Roy’s was very busy all the time, and it was nearly impossible to get a reservation for dinner, which is a very good indicator that the place serves good food. If it’s not the atmosphere people go to restaurants for, it’s probably the food, right?

The menus are thick and heavy, almost like books, but there are only really three or four pages inside. Despite my initial skepticism, I knew the second that I opened that menu that I was in a restaurant of no laughing manner. The menu is straightforward and clean, with no flowery language, pictures, or extravagant descriptions. The chef introduces himself on the first page or two, and describes how much his culinary creations mean to him. The dishes are all unique, classy, and gave me a confident feeling that they would be very good.

There were only two sushi dishes, which makes my dad extremely skeptical. He believes that a restaurant with no dedicated sushi bar cannot possibly deliver quality sushi. However, with good faith in the chef, I believed the contrary, and ordered the two sushi rolls offered.

Anyone who knows me well enough can tell you how much I love sushi, and that I am extremely critical about sushi rolls. Even at the “best” and most expensive sushi restaurants, I’m frequently disappointed or unimpressed by their roll creations. However, I give Roy’s complete praise in their two sushi creations, one with Ahi tuna and one with (I think) butterfish). They may honestly have been the two best rolls I’ve ever had. Their presentation was spot-on, and their flavors were perfect. They were both fresh, well prepared, and beautiful. I would have the rolls again in a heartbeat.

Their other dishes looked very good as well, but I can’t attest to their tastes. Their dessert menu was shockingly more simplistic than expected, but they pride themselves in their chocolate soufflé, so that’s what we ordered to share. It’s a classic chocolate lava cake. I found nothing exceptional about it, from flavor or presentation, and didn’t think much of it.

Overall, I’d return to Roy’s any day for a careful, quality meal. The chefs don’t mess around, and I was left very impressed by their delivery. The atmosphere is nothing extraordinary, but again, it’s for the food, and not the view. The view really isn’t that bad, but one always expects that oceanfront view with Hawaii, am I right? Great experience, and super sushi.

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