To those who donâ€™t often drive north of LBJ for dinner, youâ€™re missing out. The food scene in Plano has recently seen a boom in unique, fresh concepts that make the suburbs proud. And although Royâ€™s Hawaiian isnâ€™t one of the new kids on the block, itâ€™s definitely one you should put on your â€œMust Eat Hereâ€ list (and if you donâ€™t have one of these lists, start it today!)
Royâ€™s Restaurant in Plano specializes in fresh seafood, cooked and prepared with a Southeast Asian and Hawaiian fusion of flavors and spices that create a delicious culinary experience. Their recent tasting, appropriately named #EatCreative, featured some of their newest additions to the menu, and were presented by Chef Partner Scott Nakachi and Managing Partner Melissa Nasits.
One of the newest additions to the creative cocktail menu is the Pacific Rim Cosmotini. Made with ginger, lemon, blood orange, and passion fruit, itâ€™s a complex mix of sweet and tart. And if youâ€™re looking for something a bit sweeter, check out the 1988 â€“ a cocktail named after the year the original restaurant opened in Honolulu â€“ made with grapefruit vodka and sweet and fragrant lychee liqueur.
Butterfish Lettuce Wraps
These lettuce wraps were by far one of the best onesÂ Iâ€™ve ever had! The fish was moist and buttery and the smoked shiitake vinaigrette was a balanced addition to the sweetness of the fish. If you are ever looking for a new place to check out for an after-hour work happy hour, this is the place to go, and these are the bar bites you must order.
Crispy Pork & Steamed Buns
The crispy pork in these buns was a bit tougher than expected. However, its flavor combined with a tart apple slaw and spicy sauce was a great twist on the traditional pork chops with apples dish I enjoy making. The bao itself held the pork and the juices nicely, without becoming too mushy.
Shrimp Tempura Ebi Roll
This roll is a classic on the Royâ€™s menu and features tempura shrimp, mango and cream cheese wrapped in soy paper and rice. Itâ€™s topped with a homemade habanero aioli (a little touch of heat is a common theme in this menu), eel sauce, and toasted coconut for extra crunch.
Wagyu Burger with (Giant) Onion Rings
Thereâ€™s a giant burger on this seafood menu, and itâ€™s making Royâ€™s proud. This one is Wagyu beef, cooked perfectly pink in the middle and topped with truffle mushrooms, caramelized onions, another house-made spicy aioli, and a fried egg on top. Iâ€™m ashamed to say that this is the first time Iâ€™ve had a burger with a fried egg on it. I never knew what I was missing out on.
Maui Wowie Shrimp Salad
I love a good salad. And this one was probably one of my favorite things on the menu (Iâ€™ll definitely be recreating it at home). In case you didnâ€™t know, butter-poached shrimp may be the best way to eat shrimp. These were mixed with avocado, feta, and butter lettuce, dressed in caper lime vinaigrette, and served on top of giant hearty tomato slices.
Alaea Salt Crusted Bone-In Ribeye
This entrÃ©e alone could be a dinner for two, at least. Created by Chef Partner Scott Nakachi, this steak will be the answer to anyone who uses the excuse â€œbut Iâ€™m not a seafood personâ€ as an excuse to not go to Royâ€™s with you. Thereâ€™s something about cooking a cut of rib meat with the bone that makes it so much better than without. Plus, this is served with truffled bacon mac and cheese.
Lobster Pot Pie
This dish literally does feed at least two, as itâ€™s served family-style. (Ours were individuals, and even those were a lot). There are three main elements that I have to highlight about this dish:
1) the crust was impeccable â€“ buttery and flaky, but sturdy
2) the Thai coconut sauce was zesty, taking a comfort food to another level
3) giant lobster knuckles â€“ the amount of lobster in these was quite surprising, and extremely delighting
Dynamite Baked Hawaiian Monchong
When it comes to Hawaiian fish, many people will thing of ahi or mahi mahi. But monchong, a deep water Hawaiian fish, is one people will soon begin to recognize (or at least they should). This dish was by far my favorite, and when I go back, it will be what I get. This monchong filet was baked so that it had a nice crunchy flesh that fell into giant flakes when cut into. It was served with the spicy and sweet Dragon Sauce, bok choy tempura, and oshizushi (pressed) fragrant rice.
Tempura & Spicy Korean Chili Fried Rice
Both of these side dishes were very good. The tempura wasnâ€™t too thick, which meant it had a light crunch without the greasiness that some tempura often have. The fried rice also had a decent amount of bite to it.
Melting Hot Chocolate SoufflÃ©
By the time dinner was over, it was almost impossible to think about dessert. Almost. Royâ€™s is known for their chocolate soufflÃ© and deservedly so. This rich, chocolatey cake would be good on its own, but when cut into it had the perfect amount of warm chocolate that went perfectly with the vanilla ice cream (from local ice creamery Harryâ€™s).
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple upside down cake has long been one of my all-time favorite desserts, and this one by far topped the list of my favorites. To fit the tropical theme, the cake was served with a coconut ice cream.
Needless to say, thereâ€™s really something for everyone at Royâ€™s. From a full meal of island-inspired seafood to the land-lovers options of fine cuts to excellent specials and unique cocktails of Aloha Hour (from 4:30 p.m. â€“ 7 p.m.), I definitely recommend you add this to your list of places to check out.
Roy’s is located in Plano, TX off the Dallas North Tollway and just south of Parker.Â This tasting was complimentary; thoughts are my own.Â