TIKI IN MAHIKI
There is officially a Tiki pandemic in London. It seems that a week can’t go by without a new bar opening up with bamboo chairs and mixologists dressed in haiwaain shirts. And the reason for this trend is all down to one tremendously successful bar, Mahiki.
Mahiki is a Polynesian themed bar & nightclub based in the heart of Mayfair and has been wowing crowds since it opened in 2006. It has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, and has grown into a favourite haunt for A-listers and royalty no less. So as the premier venue in London, it’s only right that it gets reviewed by the leading lifestyle blogzine.
With such a distinguished reputation, I’m somewhat apprehensive as I walk up to the entrance which I have seen innumerable times on the front of gossip mags, in the background of a smiling (and possibly inebriated) celeb. I walk down the stairs and my mind is eased; Wicker chairs, wood carvings, and Jim, the host dressed in a sailor outfit, greets us as we sit at the impressively stocked bar! The atmosphere is relaxed and is surprisingly quiet for an early Thursday evening. I’m told that it gets really lively later as people arrive to party, but for now, it’s time for a quiet drink. The decor is typically tropical, and if you have been to a Tiki bar before, you can bet they have probably taken some style tips from Mahiki. The venue is set over 2 floors, with a chill out bar, and a nightclub one level below which opens once the lights come down.
I consult the treasure map cocktail menu and my eyes are immediately drawn to the novelty sharing vessels, which include a Treasure Chest, Clam Shell, and the newly launched Man Eating Shark Head. I have to resist the urge to order one, but I am spoilt for choice with over 160 rums available. The bartender recommends the Jolly Roger- an original rum punch made using Mahiki’s very own rum, stored in a barrel in the stock room (How cool is that?!).
After trying a cocktail or 2… or 3, the crowd starts to pick up and notice a party just across the room ordering a treasure chest- and I look over trying to get a glimpse of the bounty, which includes rum, brandy, peach liqueur, a bottle of Moet et Chandon for good measure. The mood is so relaxed that I’m sure not a word would be said if I came over and quickly took a sip- however my nerve got the better of me and I decided against it. We decide to order from the small bar menu, featuring sharing favourites like mini burgers, Baby back Ribs, and steak sandwiches. The Duck pancakes were superb and the prices were more like my local Weatherspoons than the heart of Mayfair.
With thirst quenched and stomach satisfied, I say my goodbyes to all the friendly bar staff and I know already that this will not be the last time they will see me. It’s easy to see why Mahiki is favoured by so many, and they do the job with such ease they are almost mocking the competition. Everyone loves a good cocktail, and you will be hard pressed to find a better Tiki than Mahiki.
Mahiki, 1 Dover St, Mayfair, W1S 4LD. For more information, visit www.mahiki.com