Review: King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe from Arby’s

In my opinion, the Fish Sandwich from Arby’s has set the standard for fast food chain fish sandwiches.  There wasn’t much room for improvement, but that didn’t stop Arby’s from giving it a shot.  Taking advantage of the King’s Hawaiian bun, the latest from Arby’s is an upgraded version of the original and it’s called the King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe.

Arbys Fish Deluxe KHArby’s describes their new King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe like this:

Arby’s went the extra mile on the King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe. Sweet, fluffy buns from Hawaii and crispy, wild-caught Alaskan Pollock combine to make a fish sandwich that earns the name Deluxe.​

So while the updated ingredients might be enough to give the fish sandwich the “Deluxe” name, is it really worth the upgrade?

KH Arby's Fish DeluxeThe Classic Fish Sandwich is priced at $2.99 and this new King’s Hawaiian Fish Sandwich Deluxe is $3.99.  That extra dollar into your fish sandwich gets you the King’s Hawaiian bun instead of the standard sesame seed bun as well as a slice of cheddar cheese and two slices of tomato.  From a dollars and cents perspective, the extra dollar didn’t seem like too much money for the extra ingredients and upgraded bun.  The problem I had was that I ended up not liking the KH Fish Deluxe as much as the simpler Classic.

KH Arbys FishThe wild-caught Alaskan Pollock is thick, hearty, and too big to fit snuggly within the King’s Hawaiian bun.  I enjoyed the crusty breading of the fish which has a tougher crunch that just a light dusting of bread crumbs.  There’s a decent smattering of tangy tartar sauce on both inside layers of the King’s Hawaiian bun.  The shredded lettuce mixed with the tartar sauce makes for a coleslaw-type combo which I like, but the addition of tomato slices turned out to be unnecessary and just added too much moisture.  The top layer of tartar sauce mixed with the shredded lettuce and tomatoes made for a soft and sloppy mixture that felt heavy and ended up softening the crunch of the fish breading.  I’ve never understood cheese in a fish sandwich and Arby’s use of cheddar cheese turned out to be pointless for me.  It was partially melted, waxy, and lacked any standout flavor qualities that could help the sandwich improve.  The sweetness of the soft King’s Hawaiian bun has worked out well in other sandwiches and I thought it would really work with the KH Fish Deluxe.  Even though the piece of fish is big, its shape is an odd fit for the bun and parts of the sandwich felt too bready where I couldn’t get a balanced bite.  The odd shape of the fish versus the bread is something that is also found in the Classic version, but the sesame seed bun’s smaller size made for less bites of mostly bread.

KH Arbys Fish DelxAlthough Arby’s still reigns in the fast food fish sandwich category, the King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe is one of those cases where upgrades aren’t worth paying for.  I’ll stick with the cheaper Classic Fish Sandwich and save myself a buck (and 220 calories).

Pros: Fish size. Thick fish breading.

Cons: Still a good fish sandwich, but the "upgrades" don't actually improve the Classic.

Taste: 7.25/10
Value: 6.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $3.99

Overall GrubGrade: 6.75/10

More Info: http://arbys.com/our-menu/fish/kings-hawaiian-fish-deluxe
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Weight - 326 grams
Calories - 790
Fat - 36 grams
Saturated Fat - 12 grams
Cholesterol - 125 milligrams
Sodium - 1140 milligrams
Carbs - 89 grams
Dietary Fiber - 3 grams
Sugars - 24 grams
Protein - 28 grams

9 comments on “Review: King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe from Arby’s

  1. Todd says:

    While you enjoyed the “crusty breading” my tastebuds interpreted that as over fried.

  2. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Cheese and tomato have no business on a fish sandwich. I highly doubt the cost of the King’s Hawaiian roll is anymore than the standard roll so I would not buy this on principle. I wonder if you can substitute the bun for no extra charge and forego the cheese and tomato which have no business being there anyway? Then it would be worth it.

    • Brad says:

      I feel the same about cheese on apple pie, but some folks like it.

      • Manavee says:

        Man, I thought you were joking and then I googled “cheese” and “apple pie” and saw that it was a real thing.

        I guess I shouldn’t knock it until I’ve tried it, but the very idea makes me nauseated.

        • BigBelly says:

          a few thin slices of extra sharp cheddar goes great with apple pie, sounds gross with fish though

        • Bubbsy says:

          Fruit and cheese pair very well. Next time you have some decent cheese on crackers try either: slice of pear or apple, or spread a gob of your favorite jelly on top.
          Also – a slice of American on a cheap fish sandwich just exists to give it extra fat/salt flavor (think BK or McFish). But on a decent fish sandwich, I think most people would pass on any cheese. As for tomato… probably tastes OK, but it wouldn’t actually elevate a fish sandwich like it would others.

  3. rob says:

    I like cheese and tomato on a fish sandwich, if they work on other sandwiches why wouldn’t they work on a fish sandwich?

  4. Kristina says:

    Justhd mt first and last kings hawaiian fish sandwich. The fish was excellent, having it in a sweet bun and tomatoes on it made me feel nauseated. I should have stuck to the regular fish sandwich. I had to take the fish off the bun to finish it.

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