Last month, I attended a sit-down media preview dinner at Roy’s Restaurant in FiDi, San Francisco to taste their new Eat Creative menu, which focuses on cuisine influenced from the Pacific Rim. Roy's is most known for their seafood creations and they specialize in Hawaiian and Asian fusion cuisine.
Roy's was established in 1988 and started by Roy Yamaguchi in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is now owned and operated by Bloomin' Brands with 22 locations in the United States. I was a bit hesitant to accept the invitation to this dinner because I have an aversion for most chain restaurants. However, I've heard great things about Roy's, so I wanted to check it out. Turns out that it can be a nice place to enjoy some tasty food and drinks.
I attended the event with Christina of East Bay Dish and we made a new friend, Grace of San Francisco Food, whose blog and Instagram I've been following; I knew she looked familiar and was so glad to finally connect because she is pretty awesome.
It was a night full of food and copious amounts of wine. Here's a recap of all the food we ate and what I thought of each dish. I couldn't take any great photos with my iPhone due to the dim lighting of the restaurant, so I'm using photos provided by Roy's.
We were greeted with Pacific Rim Cosmotinis, which were delicious. I would highly recommend starting off the night with that drink if you're in the mood for a citrus drink that's bright, sweet and sour. It reminded me of the Mexican mango-chile lollipops but in cocktail form.
Crispy Pork Belly & Steamed Buns ($6)
I was a big fan of these mini pork belly buns. The steamed dough was perfect to bite and pillow-like in texture. The pork belly had a great meat to fat ratio and in a sweet caramel-like sauce. I look forward to having these again with drinks during happy hour.
Wagyu Burger ($9)
My favorite item of the night was Roy's juicy wagyu burger. It was like eating bone marrow on a buttery bun. The truffle mushrooms were subtle and had a wonderful smell, the caramelized onions added a sweetness, and the sunny-side up egg made this rich burger even richer. The fatty juices drip within each bite, making it the ultimate indulgence. I only ate a quarter of the full burger during this tasting; I'm not sure if I could eat an entire burger but my mind tells me I could. Did I mention that this is only $9 during their Aloha Hour?
Misoyaki Butterfish Lettuce Wraps ($9)
I enjoyed the butterfish wraps and loved the flaky layers that melted in my mouth. The fish was delicate, smooth and butter-like with a great miso taste. It was hard to share this because I wanted all of it.
Ebi Roll ($6)
The shrimp roll was rich and creamy with just the right amount of cream cheese. I enjoyed this a lot.
Shrimp Caper Salad
I enjoyed the shrimp salad and thought the dressing was done very nicely. The dressing was creamy and full of grated Parmesan cheese with nice levels of vinegar and acidity from the capers. The shrimp was cooked well and simply prepared, working nicely with all the flavors.
Alaea Salt Crusted Bone in Ribeye
The steak looked beautiful but it was a bit tough from being a little over-cooked. I don't know if that was intentional since we were getting it served family style but I prefer steaks medium rare. Otherwise, it could have been a nice steak. The shoyu brandy pepper sauce was nicely done but it didn't do much to enhance the taste of the steak.
Truffled Bacon Mac & Cheese
If you really love truffle oil in your mac and cheese then this could be the dish for you. I thought the truffle oil masked all what could have been a decent cheese pasta dish. We had both a version with truffle oil and a version without it; I thought it could have used more cheese across the board.
Crab, Mussels, and Clam Cioppino
The crab was difficult to eat because it required work to crack the shells, which I didn't do because it was too messy of a process, so I can't fairly review this dish. However, I did try some of the mussels and clams and thought that was very flavorful.
Lobster Pot Pie
The lobster pot pie is a great idea in concept and while I understood the Thai curry flavors they were trying to achieve through this dish, the lobster was over-cooked and tough to bite. They use coconut milk in their gravy to add in creaminess. The potatoes and pie dough layer at the bottom were a bit on the under-cooked side.
Hot Chocolate Souffle
The molten chocolate lava cake satisfied my sweet tooth with a perfect fudge-filled center that oozes out when you cut into it.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Coconut Ice Cream
The pineapple upside down cake was tasty. The cake was moist and soft. The pineapple had a nice caramelization. I wasn't a big fan of the coconut ice cream - it was overly sweet for me.
When the meal was complete, we were given a beautiful cookbook, a souvenir bottle opener and a gift card to return again. Thanks for dinner, Roy's!
VISITING ROY'S RESTAURANT
575 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
- Monday–Friday: 5:30 PM–10:00 PM
- Saturday–Sunday: 5:00 PM–10:00 PM
- Lunch (Monday–Friday): 11:30 AM–2:00 PM
- Aloha Hour (Sunday–Friday): 4:30 PM–7:00 PM
Photo Credit: Roy's Restaurant