On May 29, 2018 my husband and I took my sister Sandy to “Eating House 1849” in Honolulu, for her “belated” Birthday. We were on a business trip and Sandy, who is a flight attendant, had an overnight. I started looking for the perfect restaurant as soon as we got to the Island. I liked the way the advertisements looked in the magazines, and then when I read further, and found out it was part of “Roy Yamaguchi’s “restaurants, I was super excited to go there for this special occasion! *Note; My sister in the pix. There was a cute sitting area as you walked in that fun things to look at.
OVERALL RATING: 7+ FOOD: 7+ SERVICE: 7+ AMBIENCE: 7+
We first sat at the bar to have a glass of wine before dinner. The service was very slow and we waited awhile to even be greeted. Just as we got served, our table was ready, so we asked the server to give us a few more minutes to enjoy our glass of wine.
We got a nice table, outside, next to the bar. We were presented menus upon seating, someone gave us water but we didn’t see the server for awhile. The service at this point was not very good which always bums me out. Anyway, we ordered and got our food relatively quickly and the server did apologize for her lack of service, saying she had just taken a larger table’s order and pointed in that direction to show us. Regardless, the restaurant wasn’t that busy….
My sister had the Shrimp Wontons with Asian Dipping Sauce and she really liked them. After seeing hers, I wished I had ordered that for my dinner.
We both had the E.H. Chop Salad which was attractive and had Shrimp, Radish, Carrot, Fresh Corn, Bacon, Avocado, Maui Onion and Cucumber with two types of Cheese and a very good, light, Asian Goddess Dressing. It was priced at $16 which seemed high, considering the size of the Salad, and there was only one Shrimp.
I ordered the 1849 Spicy Ramen which had a Rich Sesame Broth, Pork Belly, Dumplings and Soft Egg. It was reasonably priced at $20. I was very disappointed in it’s presentation, and it looked like it was just thrown together. The Egg was hidden beneath, and it just looked oily and sloppy. I have had Noodle Bowls at other places in Hawaii and they have been beautifully presented and tasted so good, you wanted to go back the next day and order it again.
So, the next day, I contemplated writing a letter to Roy himself, but in sharing my thoughts with my sister over the phone, she pulled up the advertisement, texted the picture to me, and sure enough, my Noodle Bowl looked just like the picture they were showing…I guess it was “supposed” to look like that. So, as I write this, almost one month later, I wish I could go back and re-try this dish. Perhaps I totally missed something. If in fact, that is what it’s supposed to look like, then Roy himself had to approve it, right? And, he is an amazing Chef…so the irony in all of this is, last night as I was watching “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” they were highlighting a Noodle Bowl and it looked just like the one at Roy’s, same oily look to it, almost the exact same ingredients, and all the people they interviewed in the restaurant said it was the best Noodle Bowl ever. SO, it made me think that I had to have missed something….so, with that being said, I will not be so harsh in my comments and wish now, that I could taste it all over again with fresh, new eyes. (as I sigh)
John had “Airline” Chicken (a boneless chicken breast with the drumette attached), which he thought was very tiny and also dry. Broccoli and Asparagus limp and overcooked, again, presentation sloppy. He wasn’t impressed.
*Cute picture of the Birthday girl. My sister was really happy with her food which was great since it was her Birthday. We had to ask for the Birthday Dessert, which I had mentioned when we made the reservation, but she loved it, and she especially liked the little jar it came in. She really wanted to take it home but we wouldn’t let her (ha)!
A Chef friend of mine from Minnesota did his internship at Roy’s in Maui so I always had a soft spot for all of Roy’s Restaurants. My husband and I always sought them out when on the islands and never once were disappointed. I most likely will not go back to this particular location but might try one somewhere else. Maybe it was just an off night, but when you make a decision to pick just “one” restaurant for that “one” special occasion, it kinda bums you out.
Eating House 1849, by Roy Yamaguchi at International Market Place 2330 Kalakaua Ave. #322, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815