The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 14 May 2010

Hawai'ian for Mother's Day @ Roy's Tokyo Bar & Grill

Last Sunday was Mother's Day for many, and I was spoilt for the day by my husband on my son's behalf. Although it was technically my second Mother's Day, it was the first one where I got to celebrate it in a proper sense, because this time last year we had to deal with a not-so-fantastic combination of flight exhaustion, settling into NYC for the month and our then 7 month-old's first teething problems. Needless to say, Mother's Day last year sort of went forgotten. The 19 month-old has yet to learn that a 4am wake up call is really not the best Mother's Day present, but hopefully it won't take too long before he learns what makes mummy happy. I'm a simple girl who is easy to please, and all I wanted for Mother's Day was to have a family meal at a nice restaurant. I got more than I requested: we had a lovely Hawaiian-style lunch at Roy's Tokyo Bar & Grill, and then hubby cooked a chicken roast dinner and washed the dishes so that I could chillax (something I found hard to do, which annoyed hubby to no end). He really wanted to make me breakfast in bed, which was a lovely thought, but it just wasn't practical given that I wake (or get woken up!) a good few hours before hubby does and it's almost impossible for me to get back to sleep once awake when daylight has broken.

We first ate at Roy's a few years ago, and we'd really enjoyed that experience. However, when we re-visited this restaurant again a few months later, we weren't as impressed with the food as we had been for our first experience, and I hadn't even bothered blogging about it. It's been a couple of years since, and I was curious to see if our not-so-great second experience was just a one-off occurrence. I also wanted to introduce Hawaiian cuisine to my sister because her impression of Hawaiian food was limited to spam and pineapple (I'd thought the same too before I ate at Roy's). The restaurant's service was great and accommodating to families with young children. It is a popular place to lunch on a weekend, and we were glad that hubby had called the night before to make a reservation when we saw the queue for a table got longer as we enjoyed our meal. We all got the brunch option, where for 3500yen we could choose each course from a decent selection, and includes a fruit juice, bread and a salad or soup. Even though we each had our own dishes, we had the meal semi-family-style and everyone had a taste of everyone else's food. There was a lot of food, so I hope you're prepared for the onslaught of food photos!


My sister chose Coconut Shrimp with Homemade-style Tartar Sauce:

Hubby got the Roy's Crab Cake with Spicy Sesame Sauce:

My appetiser was the Scallop Herb Sautee with Green Soybeans Puree:

The sauce in my scallop appetiser was pretty tasty, but it was a shame that the scallops were a little overdone so that it was on the chewy rubbery side. Hubby's crab cake was quite nice, but we all agreed that my sister got the nicest appetiser of the three of us. I guess you can't go wrong with crispy coconut batter and tartar sauce when it comes to prawns (or shrimps)!

Soup or Salad

Next we were served our choice of either the Minestrone Soup or Salad. My sister got the soup whereas Hubby and I got the salad. The soup was tasty and slightly sweet, containing chunky vegetables. I should have asked to have the salad dressing on the side, because the vinaigrette dressing was quite overpowering. Otherwise the salad would have been perfectly acceptable with its crisp fresh vegetables.

The soup and salad:

Main Course

Sis's Orange-marinated Smoked Salmon Sautee served with Poached Egg and Ratatouille:

Hubby ordered the Roy's Style Butterfish with Miso, served with Rice Ball, Wasabi and Ginger Sauce:

I got the Roy's Original Loco Moco Fish Lomi Lomi Tomato Vianigrette (don't you just love the name?):

I went with the Loco Moco because it sounds typically Hawaiian, and using fish instead of a hamburger patty made it more appealing to me. I loved eating the runny yolk with rice, but I must say that it was a pretty plain dish. The fish patty was nice with the "lomi lomi" ingredients, but it was overcooked and dry. My sister's orange salmon was delicious, but the only thing worth mentioning was the orange sauce. Hubby's butterfish dish was the best out of the three, and I really enjoyed the silky oily texture of the fish. Unfortunately, the miso was pretty strong and I couldn't taste any fish flavour, and the wasabi sauce was extremely overpowering. I loved the presentation of the butterfish dish, and the idea to serve it with an onigiri (rice ball) was creative.


My sister's choice of Chocolate Banana Tiramisu:

Hubby's Cheesecake with Berry Sauce:

My Mandarin Parfait with Dark Chocolate Gelato:

I think out of all the courses, we were probably the most pleased with the dessert course. The tiramisu was quite nice with just a hint of banana flavour (real banana, not the fake flavour), and we all know that chocolate pairs really nicely with banana. The cheesecake was also delicious, not too heavy and sickeningly rich like cheesecakes can be, and it's no secret that fruits and cheese make a lovely combination. And the parfait was refreshingly light, with the star being the smooth dark chocolate gelato.

I have a lot of negative things to say about this experience at Roy's, but in spite of that, I really enjoyed this Mother's Day meal. It would appear that the quality of food at Roy's has indeed slipped in the last 2.5 years, but thinking about it, the food we had back then seemed to have more of a Japanese influence. It's still a nice place to go for a meal, with gorgeous views and wonderful service.

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