Saturday, July 28, 2007

Restaurant Review - Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, 7760 W. Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine is on Sand Lake Road's "restaurant row", near Seasons 52 and Roy's A wasabi crab that Roy's sushi chef madesister restaurant Bonefish Grill. Roy's, Bonefish Grill, and Carrabba's are all owned by the Outback Steakhouse group. From the exterior with tiki torches lighting your way to the interior with beautiful wood touches, you can tell that Roy's is a first-class restaurant. I visited Roy's twice, once as a "date night" with Hubby, and once as a girl's night out. While I did see parents with their kids at Roy's, I don't think my kids are mature enough to eat there yet. See the end of this review for kids' options at Roy's (I picked up a kids menu on my last visit just to see what they offered).

I highly recommend making reservations to Roy's to ensure you have a minimal wait and get the dining time you want. There are three eating areas at Roy's - the main dining area, the front room and the bar/sushi area. The main room is darker and rather loud. The front room is a bit brighter and a lot more quiet - I'd ask to sit here if you want a romantic dinner or just want to be able to talk. Finally, there is the bar/sushi bar area which is where my friend and I sat during our girls night out.

What is really fun about sitting at the sushi bar is that you get to see everything going on in the open kitchRoy's Appetizer Sampleren. Also, we got slid several different appetizers to try, just because we were there, including spicy edamame (big green soybeans served in their pods) and seafood potstickers. Both were really good and were served to us as soon as we sat down. Roy's menu, being based on Hawaiian cuisine, is mostly seafood (although I had the short ribs when I ate with Hubby and they were outstanding - tender and tasty). It is also pretty pricey with entrees in the $20-$30 range. So I highly recommend, for those of you on a budget like me, the prix fixe menu. For $35 per person, you get an appetizer sampler, a choice of selected entree (both seafood and meat dishes are offered), and a choice of macadamia nut almond tart or hot chocolate souffle for dessert. Not a bad deal at all.

My friend and I both chose the prix fixe - I picked the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi for my entree and the Macadamia Nut Tart for dessert (what can I say - I like macadReally strong Hawaiian martini - watch out for the pineappleamia nuts!). My Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with lobster butter saucefriend Stacey could not decide between the mahi mahi or the Grilled Salmon Filet so our wonderful server Jackie (ask to sit in her area if she is working) said she would check with the kitchen on a way to help my friend decide. When she came back, she said she had gotten approval to serve a half portion of both items to Stacey. We couldn't believe it - that is true customer service. We also decided to get the signature Roy's Hawaiian martini ($10). Let me tell you, it was a strong (true?) martini - not like those chocolatinis and othHalf Salmon/Half Mahi Mahi entreeer-tinis that have become so popular. In fact, one of the managers saw us drinking them and came over to warn us not to eat the pineapple that was at the bottom of the martini glass - apparently they have been soaking in vodka for 5 days (I guess he could tell that we were lightweights).

The appetizer sampler was a shrimp stick, BBQ rib, and a crispy seafood ravioli (which looked like a fried potsticker to me). All were excellent and made a good combination of tastes. Our dishes were quickly whisked away and soon our entrees arrived. Wow, the mahi mahi was cooked to perfection - flaking away easily but still very moist. The lobster butter sauce served with it was to die for - I almost felt like licking my plate. Stacey liked her "entree sampler" very much as well - the salmon was also very good. Next came our dessRoy's Macadamia Nut Almond Tarterts. Stacey's Hot Chocolate Souffle is like those chocolate lava cakes where you cut into the cake and the hot fudgy chocolate sauce comes flowing out. She let me try some and it tasted just like chocolate fondue. My macadamia nut almond tart was great as well, although less rich than the chocolate dessert. The almond flavor really comes out under the nut crust and actually I avoided Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflethe mango and raspberry purees dotting the edge of the plate - they kind of took away from the nutty flavor that was my favorite part.

Kid's Offerings at Roy's: Roy's apparently does encourage you to bring your kids with you when you dine there. There is a kids' menu which is kind of it's own prix fixe dinner. For $10, your child will get an appetizer (sliced raw veggies and a cheese quesadilla), a choice of entrees (short ribs, salmon, chicken fingers, or pasta with butter sauce), and dessert (vanilla ice cream sundae). Now, I don't think I'll be bringing my 3-year-old because I don't think he will eat $10 worth of food. But, I might take my 8-year-old. Roy's also has Parent-Child "Date Night" which just means any time you bring your son or daughter with you for some one-on-one time at Roy's. They will apparently do a custom menu for you and your child with your names, a photo and a personalized message. If I ever do this with BB, I post an update to let you all know how it went!


hmp2z said...

We really liked the mahi mahi as well; Roy's is one of our favorite places here. I was glad to read your comments about the items we'd not yet tried; it helps us decide what to order for next time!

Rebekah said...

This is such a great idea for a blog! I am near central Florida and used to live in Orlando. Thanks for the great tips!

If you have a humorous story about a child in a restaurant... we would love to have it on our all women blog carnival!

SteamyKitchen said...

Roys just opened a few months ago in Sarasota - I haven't been there yet, but perhaps later this month!

gastronomeuse said...

fantastic blog! thank you so much for your insight into restaurants in Orlando. We are such a budding food town that we need more people to look critically at our restaurants, more than just Chili's and TGI Friday's. :)

Thanks again.

Holly Kapherr
Freelance Food Writer, Orlando Weekly

robyn said...

great post! very insightful and really loved the pictures :)

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