My first visit to this new bar in Surry Hills. It describes itself as a “modern tiki bar” and has a more tropical vibe than your traditional tiki bar.
The cocktails were good (I only took a photo of the ‘happy hour’ drinks; there’s a longer menu on their website) and the food menu looks good.
No mugs or swizzles or coasters but it’s brand new so hopefully these come.
I visited LongBrow’s Jungle Bar for a Sunday lunchtime catch up with the ‘Tiki is Life - Downunder’ Facebook group crew.
It was a big group so we were able to sample lots of the menu. It had only been open 5 months and it’s nice to be able to bring some tiki to folks on the central coast of NSW (just over an hours drive north of Sydney).
Great food to accompany the drinks and their custom mai tai and zombie glasses were really decent value but sadly our group bought them all so hopefully they will get some more made.
I’ve been to Jacoby’s many times before but this visit was for their 6th anniversary and new menu launch.
It was pretty busy and we got a table for 2 near the bar. I tried a Navy Frog and my wife a Saturn old Fashioned to kick off proceedings. Great to see so many familiar faces and to meet some of the Australian tiki crew.
My gift to the bar was a Mothership ‘Cosmic Skull’ I brought back from tiki oasis.
Love this place.
This is a popular bar. I was lucky I made a reservation as there was big crowds waiting outside the random ice cream shop that serves as the front door for the 2 speakeasies in this building (I also got to walk thru Captains Quarters on my way out).
I enjoyed my evening. Probably didn’t choose the best drinks but the food was good and Tiki Tony was the music act (I think as Tikitronic) which was pretty cool.
It seems bizarre to say but I love their hula logo and I rate their swizzles and some of the best in the game!
Visited Bali Hai on my Tiki Oasis 2023 trip. Had dinner and got a Mr Bali Hai and kept the mug. I also picked up the Creepxotica x Goof on the roof mug and saw the band. Great night.
Thank god for jet lag!! My first night in San Diego on my Tiki Oasis 2023 tour and I’d had dinner at Mothership but given I was still on Australian time decided to come check out False Idol.
This is my favourite San Diego tiki bar. The decor is amazing!! Had a couple of great cocktails and eventually found myself at the bar and met another Tiki Oasis newbie who I’d catch up at other events and lectures with.
Even better I managed to pick up a purple Bosko fog cutter mug at the bar and then got it signed by the artist at the Tiki Oasis marketplace. The bar staff were really cool as well. Keep an eye out for the Jacoby’s coaster I brought all the way from Sydney.
My first tiki bar visit in San Diego on my Tiki Oasis 2023 tour. I had dinner and some drinks at Mothership and it was such a cool place. Loved the drinks and I picked up 2 of their really cool Cosmic Skull mugs.
After lunch at La Mariana and an early dinner at Skull and Crown it only made sense to head to the Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai bar for a night cap with the famous ‘Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai’.
A great view looking out over to Diamond Head and a very tasty drink. Can’t wait to return.
Loved this place!! Had dinner and drinks on my Honolulu stopover en route to Tiki Oasis 2023.
Dagger Mai Tai and noodles was a great option. Great decor and very friendly bar staff. Will definitely come again when next in Honolulu (I hope it’s soon).
The first stop on my 2023 Tiki Oasis adventure! I felt more cunning than a Fox that’s just been appointed a Professor of Cunning at Oxford University!! For I had booked on Hawaiian Airlines to fly Sydney - San Diego and managed to get an overnight stopover in Honolulu!!
Lunch time at La Mariana it was. Mahi Mahi sandwich, a Mai Tai and soaking in the atmosphere of this wonderful bar. Loved the decor.
Sadly I didn’t want to burden my luggage so early into my trip so no mug purchase but I did get a t-shirt and a La Mariana yacht burgee (sailing pennant).
The highlight of my visit to the South Coast of NSW!! Narooma is about a 5 hour drive south of Sydney.
