Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
A word of advice: Roy's is best experienced in a group of at least 4 diners. That's what I believed to be a good number to sample a representative selection of Roy's incredible, and sometimes overwhelming, menu. Every time I've eaten at Roy's, I'd have difficulty limiting myself to single selections of appetizer, salad, and main course. I'd go for Mixed Plates to expand my options. Truth be known, I'd order two and sometimes three appetizers, but always with a companion.
My dining companions this evening were Liz, Mahie, and Jon. We were greeted by Mheng and escorted to our table, which was near several other tables where a few of our friends and acquaintances were already being "pleasured". Since it was a weeknight, and we have early schedules, we decided to forego ordering a bottle of wine from the extensive wine selection, and opted for single glasses of Merlot.
The ambiance at Roy's stimulates conversations. Not just discussions, but happy, relaxed, interesting conversations. Not to say you can't have them at other restaurants, but at Roy's there is a casual formality that sets a tone differentiating it from other "fine dining" restaurants. We felt "fine."
Our primary server was Edita, who was a marvelous example of competent and friendly customer service. I don't recall any of us lacking anything during the course of the meal. Roy's serves fresh baked Tandoori bread that you dip into a Balsamic Vinegar and Oil with sun-dried tomato mixture to start out before your appetizer orders arrive.
Chef Sakata-san prepared a selection of the following appetizers: Spicy Vietnamese Spring Roll with Asian Fish Sauce; Roy's Maryland Bluecrab Cakes with Spicy Sesame Butter Sauce; Crispy Coconut Shrimp on a Stick with Mango Chili Sauce; Nobu Style Crispy Soft Shell Crab with Spicy Crab Eggs & Avocado Roll; and an off the menu item especially for Liz (her favorite), Hibachi Style Seared Salmon with Kabayaki Sauce. That salmon was divine, with a tender succulence that was matched by a delicious flavor that defied definition.
The presentation of the appetizers was dramatic, with the serving plates made of a heavy glazed stoneware that had a luminescent design contrasting the turquoise color of a reef-protected bay with the dark blue depths of the ocean. These sea colors divided the plates in half, with a rugged, etched barrier reef circling inner edge of the plate. A dramatic underpinning for each superb culinary creation.
The Spicy Sesame Butter Sauce complimented the Crab Cakes, which were a tasty blend of ingredients cooked to a moist perfection. The Mango Chili Sauce was another hit, and certainly brought a memorable taste to coconut encrusted skewered shrimp.
The Nobu Style Crispy Soft Shell Crab was a delicious and beautiful Japanese creation, with sesame seeds decorating the petals of a "ginger rose" that was mounted atop the four sushi rolls. Generous portions of crab and avocado filled their centers. Good eating.
We two bowls of the Soup of the day ($4.75) which was Cream of Brocolli and Crab. I won't even tell you how good this was - every spoon was filled with tasty crabmeat.
Liz ordered her Caesar Salad with scallops in lieu of the Bacon Herbed Seared Shrimp. It's a balanced, full-bodied Caesar dressing and the greens are crisp and fresh.
Chef Sakata came out to explain some of the ingredients in the appetizers. He's a colorful personality, and can always be seen wearing those baggy, brightly-patterned chef's pants. Sakata-san's been on Guam for 22 years, and has been with Hilton for 28 years! He is a great chef who sometimes travels on promotional tours for Roy's. He is a good friend.
We were also welcomed by Manfred Pieper, the Hilton's General Manager, who makes it a point to circulate in the restaurant, extending greetings to the guests. He models hospitality.
Our main courses arrived. This was one of the evening's highlights, and you'd almost think there'd be a drum roll announcing the delivery of these fabulous gastronomic showpieces. Our four main courses were distinctly different, providing us a fair sampling of Roy's culinary diversity. We'd each made available a sampling of our entrees to each other.
I ordered the Chef's recommendation, which was the Pan Seared Lamb Loin with Herb Shrimp Stuffing and Mushroom Asparagus Pan Sauce ($24.25). The portions were huge, and there was a combination of sautéed vegetables layered over the loins which were mounted atop a mound of garlic mashed potatoes. A remarkable creation, which we all acknowledged to be a superior rendering of lamb.
The other entrees were Furikake Salmon Fillet with Tomato Shrimp Mushroom Ragout ($24.50; the Homemade Bacon Potato Stuffed Seabass with Pesto Drizzle ($23.50 - I liked this, and have always had great seabass creations at Roy's) (Chef Sakata explained that it takes one month to cure the "homemade" bacon!); the Teriyaki Tender Short Rib with Wasabi Whiskey Cream (exotic taste, quite tender, on a bed of mashed garlic potatoes- $19.95). There's something to be said about form and substance...these entrees had both!
I forgot to mention that before we ordered our first courses, we pre-ordered our hot desserts. We knew we had to have that "Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé". We also ordered a dessert special, the Sweet Bean Creme Brule. This was generously covered by fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Roy Yamaguchi's Signature "Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé" is an adventure in decadence...rich, luscious, warm and gooey...this is a dessert whose sweet addiction one can't resist. It has a gentle powdering of confectioner's sugar on top and is surrounded by an alternating ring of mango and strawberry sauces, with each radiating outward like sunrays. A complement of whole fresh berries also accompanies this sinful dessert, almost as a gesture of atonement. We devoured all of it, without remorse.
Roy's Restaurant prides itself on its exotic creations, utilizing the freshest ingredients in all its preparations. With their menu changing every week,the one thing you can be sure of when dining at Roy's is that you'll never know what to expect until it's placed in front of you. At Roy's, there's always an element of surprise! For extraordinary dining, visit Roy's at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa!