Late last year, Tim Goodell, a local award-winning chef—who you may remember from Aubergine, Troquet, Red Pearl Kitchen, 25 Degrees and the Whist at the Viceroy to name just a few—opened Royal Hen, in the former Amelia’s location on Balboa Island. There’s no doubt Goodell is a talented chef, and this charming modern pub may be his best yet. Everyone is going crazy over the chicken pot pie, fish and chips and his burger is a favorite, too. The food is the highest quality and the prices are reasonable. The average plate is just $15—and everything is ideal for sharing.
The menu is fun, broken down to Snacks, Cheese & Charcuterie, All The Rest and Dessert. Favorites from the Snacks menu include the Artichoke and Sunchoke Crostino with ricotta and savina truffle; Lobster Toastie with Old Bay and celery leaves and Chicken Crackling with avocado and Nduja. From the All The Rest menu, the Bluefin Tuna Loin with Wild Siberian Caviar and smoked to order is out of this world! And, another must try is the Raviolo di Uovo with brown butter and sage; and everyone is doing Brussels Sprouts now, but the Royal Hen’s Brussels Sprouts Caesar with fried capers is excellent.
The Dessert choices include Pan Roasted Peaches “Melba” with ginger ice cream; and Warm Passion Fruit Berliners—like a German round doughnut.
More recently, the Royal Hen has added a delicious Weekend Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with a choice of drink, small plate and large plate for $35 per person. Examples of Small Plates includes Chicken Cracklings with avocado and nduja; Panzanella Salad with heirloom tomatoes and avocado; and Fritelles with pecorino and black pepper. Large plates include Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with fresh berries; the Royal Burger with French Fries; and Traditional Eggs Benedict with city ham.
Open for dinner 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Open for Weekend Brunch 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
311 Marine Ave. on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. 949.873.5603.