The bar was established in an old oyster growers shed on the Wagonga Inlet by the previous owners in 2001. In 2021 it was acquired by the massive Sydney hospitality group Merivale who have sprinkled their magic dust on it. The food is top notch and the small cocktail list is great.
My only wish is that they made mugs or coasters!!
I was staying with the family at Atlantis so managed to sneak out for some pre dinner drinks at this brand new Trader Vic’s at the Palm Jumeirah.
Wonderful knowledgeable bartender who had virtually swallowed the Trader Vic’s corporate manual and knew a lot about it for such a new bar. Had a couple of great drinks and then paid a pretty penny for their gold palm which allegedly was made in honour of this venue (but is actually cheaper on the Trader Vic’s website although mine does come with a very fancy Palm Jumeirah presentation case).
Well the family vacation has pulled into Paris and I was able to add a tiki bar in a 4th country to my list!
We had by French standards an early dinner so I was able to head back out of the Hotel for a nightcap. We are staying in St Germain and Tiki Boom is also in the 6th arrondissement so it was a quick walk.
It was good fortune as the proprietor was just back from vacation himself and this was the first night the bar was open in 2023. A good sign.
My french isn’t that great but a tiki menu is pretty easy to read in any language. I started with a ‘Mai Tai Mule’ which was a great drink - basically an impression of a Mai Tai with ginger ale - served in an enamel cup.
Next up I tried the ‘Chuppa Cabra’ which was one of their other rum based . This one reminded me of one of my own inventions (the ‘Taste of Summer’, which is just Malibu and pineapple juice - it’s designed so you can get it anywhere!) although with the guava (goyave) and no citrus was on the sweeter end of the spectrum so that was my dessert and then bid au devour to the bar.
Tiki Boom hadn’t been on my radar when I planned the trip and it’s always great to get a bonus tiki bar visit. The European bars are different to the US. The decor here was concentrated on the bar itself and there are lots more other non Tiki drink options here (the group next to me were doing shots) but it is still great to see the tiki torches burning across the world.
I again snuck out from my family vacation for some tiki nightcaps. This time I was off to Pigalle in the 9th arrondissement. Thankfully Uber was able to safely take me there and back.
This place is probably Paris’ premiere tiki bar. It’s coming up on its 10th anniversaire in February which is an achievement for any venue.
I grabbed a seat at the bar and proceeded to work my way through a Mai Tai, a Missionary’s Downfall and a Painkiller.
All fantastic and the garnish game on the Mai Tai and the Painkiller was tres bien!
All the bar staff were super friendly. The only disappointment was that they were sold out of mugs but I did score a t-shirt for €25 so I didn’t walk out empty handed.
Would love to be able to visit this place again as it had a super cool vibe, and I do need a mug!
We’ve had a busy family vacation in London and the partner and kids want to have dinner in the hotel. With Laki Kane a quick cab ride away it’s a no brainer to sneak in some pre dinner tiki drinks!
I pick up the London cab outside Kings Cross station (we are staying at the Standard just across the road) and I high tail it up to Islington.
For a Sunday night, it’s jumping. Or as the ‘youth’ like to say, it’s a vibe.
I start off with their signature cocktail. The namesake a Laki Kane which is rum and sugar cane juice and some spices. It’s a refreshing kick off. Garnish was excellent and included the fruit of the sugar cane as well as some sugar cane strips. The straw? Pasta! I slurped that one down quick time so I surprise my bartender Mario by calling for a Pinup Zombie straight away. It’s a stronger drink and I can pick out the cherry liqueur. I also grabbed some prawn crackers to slow me down - which had the desired effect.
After the zombie I felt like a classic so grabbed a Painkiller. Loved the presentation but this version was super light on the coconut. I also nabbed a mug. These were great value - only GBP20. I couldn’t decide between the 2 drinks I had but ended up going for the traditional / signature Laki Kane mug. I wish I had a bit more room in the luggage for their zombie mug which was also a great look.
A fleeting visit as the clock was chiming for my family dinner to begin but great to see the tiki fire still burning in London after the demise of Trader Vic’s.
Phew. I made it!
