by VICTORIA HENLEY
Roy Yamaguchi, a decorated Japanese American celebrity chef, has achieved international acclaim and accolades for his many impressive achievements within the culinary industry and is regarded as the visionary creator of Hawaii fusion cuisine.
The recipient of the highly prestigious James Beard Award, Yamaguchi has been featured in countless media outlets (including Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”) and maintained two stars from The Michelin Guide for seven consecutive years as well as four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle.
A founding member of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine Movement (which places a concerted emphasis upon utilizing only the freshest locally sourced ingredients in creative and unexpected styles), the chef/entrepreneur also owns and operates over 30 Roy’s Restaurants in the United States and Guam, including the Eating House 1849 and the Tavern by Roy Yamaguchi.
The Backstage Pass on iHeart Radio team had the pleasure of visiting two of Roy’s world-famous restaurants for memorable dining experiences filled with stylish ambiance, masterful presentation, and delectable cuisine, prepared in the manner for which Yamaguchi has become world renowned.
THE EATING HOUSE 1849
Stationed on the fourth floor of the legendary International Marketplace, The Eating House 1849 pays homage to Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s genre defying cuisine and mission statement to utilize product from local farmers, ranchers, foragers and fishermen.
Featuring a laid-back, breezy ambiance with al fresco dining during which you can savor the warm Waikiki beach breeze, The Eating House 1849 features an ardently devoted clientele of tourists (one returning visitor informed us he was on his seventh visit to the beloved dining establishment to enjoy the Butterfish…for the seventh time), and locals, who return time and time again to sample Yamaguchi’s newest creations and classic favorites.
Named after one of the first restaurants constructed in Hawaii, by a Portuguese businessman named Peter Fernandez, Eating House 1849 plays homage to the popular casual eateries of the mid-19th century that incorporated a medley of flavors from the Island’s growing and diverse communities.
A consummate professional who was extremely well versed on the menus, our server, Cassidy, guided us through our dining experience, hand selecting and suggesting guest favorites and Chef’s Choice signature items for us to highlight during our experience.
Special thanks to Bar Manager, Duane, for the superb bar service and excellent cocktail recommendations.
Eating House Black Tea Old Fashioned: Four Rose’s Bourbon, Orange Bitters, and Double Strength Black Tea Syrup.
Oaxaca Breeze: Corralejo Tequila, Los Vecinos Mezcal, mango, and Li Hing.
Ma’o Leaf: Casagmingos, raspberries and egg whites.
Note: Each order at any Roy Yamaguchi restaurant comes with a complimentary dish of fresh edamame for the table.
Manila clams: Curry, Portuguese sausage and Hon Shimeji mushrooms.
Glazed Pork Bao Buns: Pickled Namasu and micro cilantro.
ICE COLD PACIFIC
Kona Kampachi Crudo: Tri Caviar and micro greens.
BUILD YOUR OWN LOCAL CATCH DISH, a highly recommended option in which guests can custom create their very own masterpiece by choosing a fish, cooking preparation and sauce.
Choice of Fish: Kampachi. Mekajiki, Mahi Mahi, and salmon are also available.
Cooking preparation: Grilled. Sautéed, tempura, and steamed are other preparation options.
Sauce preparations: Sizzling Serrano Ginger served with vegetables and rice. Ginger scallion soy, Tri Caviar, Truffle Caoer Beurke Blanc, pancit noodles, red Thai curry and Crab Dynamite are also available as options.
RICE AND NOODLES
Plantation style Paella Rice Stew: Lobster, Portuguese Sausage, Chorizo, Shrimp, and Manila Clams.
PHONE NUMBER: (808) 924-1849
Serving up delectable dishes from the visionary mind of Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s is the premier foodie destination to enjoy fusion and multi-genre cuisine in a stunning contemporary setting, only steps away from landmark locations such as the Royal Hawaiian Center and Waikiki Beach.
Remaining on brand with its supremely decorated creator, Roy’s Waikiki has won its fair share of prestigious awards, including the Hale Aina Gold Award for “The Best Restaurant in Hawaii.”
Acclaimed by visitors and top media outlets alike, Roy’s holds steadfast to its founder’s mission statement to promote culinary arts, sustainability, environmental preservation, and the importance of supporting local farmers and fisherman within its bustling everyday operations.
Art aficionados will delight in the fact that many pieces from world renowned artist, Satoru Abe (whose works have been featured in the Metropolitan, The Modern Museum of Art, and the Honolulu Museum of Art) are on display, adding an elegant touch to the sleek interior of this famous fusion restaurant.
Exceedingly popular and regularly packed, Roy’s tops the “Bucket Lists” for many guests to Waikiki, and we tried several of Roy’s signature items to find out why:
COCKTAILS: (Roy’s Signature Cocktails)
Roy’s Signature Hawaiian Martini: Vanilla vodka and coconut rum, infused with fresh Maui gold pineapples.
Peach on the Beach: Makers Mark, peach schnapps, St Germaine, lemon, pineapple and bitters.
HK Crab Cakes: Spicy Sesame Beurke Blanc.
Roy’s Kiawe Smoked Szechuan Baby Back Ribs: chives and sesame seeds.
Lobster Bisque. Although this was not a special on the menu during the evening we visited, the chef whipped us up a scrumptious, creamy, and savory lobster bisque. Be sure to keep an eye on the menu for specials as well as new and exciting additions.
Crispy Zucchini: Crown Noodle Bailey’s Bun and Cilantro X.O.
FROM THE SEA:
Macadamia Nut Crusted Fresh Local Catch: Served with “Kona Cold” lobster sauce.
Truffle Almond “Mochi Crunch” Local Catch: with caramelized onion fettuccine, kale and bacon “scampi” sauce.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake featuring foster sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.)
Peanut Butter Crunch Bar — Highly recommended– With Macadamia nuts and salted caramel pan sauce.
Vanilla Creme Brulé: Almond amaretti cookies and sherry maple glaze.
AFTER DINNER COFFEE DRINKS: A divine accompaniment to the above post-dinner sweets.
Roy’s Irish Coffee: Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream and coffee.
Special thanks to the wonderful Robbyn Shim for facilitating our spotlight features of both The Eating House 1849 and Roy’s as well as our fantastic server, Tonya.
PHONE NUMBER: (808) 923-7697
Victoria Henley writes Backstage Pass for iHeart Radio and CTFashionMag.com.