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“Great food, rude staff”

Roy's Waikiki Beach
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Ranked #20 of 2,438 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Hawaiian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Neighborhood: Waikiki
Reviewed May 13, 2013

During my recent stay at Waikiki my family and friends sampled this restaurant. The food was very good (a little slow in coming out but still very good). I would have given the overall experience as excellent if it wasn't for the rude waiter that served us. Being from Australia I asked the waiter about the tipping. My understanding is that I being the customer determine the tip, not the waiter. If I want to give 20% I will gladly do it but that is for me to assess and not be bullied into paying it by an obnoxious waiter who blames his poor hourly wage for his 20% expectation.

Massive fail on his part.

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2  Thank galaga88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,824 - 1,828 of 2,913 reviews

Reviewed May 12, 2013

Roy's is huge, noisy and full of atmosphere. Amazing seafood menu -with fish cooked 5 different ways. Good value for money. Children's menu available.Staff friendly and helpful - give good advice on food choice. Reservations are essential.

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Thank Lois G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Wow. Thanks TripAdvisors and Yelpers. What a complete disaster this place is. Think one step up from Chili's. But 10x the price. I say one step up only because it looks like it should be one step up. But in reality - I would have preferred a Chili's that night. At least I would have gotten what I paid.

Let me walk you through the evening (05/05/2013). I wanted a nice place to take my girlfriend while in Waikiki for our last night. Something where we could get a bit dressed up and have some great memories. Well we have memories. But not the kind I was looking for.

I looked at a number of places to go, Including Alan Wong's amongst a number of other smaller fine dining places. I finally settled on Roy's because of the immense number of positive reviews and what appeared to be a fun and lively environment.

We arrived at the restaurant right around reservation time (9:15). We were greeted by an unfriendly hostess sitting at a fold up wooden table at the front of the restaurant. You know - one of those tables you use for a bake sale at your local school. What an impressive entrance to what I thought was supposed to be a nice place. On top of that - she was the least friendly hostess I'd encountered in ages. "Reservation" she said to the people in front of us. They didn't have one. "We're full". To me she just looked at me without speaking. So I said, "We have a reservation at 9:!5". "You'll be seated closer to 9:15. Um, ok. Yea i figured. That's when our reservation is. But in fact, we were seated closer to 9:30.

A hostesses job is to pleasantly greet patrons. Not rifle through a stack of papers that was littered all over the fold-up bake sale table. Or to abruptly and rudely dispense of patrons.

Instantly you could see how dated the decor was (disregarding the fold up wooden table/hostess stand). The seats in the waiting room were made out of pleather. Yup...plastic leather. The walls looked like they were decorated in the 70's. There was lots of empty space unused space. And next to the pleather seats was a long pleather couch. I would have expected that at Denny's, but not here. In the main room - it was an enormous space, loud, and completely unromantic. It was also full of unimpressive decor and depressing colors. It was like a big conference room at a work offsite, full of tables with crappy white tablecloths.

The dining room was packed - I get it, it's popular. Likely only with tourists. And as soon as we sat down I ordered a beer and water. The beer never came. Well that's not entirely true. I had to ask two more times until it finally arrived 15 minutes later. The server never did arrive until we asked to see her too. Nice service for a $70/person meal.

The menu was a smattering of dishes that didn't fit together. I had to ask the waitress, when I had another server go hunt her down, how the menu was organized? It made no sense? The first page was food available at every Roy's location. And appetizers. The second page was sushi and other raw fish. The third page was similar to the first page but with different dishes. I was made aware this was the page that was full of dishes only available at this specific Roy's. But it was a full page of stuff... I mean a whole menu in and of itself. There were way too many things on the menu. At a nice restaurant, you'd expect the chef to make what's good and provide that on the menu. Not create an overflowing menu with 3 pages of entrees barely discernible from each other.

We ordered the appetizer "canoe" which was a sampler of everything. The only tasty thing on there were the spring rolls. But they weren't really spring rolls because they were fried. The crab cakes were mushy and tasteless. The ribs were way too sweet. The shrimp were tiny and bland. And I can't remember what else was on there - but it wasn't good.

Then the main dishes came. We ordered the fish special and the rib plate. Now we'd already tasted the ribs from the crappy "canoe" - so I knew they were too sweet already. But I had had such good ribs already in Hawaii - I went with them.

The macadamia crusted fish special had stringy tendons of some sort throughout the fish. It was kind of nauseating. Again - like most of the rest of the dishes. It was bland. And the fish special came with swordfish too. Now normally swordfish is like the thickness of a NY strip. But this was like a McDonald's hamburger patty. Really?

I ordered a few more beers which took at least 10-15 minutes per beer to arrive. The service was GOD AWFUL! In fact, it takes a lot for me to leave a crappy tip because I know that's where most of their income is derive. But I left 10% because the service was so bad. I should have left nothing now that I'm writing this and realizing what a crappy meal this was.

I was embarrassed having taken my girlfriend to a place like this. The food sucked. The service was even worse. The decor was a joke. There was nothing redeeming about this place. I will never, ever, ever, ever go to a Roy's again. They could give me a free dinner and I still wouldn't go back.

If you want an overpriced Applebee's. Way overpriced. With worse service. Then by all means, consider Roy's home.

If you want a good meal - stay the heck away. We ate at the Hulu Grill one night which was excellent. So I highly recommend that place - with a great view of the ocean to boot. And memorable food.

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5  Thank lefty330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

I have never been a fan of the Roy's in Newport Beach, my hometown, and it had been years since I had been there. However, I heard Roy's in Hawaii was much better, so I decided to give it a try as it was just across from my hotel. And I have to say, the only thing that did not disappoint me in this restaurant was the service. We had a very good waitress, and the bus staff took care of us well. As to the food and ambience, you can do much better.

First, the atmosphere is really only a step up from Denny's or something of the sort. Very blah. I couldn't understand all the people spending special occasions there. It's just a big, noisy uninteresting room. No view at all, and the it is just tables squished together in one big space. Not for me.

The drink I had, pineapple martini, sounded fantastic. Just so-so. Not really as flavorful as I would like. The edamame they serve as an appetizer was just inedible. The flavor wasn't bad, but it was just a mess to eat. We all like edamame, but it wasn't worth the effort.

Food followed in this same vein. Certainly not BAD, but nothing really special. Butterfish was OK. Chocolate dessert, again, not memorable in any way.

For us, when you have great options across the street at the Halekulani in the same price range, with excellent food, why would you ever go here? I won't ever again!

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Thank kingsroadgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013 via mobile

Great service!
Great food!
Great location!
A must when visiting Waikiki!! :0)
I have been to this Roy's multiple times and have not once been disappointed. AMAZING!!!!

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Thank SuperSpic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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