Roy’s Restaurant hosted an evening of inspired cuisine, curated by Roy Yamaguchi himself. Chef Roy prepared an exclusive four-course dinner awakened by the abundant flavors of the Pacific Rim. The specialty menu was beautifully paired with wines curated by Roy’s Wine Manager. Guests experienced a night of culinary craftsmanship, featuring Kombu Cured Hokkaldo Scallops, and Crispy Skin Striped Bass, accompanied by a Medjoll Date Cake for dessert.

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Kombu Cured Hokkaido Scallop – Grapefruit Ponzu, Pomegranate, Crispy Kombu, Sea Grass
Paired with Chandon, Blanc De Noir

This was my favorite dish of the night.  The grapefruit ponzu and pomegranate provided the citrus freshness that paired well with the scallop for a distinctly island flavor.  The scallop was well seasoned and the sauces were a great accompaniment.  However, if there had been a little bit of crispiness from a good sear on the scallop, this would have been a fantastic dish.  It had all the right components and I was optimistic for the next dish.

DSC_0015-2Lemongrass Poached Pear Salad  Rocket Arugula, Fennel, Fried Brie
Paired with Duckhorn, Sauvignon Blanc

This salad tasted very Vietnamese.  The pear and lemongrass complemented each other, and any addition of arugula is a great idea in my opinion. The fried brie was great, a ball of melty goodness surrounded by a crispy exterior. While it felt a bit out of place with the flavors of the rest of the salad, overall, I enjoyed this course.

DSC_0033-2Crispy Skin Striped Bass – Braised Oxtail Ragout,  House Made Pasta, Kale
Paired with Au Bon Climat, La Bauge Pinot Noir

The striped bass was cooked well but under seasoned.  This may have been because the oxtail ragout was overly heavy and an effort to balance between the two.  However I feel like a fresh component would have been a better way to liven up the dish.  This dish felt bold but not in a satisfying way.  The pasta was great and al dente, but heavily salted.  The kale was once crispy but became soggy by the time it arrived, having a limp, wet texture.  Personally, the fish would have paired well with the salad from the second course.  Adding the fish with the pasta made this dish lack texture throughout.  It felt very mushy and extreme in taste, either extremely bland, or extremely salty.  This dish reached far, but fell short of it’s creative goals.

DSC_0035-2Medjool Date Cake – Pistachio, Rose Water Sabayon, Miso Caramel

I’m not sure how to describe this, but it was definitely not what I had in mind for a cake.  Resembling a meatloaf, the cake succeeded in having one singular texture associated to the dish: dry.  My favorite part of this plating was the orchid because it reminded me of my mother.  But the dessert as a whole fell apart.  Maybe it was because the entire table lost its enthusiasm after the entree, but there was really nothing memorable about this dish.  One of the guest’s kindergarten daughter refused to take more than one bite, which I found fascinating.

I’m not sure what happened here.  Perhaps I had such high expectations for a James Beard award winner and Top Chef, but I was very disappointed with the last two dishes. While every dish had it’s highlights, each dish felt incomplete.  This was my first experience at Roy’s, and I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt that it was a large event where execution and timing was likely to be disrupted.  The success of the night was the wine pairings and the service.  Outside of the food, I had a great time and felt welcomed and comfortable. Perhaps the original menu is better practiced and executed, but with the abundance of restaurants Orlando has to offer, it will be a long time removed before I return.

Roy’s Orlando is located at 7760 W. Sand Lake Rd.
Please call (407) 352-4844 to book your reservation.

Thank you FleishmanHillard for the invitation!

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