Day of the Week: Monday, 9/10
Total Bill: $100 (before tip)
Breakdown: 1 soda/1 iced tea, 1 sushi roll, 2 My Prix Fixe Mondays (3 courses each)
Pros: rotating menu, fresh food, laid back atmosphere, awesome staff
Verdict: One of our favorites in Tampa.
My Prix Fixe Mondays are back at Roy’s ($36.95 for three courses, with a few very reasonable exclusions) and we hadn’t been in way too long, so we had to go see what was new. We got there about 8:30 and I was happy to see the bar was almost full, as well as a private party in one of the rooms and another large party in the back of the restaurant. (Because this is one of my favorite restaurants in Tampa, I want them to prosper so they can keep feeding me.)
We got a large booth near the front and soon met our server, Mike, who I don’t think we’ve seen before. We each got the MPF, plus a big island ebi sushi roll. I had the bulgogi chicken satays to start, the hibachi salmon as my main, and their famous pineapple upside down cake for dessert. I loved the chicken satays. The flavor was simple without being boring, which was helped along by a Sriracha-based sauce on the plate and some kimchee. Hubby didn’t care for the satays; he thought they were too plain and he doesn’t like dark meat (I think it was thigh meat).
While we were having our appetizers and sushi, the new managing partner, Andrew Mayer, brought out two off-the-menu items for us to try (several servers had pointed us out as regulars). One item was mini salmon and ham croquettes, which we both loved. Because the croquettes received such a warm reception, Andrew brought us eel sushi, too. I tried it to be a good sport but I just don’t like eel. Andrew impressed us because he seems very passionate about food.
My salmon was excellent. Unlike Chart House, it was very moist and I could tell it was fresh, not frozen. The glaze on it was a little sweet and complemented the fish perfectly. It came with rice and pickled carrots and cucumbers. The pickled vegetables were the perfect contrast to the sweet glaze.
The pineapple upside down cake was awesome, as usual. I didn’t ask who their new pastry chef is (surely Felicia isn’t still doing it since she’s the head chef at Samba Room now) but I hope whomever it is improves. Don’t get me wrong – the cake was as good as ever. But the rotating items on the dessert menu seemed uninspired. Felicia was a genius.
Bottom line: the food is still top-notch, the new manager seems to be doing a great job, and the staff really embodies the aloha spirit.
This place is great. Always one of my standard go-to restaurants.
We’ll start with what we liked. The price. Pick any app, entrée and dessert for 37 bucks. Dang! Ok I started with the ribs. They are delicious, fairly lean and they fall off of the bone. Super tender, with a tangy Asian style bbq sauce on them. I also ordered a sushi roll, the big island ebi roll. Loved it. Fried shrimp with mango, cream cheese, avocado and topped with habanero aioli and toasted coconut. This roll is my favorite.
The managing partner brought extras out for us! We had salmon and ham croquettes. They were really good. Fried little balls with a thick, creamy and flavor-filled center. He then brought out baked eel nigiri. It was top broiled and was crispy with a bit of eel sauce on top, delicious.
I then had my main course, which is something I’ve had before. It’s a huge piece of tuna, seared rare. It has sesame covered rice and is served with two sauces that are mixed together, a miso butter sauce and spicy mustard soy. Best thing on the menu, fish was super fresh, and the sauces complimented it well.
I asked if they had any fried rice and they said they did not but made it for me anyway. It was great. Not oily, not dry, but a perfect combination. Great fresh vegetables in it and just enough egg!
For dessert I had a pineapple upside down cake which is another favorite of mine. It is warm and done perfectly. Topped with small chunks of pineapple. The cake is a combination of citrus and cinnamon. Served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a bunch of different fresh fruits.
This meal overall is great. For such a small price and such high quality food, you can’t beat it.
What I did not like…. Ummm… not much, if anything.