Guam Diner Bytes: Roy's
Celebrity Chef Roy Yamaguchi made his triumphant return to Guam last week and performed his culinary magic for three special nights at Roy's. I was fortunate to be invited to attend the first night of his Exclusive Prix Fixe Dinner ($150.00), and bore witness to this phenomenal chef's creative genius working via his finely honed skills and experience to produce a magnificent and exquisite five course meal that was a smashing success. Roy’s brilliance shines particularly in his ability to inspire and teach the Hilton’s restaurant team the processes involved in preparing these amazing dishes. The ability to replicate his unique signature dishes is fundamental to the chain’s success.
Roy’s presentations are clean and simple, with all the focus in the center of the dish. In fact, the food in most of his platings occupies less than half the surface. The quality of the ingredients and combined flavors reach an exciting crescendo when you take your first bite! WOW! (that was the operative exclamation around the table). The course titles are precise and to the point, with no wasted words nor space.
First to arrive was the U-10 Scallop Lasagnette. Let’s put it this way, Roy discovered a totally new way to prepare, cook, and serve a scallop. No, he didn’t use lasagna...he hand-made a new delicate pasta creation that he layered (like a lasagna) and stuffed with a medley of light ingredients that complemented the pan-seared butter-flied scallop. This was a delicious and exciting first impression.
The next course was the Vietnamese Essence Duck Breast Mango Salsa. Again, Yamaguchi (ever the inventor), takes the familiar and makes something astonishingly new and exciting! Even though you were told you had duck breast, you didn’t consider this light, delicious, soft, richly-tender piece of meat “duck”. Through sous vide cooking and time, Roy brought us to a new level of appreciating the noble duck, who didn’t have to be such a “tough guy” after all! The mango salsa and salad dressing completed the sweet, sour, spicy and tart sensations with hints of lemongrass and fish sauce. Definitely a party of flavors and one happy tenderized duck!
Roy’s middle course was Butterfish/Congee/Porkbelly, Cilantro Sauce. This was definitely a mixed media dish layered to impress. The butterfish was light, delicate and glazed with a savory coating. It was on top of a chunk of that melt-in-your mouth sous vide pork belly that Roy has perfected and incorporated in his menus. The pink congee was another take on an Asian staple, colorized and a striking contrast to the green flavor-packed Cilantro sauce.
The main course took center stage (and center plate), with a line-up of sliced Wagyu New York, Rosti Potato and Sancho Pepper Sauce. The Wagyu chunks were small but extremely tasty and tender as tender can be. A demi-reduction with a bit of a spice kick and remodeled potato that was rolled, coated and baked. You definitely appreciated the first 3 courses leading up to this one if you came here with an appetite!
For dessert we ended with a fabulous Ricotta Crostada: Fresh fruits, Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackberry. The taste of this rich dish was dazzling with a just baked crust and light cheese texture with a fruity finish. Bravo, Chef Roy! Bravo Team Roy’s! Looking forward to your next visit, Roy!
Ken “The Guam Food Guy” Stewart