Tired of the same old crowded bar? Want to add a splash of excitement to your night? Then Wahtiki Island Lounge is where you ought to be. We know what you’re thinking, you’ve been to your fair share of tiki bars so what’s different about this one? On the surface, Wahtiki appears to be just like any other Polynesian-themed bars—wicker seatings, bamboo fixtures, and more totems than you can shake a stick at—but behind its warm and inviting atmosphere, this place has so much more to offer. Here are five things you need to know about Wahtiki Island Lounge, and why this is the only place you need for some all-around tiki-tastic entertainment.
1. Beautiful escape
Perched on the third floor of Seabird House on Wyndham street, Wahtiki provides a beautiful escape for city dwellers to retreat to, in midst of the hustle and bustle of it all. Upon entrance, guests are instantly transported to a tropical world that has all the excitement of a vibrant tiki bar, but without any of the in-your-face decoration. From elegant bamboo lighting fixtures to its adorable tiki mugs, Wahtiki takes on a more sophisticated approach to Polynesian bars in Hong Kong, making it the perfect sanctuary for those in need of a quick getaway.
2. Tiki history
Apart from its humble, yet alluring, décor that, quite frankly, speaks for itself the amount of time and effort devoted to the designing process of the venue, the fascinating story behind Wahtiki is also well worth acknowledging. But before we go on, let us turn the pages of our tiki history books together.
First opened in 1936, Trader Vic’s is the original creator of the popular cocktail, Mai Tai (Don the Beachcomber claims a different recipe with the same name). After World War II, when soldiers returned from the South Pacific and Hawaii, the business boomed as tiki culture quickly gained popularity, which enabled Trader Vic’s restaurants to open all across the States, and eventually, around the world.
Philip Lee and his father, Mr Shi Wah Lee celebrating Wahtiki’s first anniversary.
Inspired by the history of tiki culture and his father—Mr Shi Wah Lee, a tiki master who worked for Trader Vic’s London location from the 1970s and ran the bar there for nearly 20 years, Philip Lee opened Wahtiki in homage to his father’s remarkable 45 years within the industry, the respectable career he has built for himself, and the many achievements he has accomplished along the way. If you look closely at Wahtiki’s distinctive sea turtle logo, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that it’s actually designed with a pattern on its shell that mimics the Chinese character, “wah”, in his father’s name.
3. Delicious Cocktails
With such a great legend behind Wahtiki, you can expect nothing less from its drinks menu. All staff here has been personally trained by senior Lee himself, whose own training, was overseen by Trader Vics himself! Not only did Wah Lee teach the staff how to make Mai Tai following Trader Vic’s original recipe, but he also taught them how to serve drinks in a matter of seconds rather than minutes—that means less waiting, and more sipping!
Having been there a few times herself, our Senior Editor here at Localiiz highly recommend trying other cocktails such as the Blue Hawaiian, Why Yes, Tahitian Delight, and Rum Boogie that can surely get you into the tiki-spirit of things. But the real star of the show is, of course, the Original Mai Tai—hands down the #BestMaiTaiInTown!
As for those looking to really turn up the party, go ahead and try the Scorpion or Rum Giggle, both made for up to four people to enjoy. Or better yet, put in an order for the show-stopping Champagne Canoe. Filled with Magnum champagne (half-bottle to two), rums, liqueur, and tropical fruits, perfect for sharing with a big group of friends.
If you’re heading to Wahtiki this summer, the bar is also known for its refreshing range Summer Fruit Tiki Cocktails. Served in a watermelon or pineapple “cup”, the WAHtermelon Boogie and Pino Pepe are packed with a powerful, but nonetheless delicious punch. There will also be a Tango Mango and Lychee drink coming out soon so stay tuned!
Still not satisfied? Well, we’ve got it on good authority that Wahtiki is about to launch a new drinks menu later this year, with new tiki cocktails and a total menu revamp! So now you really have no reason not to visit.
Pu Pu Platter
4. Fusion food
The food at Wahtiki also shouldn’t go unnoticed either. Serving up a range of delicious fusion foods such as the Pu Pu Platter, comprised of a range of finger foods that you can lightly singe over a mini-grill in the middle, Grilled Honey Soy Sirloin, a honey soy-marinated beef sirloin topped with a match-made-in-heaven sweet mango salsa, and Wahtiki Spring Chicken, a crispy-skinned whole chicken served with sweet potato fries and a selection of veggies. The bar also does set lunches from Monday to Friday (11.45pm to 3pm), and since Wahtiki is conveniently located in the middle of Central, you can always visit during lunch hour and get a taste of the South Seas yourself!
5. Tiki party madness
Of course, it wouldn’t be a true tiki bar without some exotic, boozy fun! Offering 2-for-1 Original Mai Tai cocktails from 5.30pm til late every Monday, Wahtiki’s “Mai Tai Mondays” will make a perfect start to your week. But if you just need somewhere to unwind after a long day at work, Wahtiki’s daily “2-for-1 cocktails” happy hour deal (5pm to 8pm) will give you all the excuses you need for some cheeky post-work tipple. As for the revellers who are down for some reckless abandonment on the weekend, there will be live music sessions every Friday and Saturday night, where talented singers will take to the stage from 8pm til late.
Wahtiki also offers special birthday packages for Gemini and Cancer babies that includes food, drinks, decorations, a complimentary birthday champagne canoe (woohoo!) and much more. And if you’re just looking for an excuse to party, Wahtiki can always get the job done with their specially tailored packages too, so whatever the occasion, they’ve got you fully covered!
On the other hand, if you’re in need of a more formal setting for any corporate events, these guys can also help you plan the perfect function providing partial or full-venue booking, food and drinks, and even provide mic and projector equipment to ensure your event will go smoothly.
“We hosted our year-end drinks for clients there and they all loved it—a fun vibe, yummy food, and great cocktails! The manager and staff were especially helpful and accommodating. We would love to go back again!”
Executive Director, Standard Chartered Hong Kong
“We held our company event at Wahtiki Island Lounge last year—awesome venue and cocktails, excellent themed bar, and extremely friendly staff, especially the manager.”
Managing Director, Robert Walters Hong Kong
If you would like to know more about other exciting offerings at Wahtiki Island Lounge, be sure to keep an eye on its official Facebook page. Or call (+852) 2793 0308 to make a reservation.
Wahtiki Island Lounge, 3/F, Seabird House, 22–28 Wyndham Street, Central