January is the perfect month for a trip to Hawai'i. For those unable to jet away to the Aloha State on a whim, Roy Yamaguchi's nationwide chain Roy's Hawaiian Fusion is open in several locations across the Mainland for anybody wanting to dive into the Pacific Rim cuisine developed by Yamaguchi and several other Hawai'i chefs a quarter century ago.
The first Roy's opened in 1988 on O'ahu, and the company is celebrating 25 years in business with a discount on their Winter Prix Fixe. At the Plano, Texas location we visited, the prix fixe goes for $36.95, but it's $25.95 at most Roy's locations (except Hawai'i and Pebble Beach) for the month of January, when using the promo code "25" with online reservations or mentioning the 25th Anniversary when calling to make reservations.
The three course menu offers something to suit most palates. Diners can begin with a Citrus Salad featuring shaved radish, fennel, red oak leaf, and charred shallot vinaigrette, Duck Confit Dim Sum with Black Garlic Vinaigrette, or P.E.I. Mussels & Clam Hot Pot with Yuzu Curry Broth. We tried the mussels and clams and the rich broth with the clams and mussels was flavorful and piping hot; great to warm the bones on a cold winter evening. Mussels from Prince Edward Island are high quality with tender texture and excellent flavor, not to mention the fact that they're sustainably raised and harvested.
The Entree is a choice of Teppanyaki Shrimp with Soy braised pearl onion and ginger miso cream with vegetables, Seared Idaho River Trout with root vegetables, squash, and citrus mustard vinaigrette, or Braised Pork Shank with cabbage, Shiitake mushroom, mac & cheese and pork jus. The pork shank was beyond tender; the mere shudder of the bone released the succulent, moist flesh cooked to perfection and seasoned with the rich jus and complimented by the even richer macaroni for a truly decadent main dish.
Dessert is a choice of Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle with Belgian chocolate, raspberry coulis and vanilla bean ice cream or a Warm Mango Cobbler which is served piping hot in a mini cast iron pot with a scoop of coconut ice cream. Tart, tangy mango is a wonder when fresh, but add heat and sugar and it turns into an almost obscenely intoxicating indulgence; the perfect soothing finish to a very warm winter collation.
Takeaway: Roy's prix fixe is the perfect place to take refuge from the arctic blast of the northern winter and enjoy the tropical heat at a very un-Hawai'i price. Reservations recommended. Valet and self parking available. $25.95 at most locations with promo code. Full bar. Credit cards accepted.