‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be the maxim in operation at Mahalo Tiki Lounge, the Wan Chai follow-up to Wellington Street’s Honi Honi. Where the Central original thrives on a more jovial and kitsch interpretation of Polynesian décor, the Wan Chai top-floor lounge and terrace is more retro-cool, with muted colours, vintage photographs and jazz music complimenting the dim lighting. Yet, despite the superficial differences, many elements remain the same – from the abundance of exotic plants inhabiting the outdoor spaces to the bar area and what is prepared behind it.
We begin with the Chinese Delight ($130) and wonder what the fusion will bring. It’s fun and fresh, with a blend of different tropical fruits (passion fruit, pineapple and grapefruit) to top the vodka. But it doesn’t quite taste as subtle and sophisticated as we would have liked – there’s an overload of pineapple, which drowns out the hibiscus syrup and Chinese spices leaving them barely discernible. All the right ingredients are there, it’s just a matter of finding that perfect balance.
Next comes the heady Mahalo Collins ($120), a gin-based classic with an elderflower and lime leaf twist. We like the intensity and the cocktail showcases the main ingredient well with an exotic touch that goes nicely with the snack offerings, such as the smoky, juicy shrimp and tender chicken skewers ($80 each).
All in all, the drinks are solid here at Mahalo. Even if the bar isn’t challenging itself in creating a new concept, if you’re a fan of Honi Honi, you’ll love its laid-back eastern outpost. Lily Nona
Mahalo Tiki Lounge 29/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Rd E, Wan Chai, 2488 8750; mahalotikibar.com.
|Venue name:||Mahalo Tiki Lounge|