Tiki culture have always been tempting and magic as for me, with its special dĂ©cor, Hawaiian music, dancing hula girls and of course exotic drinks and meals, that is why I was so happy to have a chance to visit a tiki restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii and feel the tiki spirit and atmosphere, and bring some souvenirs home to remember the wonderful trip for many years.
Tiki’s Grill&Bar Waikiki Restaurant was the first tiki place I was happy to visit. When I saw it for the first time I was gripped by the impression of an amusing and fun retro bistro. It is situated on the second floor of the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel near the pool. This is a retro Polynesian-themed restaurant which has a view of tempting Waikiki Beach framed by tiki torches and coconut palms swaying in the trade winds. Tiki’s has two huge tiki at the entrance (if to come nearer it seems that they are about 8-1/2 foot), eight tiki on the back walls of the dining room, a somewhat smaller foot tiki head which has a funny name of “Hibiscus Tiki”ť somewhere near the bar, and a “hula”ť tiki in the central dining area ”“ all of them instilled mystery and excitement in my soul. When I looked around me I saw that there were both inside and outside seating in the restaurant, which I found very cozy and comfortable. I fancied that an outside patio could let a stranger take advantage of the ocean fresh breezes and sink into the state of total relaxation”¦ Now I regret that I hadn’t visited it on deck at nightfall, where you can enjoy your dinner with the sound of palm trees swaying in the breeze, and of course the view of the ocean in the background. However this time may friends and I made up our minds to choose inside seating, where it was pleasantly cool and dark, and extremely enigmatic, as though the ancient statues were about to revive. Later I found out that there was also a third flour palm tree height location as well, the view from which was meant to provide visitors with a view of rushing busy walkers and tree tops. It must be a really perfect perch for eating and people-watching.
When I got inside I was pleased with the dĂ©cor a lot: apart with tiki theme there were a lot of modern items of decoration. I was greatly impressed with the mixture of gentle and elegant modern style fixtures, fantastic Bosco pieces, and Doug Horne art, upscale furnishings/seating, L.A. style “retro” graphics here and there, and stone pavers with palm wood flooring, subtle lighting and the fish netting in some of the ceiling, statues and items from different regions around the Pacific, some good “old style” tiki restaurant carvings. The large five foot fiberglass mascot in front seemed as if it had been chased out of a Disney cartoon of the 60’s… Generally I got the feeling of eating and drinking and enjoying life in a special and unique museum. All over the restaurant I could smell the fresh and romantic smell of exotic flowers which I will associate with Hawaii and tiki restaurants atmosphere for the time of my life.
My friends, their 2 kids and I stayed at the 4 seated table and had the most delicious meal and the most special exotic drinks I have ever tasted. The waiter was young and energetic; moreover he was polite, helpful and friendly to us, so we felt convenient to ask for his authoritative consultations. He was wonderful with the kids and took time to make their visit special.
I started with a famous Mai Tai, which reflected a tiki bar atmosphere the best. I ordered that drink in a special hurricane glass with a Tiki’s logo silkskreened on it. The volume was truly huge! I had a lava flow (sans booze) and it was way too much to finish! My friends had other exotic cocktails, served for them in fake coconuts. It was a happy discovery that cocktails at that place were great – not watered down like in other beach hotel bars! After drinking my cocktail I felt pleasant warmth in my body and the wish to continue that evening, as well as my friends did, so we decided to take children back to the hotel and spend the whole night there ( the waiter pleasantly hinted that the great party was about to start).
Tiki’s Executive Chef, Fred DeAngelo used the flavors and ingredients of the islands in his meals. There was a large number of tempting signature appetizers, such as Coconut Shrimp, Calamari Katsu, Baked Oysters a la Tiki, and Steamed Manila Clams in a curried coconut cream sauce, etc. The menu made the food sound awesome! The meals I chose were Ahi tuna at one meal and shrimp chow main for another meal. I believe that anyone who had ever had or will ever have a possibility to taste it will surely maintain that it simply divine! The fish meals there were island fresh and were very popular with both locals and tourists. So my friends I decided to try them too. But the best thing about the meal was the warm taro bread served with banana butter. The kids of my friends got the usual burgers and fries, but they loved the fact they were served on take-home Frisbees, a perfect gift for kids on a beach vacation!
There is a large souvenir shop at Tiki’s where I found lots of cool T-shirts, tank tops, and other beachwear with their logo. I simply had to buy some gifts for my friends, as I alwys was inclined to grubbing my tourist buck. My eyes stopped on some funny tiki figures and the shop assistant tried to assure me that they were absolutely unique”¦ My friends supported me in that intention. We got our souvenir mugs (2 lidded coconuts and a couple of gaudy tiki) and left the restaurant to take the kids to the hotel.
When we returned we were just at the beginning of the party. In Tiki’s Grill&Bar Restaurant there is always provided live entertainment nightly by established and emerging contemporary Hawaiian musicians. Music starts there around sunset and goes all night long. I was so happy to experience one of the thematic events in this restaurant ”“ it was Friday Club Night, the peculiarity of which was first of all PINK TIKI Music, where Top DJ was playing dance music! I was astonished by that drive and cheer which I felt that night! The music was so joyous that it was impossible to sit still and I made not a single attempt to do that. Almost all the people around me were dressed in pink (with rare exception, including me) and that added even more positive feeling to the atmosphere. Besides, for those, who were dressed in pink there was a special Â˝ OFF the cover charge. Imagine that Tiki’s Grill & Bar donated a percentage of the profits and $1 from every PINK TIKI drink sold to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I had a really great happy time during that party.
For a long period of time after visiting a Honolulu Tiki’s Grill&Bar Waikiki Restaurant the feeling of freedom, relax and happiness remained with me. This restaurant is worth of visiting by all means: The decoration, perfect service, well-organized entertainment program and of course adorable meals and drinks impressed me so much that I would obviously return to that place once more.