I live in Australia but as fate would have it was travelling to the UK after Christmas. We are actually in London in January so I have taken leave from the family holiday to drive 2 hours to London to get in a visit before it closes.
That first drink was their signature drink - the London Sour. Amazing to me is that the Pina Colada (immortalised in the ‘Werewolf’s of London song) isn’t on the menu. May have to ask for a bartenders favour.
So sad that this is slated to close - the decor is AMAZING. So much history here. I will take many photos!!
On a one day trip to Adelaide to look at a pinball machine for my kids (it was the Stranger Things pinball and yes I did end up purchasing it!) so I made the most of my time here by visiting the South Australian museum which has a famous pacific gallery but also Adelaide’s only tiki bar - Hades Hula House.
This bar is still open (this site says closed but they just moved). It’s a pretty big space and given I was flying I had a meal and some drinks. Even better, I bought a souvenir mug and scored lots of coasters and swizzles so this bar definitely looks after the tiki fans that visit.
Two in a night to finish off the planned part of October tiki road trip with visits to both Golden Tiki and Frankie’s.
I started at Golden Tiki and had a small dinner and few drinks before hitting Frankie’s.
It’s only a $15 Uber over to Frankie’s and I love the outside of this place. Small, iconic in a ‘Tiki-Ti’ way. The only downside to Frankie’s is that it allows smoking. And it is very noticeable when nearly everywhere I go nowadays is non-smoking (it is actually illegal to smoke in enclosed public spaces, like a bar, in Australia).
I really liked the decor in here, some tikis and even one holding Aces so you knew you’re in Vegas. This place has a fantastic selection of souvenir mugs - I am going to say probably this is one of my top picks for mug souvenirs from the bars I’ve visited on this trip, Three Dots would be the other, although sadly I only have room for one more - started too heavily at Trader Sam’s and Strong Water, the two each from those places made me buy an extra bag!).
I started with a Tiki Bandit cause that’s the mug I wanted and got the special where the mug is only $25 extra with a drink. I found out afterwards you could buy any mug with any drink (you don’t need to match the cocktail to the drink) and not sure I loved it as a drink. Their menu is extensive and I liked a lot on the second page.
It’s tough to pick a favourite bar in Vegas. I liked Frankie’s a lot but the smoking was a real turn off. I’d probably recommend it earlier in the day with less of a crowd (to reduce the smoke).
Two in a night to finish off the planned part of October tiki road trip with visits to both Golden Tiki and Frankie’s.
It’s a Monday night and to be honest I’m still a little exhausted from running the Chicago marathon on Sunday (which was the main reason for my trip from Australia to the US) but I’ve only got one night here on the way home so let’s do it!
I started at Golden Tiki as they have a food menu but sadly at 8pm was a smaller version of it so kicked off with some pork meatballs and fries and started with a Painkiller.
Place was packed for a Monday night - I had to wait a while to grab a seat at the bar. The bar has really great decor although the poker machines at the bar were a trip (it is Vegas but I guess I wasn’t expecting it entirely like this - lots of bars in Australia have poker machines but they put them in a separate room, so I guess that’s what I thought I’d see). I couldn’t grab the iconic “clam shell” photo as this was moved to accommodate a band (yes on Monday night!). I’ve also not posted the photos of the excellent velvet paintings as they are a little rude and I didn’t want to have to flag this post!
The staff were friendly but busy so hard to chat to anyone except Jake on the door whilst I waited for my Uber. I did play a little poker at the bar but only dropped a $20 as I’m not really a gambler. Cashed out with $5 left just to see what the ticket looked like (it wasn’t really souvenir-able so I cashed it for the 5 spot).
Golden Tiki was also great but selfishly I’d prefer it a little less crowded.
Four in a row. The Splash-Down’s erstwhile proprietor was at it again. First in line for the Tiki-Ti. I got there about 3:05 on a Wednesday and was there for about 20 minutes or so until a few regulars starting showing up at 3:30pm joined by a few other first timers.
