Roy’s – Chandler, Arizona

March 22, 2007

Roy’sChandler, Arizona

http://www.roysrestaurant.com 

On March 19, 2007, Jeff, Lora, Linda and I dined at Roy’s, founded by “Hawaiian Fusion” chef Roy Yamaguchi. The cooking and ambience are not at all Trader Vic’s redone. Each of the 34 restaurants in the group serves his signature “Roy’s Classics” dishes while most of the menu is the responsibility of the local chef. The cuisine in Chandler is primarily Japanese-French fusion with an emphasis on presentation, but there are touches from almost anywhere. (We are told that Roy’s several restaurants in Hawaii are more Hawaiian.) The atmosphere is as casual as one would expect in a suburban shopping center outside Phoenix. I was one of two wearing a jacket. Our waitress was friendly, breezy and very efficient, but the lovely dishes were plunked down by busboys in a hurry.    On sitting down we ordered a bottle of Roy’s “Au Bon Climat” Santa Barbara Chardonnay; it was fine for the occasion. roys-001.JPG

An amuse-gueule of steamed spiced edamame was brought. 

 

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Linda and Jeff started with the Crunchy Golden Lobster Potstickers. They had a good lobster flavor, but were quite heavy, as a traditional pan-fried Hong Kong pork potsticker would be. Linda thought that was just right.

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Lora started with the Sashimi Salad in Aїoli. (left) The mix of fresh fish was chunked, rather than sliced. The combination with the spicy mayonnaise worked well. I started with Roy’s Original Hawaiian Blackened Island Ahi with Spicy Soy Mustard Butter (right). The Ahi tuna was delicious, but the overly spicy sauce had to be used sparingly. 

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We ordered another bottle of the Chardonnay and a bottle of Roy’s Babcock Santa Maria Pinot Noir. 

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For her main course Linda chose the Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish with Sizzling Soy Vinaigrette (left) which she enjoyed. Lora had the Swordfish with Thai noodles in a mild Jalapeño sauce (right). The combination worked very well.

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Jeff had the Hibachi Style Grilled Salmon with Japanese Vegetables and Citrus Ponzu Sauce. (left)

I enjoyed Roy’s Classic Roasted Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi with Lobster Butter Sauce. (right)

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For dessert Lora and Linda enjoyed the Caramel Macadamia Nut Crème Brulée 

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Jeff had the Kona Crunch Bar.

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Mike enjoyed the Caramel Macadamia-Almond Tart and a Toasted Coconut Martini 

In general, the fish and other ingredients seemed to be very fresh. The waitress said the fish is flown in daily. Since there are three Roy’s in the Phoenix area, and they are popular, this could be. The restaurant was not at all full on this Monday night and was almost empty when we left at 10:30, but I think it fills up at the end of the week. Some of the sauces we had were surprisingly good and none were poor. While there was often an excess of spiciness for my taste, the sauce was prettily arranged off to the side and one could use as much as one wanted. The price was very reasonable at just over $100 each, including tax and tip, for our three courses each and three bottles of wine. It wasn’t haute cuisine, but I would go back to a Roy’s when looking for a festive meal when travelling.

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2 Responses to “Roy’s – Chandler, Arizona”

  1. Lora and Jeff Says:

    Mike and Linda,
    Thank you again for a wonderful dinner. Visiting with you was such a pleasure! We look forward to seeing you in the future.
    We hope your trip to the South West is thoroughly enjoyable! So much, that you come back!!
    Sara, Emily and Jarod send hugs to you both.
    Much Love,
    Lora and Jeff

  2. George Rusznak Says:

    The report on Roy’s invoked some memories. One is that when I first started going to Hawaii on business in the 70’s, there was only one restaurant in Honolulu that served “Hawaiian” food and it was pretty unremarkable. In fact it was hard to find a decent restaurant of any Pacific Rim cuisine in town.
    Second is that French-Asian (Chinese) fusion was invented by the chef of the Imperial Palace restaurant in Hanford, California (pop. 6,000). I had some incredible meals there in the 60’s.

    Other observation is that the presentation is quite attractive (judging from the photos) for what is essentially a chain restaurant. Combined with the positive report on the taste of the food it is an impressive accomplishment by the chef/owner. He is obviously very innovative and must also be an effective marketer, promoter and all around good businessman, proven by his good judgement of carrying Central Coast wines.

    Lastly, the diners look spectacular and Michael is obviously happy with his martini. The only question is, what exactly is haute cuisine (now that Puck swore off fois gras) and where did Roy’s fall short? George


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