So the excitement of the wedding was over, the fun of the minimoon was at an end and me and Mr S returned to London, cold weather and pouring rain.
But fortunately we had our honeymoon to look forward to! And the part we were most excited about was our week in French Polynesia, which promised to be a once a life time experience. When we were invited down to sample some cocktails at Trader Vic’s it was the perfect way to get over the bad weather blues and get us in the mood for some Tahitian cheer!
I decided to get Tiki-chic with a tribal print skirt from TopShop.
Imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery but Trader Vic’s was the first of the surge of Tiki bars in London. The bar has had its home at the Hilton for over fifty years and it had recently been remodelled and updated. The original Trader Vic’s in California is now eighty years old, so this is a bar with a whole lot of history!
The bar is casual and as laid back as any beach comber. The interior is adorned with Polynesian artefacts and carvings many of which are authentic pieces. I wasn’t a big fan of the carpet which was quite shabby and rather garish…but we’re supposed to be on an island here, not cosmopolitan London.
We sat down ready for a taste of island life and our first cocktail.
To start I chose a Trader Vic’s passion.
Containing gin, passion fruit and lime it was a lovely refreshing drink and not too sweet and sickly.
Mr S chose a Mai Tai to start. The Mai Tai is Trader Vic’s signature cocktail and with good reason, they invented it! In 1944, at the original Trader Vic’s bar owner, Vic Bergeron poured some rum, added a squeeze of lime, some rock candy syrup, a splash of orange curacao and some French orgeat. The concoction was served over cracked ice. Vic gave the cocktail to a friend who exclaimed ‘It’s Mai Tai Roa Ae’ (Tahitian for “Out of this world – the best”) and the Mai Tai was born! Personally, I found the drink a little strong but Mr Silver thought it was mai-ghty good! But he’s a big rum lover.
We nibbled on a moreish spicy popcorn whilst we enjoyed our cocktails.
Being newly-weds decided to share our next drink.
I’d enjoyed my passion fruit cocktail so this time we chose a passion punch with a pretty floral garnish. Trader Vic’s have a big selection of sharing cocktails, though this particular libation was a drink for one it was definitely generous enough to share.
My final drink followed my passionate theme, the Siboney contained dark rum, passion fruit, pineapple and lemon. The cocktail originates from the Caribbean and, like my other drinks that night was like sunshine in a glass. The perfect way to combat the hideous rain that beat down outside.
And obviously Mr S and I needed some bar bites to accompany our night of passion. Like the original Trader Vic’s, the London branch serves a fusion menu of dishes from the Mediterranean, Middle East, Asia and Japan. The food is all cooked in a Chinese wood fired oven using ancient cookery methods originating from the Han Dynasty.
As married couples should, we decided to share everything.
We started with a selection of skewers.
Chicken served with sate sauce,
Peri peri prawns,
And Beef Cho Cho served with a ginger sake sauce. All were lovely little nibbles and perfect for sharing. The Chinese fire oven gives the snacks a delicious smoky flavour that we both really enjoyed.
Obviously Mr S also had to have the spare ribs!
We shared a main course of stir fried beef tenderloin and prawns
And a mixed leaf salad with pomegranate and cracked wheat. While the food at Trader’s Vic’s is decent it’s not Mai Tai Roa Ae, you’re really coming to the bar for the cocktails and chilled out ambiance.
We had eaten in the bar but there is a larger restaurant area…
And a private dining room…
Trader Vic’s is a good fun bar in an excellent location. If you’re in the mood for something a little different accompanied by killer cocktails, then come and say Aloha to Trader Vic’s!
22 Park Lane
020 7208 4113
Disclosure: Our tiki-tastic night was complimentary for purposes of the review.