I was rewarded with being first in the door but there were already about 4 ‘friends of the bar’ holding court so I grabbed a seat at the far end of the bar and was joined by a regular next to me. This proved useful as the Wednesday’s opening hours see a Ray’s Mistake on happy hour for $9. If that’s good enough for a regular it was good enough for me! Next up I sampled a ‘Tiki Ti Special’ but by this time I had noticed folks paying with cards. Wait a minute I thought this place was cash only?? I’d actually specifically visited the FX shop to get some US dollars with this place in mind!
So with credit open to me I added a lamp mug, t-shirt and bar mat to my order! The place was absolutely packed and I got chatting to a few other patrons from Australia (Brisbane in this case) as well as a tiki fan from Kansas City (Mo.). I nursed the special for a while and then ordered my final drink where I decided to see their painkiller. It was nice - but seemed totally different to the version I make at home. My favourite was probably the Special but Ray’s Mistake was a super refreshing drink to start with.
By this time I was ready for an explore so I gave up my seats to my compatriots (David was also shipping out) and went for an explore of all the nooks in this petite bar. From a decor perspective I LOVED their lamps. The bar itself was great with all the thatch and the place was filled with all sorts of interesting items.
After leaving I was able to have a good chat with the Tiki Ti’s proprietor Mike while I waited for my Uber (he was having a break outside as well). It was a wonderful initiation into a Tiki institution. I am very glad to have visited and would again highly recommend having this on your itinerary- but who am I kidding. It’s the freakin’ Tiki Ti of course it’s on your itinerary!!
Just had a wonderful Monday night at Strong Water (Anaheim).
Monday is ‘No reservations’ so I was first seated as a party of 1 (or as they said at Trader Sam’s “Single Rider”) after getting there around 4:30pm. (Opens at 5pm)
As much as SW gets hype online I had no real set expectations (had even read it was a pirate themed bar) and was BLOWN AWAY.
Loved the walk through from the host and got seated at the bar. Spoke to 3 passionate bar professionals - Adam (who made all my drinks) as well as Thomas and Erica. All wonderful knowledgeable folks who really know their craft.
I started with a Zombie King - it was probably my pick of the night. Strong spice notes, really picked the cinnamon. Yes I did add the mug.
Next up was the Tales of the Black Lagoon. On the menu it shows a glass but this is the drink for their new creature inspired mug. Enjoyed it, a little sweeter and less funk than I expected. Yes I did add the mug.
I finished with a Taro Colada. It was nice and I deliberately ended with a coconut cream drink as my dessert but the party next to me had one of the Halloween inspired drinks (forgot name, had candy corn syrup in it and raved about it so maybe I should’ve got that).
Dinner for me was Blackened Mahi Mahi which was really fresh and light - lots of meals looked good.
Decor is fantastic. Love the attention to details in both the front and back bar. Luckily I had a few drinks so was able to go to BOTH bathrooms (yes they are highlights).
Would I recommend you go if in the area? Given it was only a $10 Uber from the Disney resorts area it’s a STRONG YES for STRONG WATER.
Lined up at 11am, was about 6th in line but as a party of 1 I was the first invited inside! Achievement unlocked.
Had a couple of great drinks and enjoyed lunch. Picked up the Hippomaitai mug (I also have the Grog grotto version of this mug).
I visited Trader Vic’s in 2009. This was back in the blackberry era for me and I managed to find an old email I sent my wife and brother in law from the bar with some really ordinary photos!!
I had a Zombie, Mai Tai and Samoan Fog Cutter. It was a $25 cab ride from Union Square and I was apparently very enamoured of the bark cloth painting in the men’s room!
Will have to visit again one day.
I lived in NYC from 2004 to 2008 and visited this bar many times. Drinks were tasty and my only regret is I didn’t pick up a mug back then.
From memory, my first tiki bar visit sometime around 2006.
I was visiting Tucson for work so popped in for dinner and drinks on a few occasions- even managed to grab a t-shirt on my per diem!!
Also the orange mugs that you got to keep with the Kamehameha cocktail was the start of what would become a big collection.