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Review of Roy's Hawaii Kai

Roy's Hawaii Kai
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Ranked #84 of 2,420 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $80
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed January 27, 2014

We stepped into this restaurant for dinner. It was packed but the maître d Diva got us a table. The food was amazing and well worth the cost

Thank kevinmck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (499)
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221 - 225 of 499 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2014

Well, i hate to do this, but it's time. This has been a long decline, but this was the last straw. Recently went to Roy's while back home over the Christmas holiday. We always go to Roy's, it's one of the few restaurants that are a "must."

Unfortunately, for years there's been a noticeable decline, and our most recent visit was just the straw that broke the camel's back i suppose. Above all else, the food could be described in two ways: greasy and salty. But we'll get to that later. Let's focus on the "updated" menu, and how it failed miserably. Let's start with appetizers.

Little grilled shrimp skewers from the chef? Great, if i want grilled salt on a stick. Awful. 3 of the 4 people at the table ordered the blackened ahi appetizer. Always a favorite of ours, but the quality of the fish being served is often hit or miss, more and more often being miss. They do not opt for top-grade fish at Roy's, but they'll charge you for it. Regardless, the presentation, as well as the dipping sauces make up for it. Not this time. Their update resulted in a new salty nori-paste, and less of the sauces. Cap that with exceptionally bad fish, 2 of the 3 plates went unfinished (a first). The crab cake was fine, same as always.

With the main course, my girlfriend ordered the staple macadamia nut crusted Mahi. I opted for something new, fish with a dynamite topping (already off the menu from what i can see, good call.). The mahi has been changed, to what now looks like two square filets pulled out of a frozen Costco bag and baked to a crunch. Terrible. And salty. The dynamite fish? One of the worst meals i've ever eaten. Dynamite? Sure, at first glance maybe. This was just a scoop of blended salt and mayo, with no spice, served on top of fish swimming in grease. Felt like vomiting for the rest of the evening. Father had a bland sushi roll for dinner, can't recall what my mother had. Both stated this was the worst meal they've had at Roy's, but that it's been going downhill for a long time (i'm an expat living in Europe, so haven't been able to follow the decline). They say it will be quite some time before they return. As for me, there's definitely places i'd rather go with the limited time i have when i return.

The service also left much to be desired. Where once you'd have someone refill your water after every sip, and attention on hand with a second's notice, we went largely ignored and poured our own wine.

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1  Thank mrojek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We ate here after our wedding, with our family. Everybody loved the food and the way the food was presented was fantastic! Me and my wife got a wedding gift from the chef, a dessert with our date and congratulations on it, very nice!

It's not cheap but the food is great and they have a nice sunset view upstairs!

Also, if you are interested; they have an open kitchen so you can watch your food being prepared if you want to learn their secrets..

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Thank Leon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

I made a reservation for this restaurant via email on 5 dec for 8 Jan and was quite specific about which Roy's we wanted to eat at. All good, all confirmed. Away from the busy Waikiki area, we have been here before, thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to share it with our kids. To start with, when I called to reconfirm on the day, I was advised there was no booking. I asked them to check the Waikiki restaurant and sure enough, it was there. Btw, I didn't even mention Waikiki in my original email to them. Thankfully they could still get us in. On arrival, the 2 girls at the front just looked at each other when we arrived and gave our name. I wonder what was going on here! We were asked to wait for 5 mins before we were eventually seated. A lovely and professional waitress we had but the others who brought food and drink over were very sloppy. We had complimentary endamame brought to our table which was so oily you couldn't eat it. Since hubby is lactose intolerant, our waitress was very efficient in finding out about certain meals for him - but having to sign a food waiver was rather amusing. Only in America! The kids loved their meals and ours were ok. Not of the same quality experienced in the past though. Dessert for me was a lemon curd tart but it had a yoghurt marscapone topping which really did not compliment this dessert at all. It was horrible. Coffee was excellent though. We rented a car for this occassion but on our future holidays to Hawaii, we won't have to bother anymore.

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1  Thank holidaybabe69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

My whole family had dinner at New Year's Eve. They were serving pre fix menu.
Food, service, view, everything was perfect. One thing I didn't like was tomato soup.

It was very special night.
I def go back!

Thank Hiroko-chan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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