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Name:Kowloon Restaurant - Saugus, MA
Type:restaurant
Street:948 Broadway
City:Saugus
State:MA
Zip:01906
country:USA
Phone:781-233-0077
Status:operational

Description:
Aloha all,

I am new to the Tiki forum and Tiki lifestyle as well.
You could say that I have recently become "Tiki Aware".
I am lovin' it!! It is a lot of fun.

If you have never been to the Boston, MA area
or you are planning a trip, let me introduce you to New England's
last best hope for Tiki, the Kowloon Restaurant, Saugus, MA.

http://www.kowloonrestaurant.com/

Check out the web link and look at the giant welcoming Tiki statue
that ushers you through the entrance. Once inside you will find that
this place is enormous!! It have been around since the 50s and has
expanded multiple times.

The restaurant has 5 main areas from the entrance:

  • The Main Dining room straight ahead called the TIKI LAGOON {this is my favorite}
  • To the right is the VOLCANO BAY ROOM, looks like you are in a boat and there is a wall mural of an erupting volcano.
  • A nice lounge to the right where there is usually a DJ.
  • A comedy club and large party hall upstairs
  • A Tia restaurant to the left and the Tia food is excellent.
    {all non-smoking, MA law}

The Atmosphere:
The atmosphere is alive!!! Walk into this place on a Saturday night
and it is hopping. The main dining room is the place for Tiki
enthusiasts. Stick to the center of the room or the right side.
the left was an add on that seems to be a different place to me.

The center of the dining room has colored water fountains. This is
my favorite seating. This is the place for couples and families of 4.
Toward the back is what appears to be a hut in volcanic rock.
To the right is a boat complete with wall murals of an erupting volcano.
This is a good spot for large parties and there is a dance floor and a band on the weekends.

There is also a Tiki bar toward the back, which is mostly a service
bar and not for sit down.

The left side as I mentioned is less interesting but, there are some
nice booths that makes you feel like you are in a hut. However, don't
chance it if this is your first visit.

The Food:
The menus are extensive. Note plural - menus. When you are seated you
get 3 menus. The main menu, the Tia menu, and the Sushi menu.

The food is incredible. I don't know of any other Polynesian
restaurant of this size with such good food. They have the best
egg rolls I have ever had and their Beef Teriyaki Nuggets are great.
Several different type of Pu-Pu platters for all tastes.
You can order any item from any menu at any part of the restaurant.

When they are busy however, I have noticed the quality drop off
a bit.

The sushsi isn't the best, but the prices are very good for sushi.

The Service:
I have never had bad service at the Kowloon. My only complaint
would be that sometimes, they are too fast. When the get busy, and they
get very busy. The trick is to pace yourself and start with drink and appetizers and move on to the main dishes.

The Drinks:
I used to think that the Kowloon drink were too sour. However, since I started making my own Tiki drink at home I have learned a few things. First off Tiki drinks tend to be sour, sweet, or balanced. I have made a point to try all the drink that they have to offer and I am pleased to report that they are very good. The Zombie tend to be a bit more sour than I like, however, the suffering bastard is perfectly balanced. If it your first time there try a PI YI. This is a potent pineapple drink served in a covered pineapple tiki mug. The Tiki mug is imprinted with "Kowloon Route 1 Saugus,Mass. Here is the best part, you can buy these. This alone is worth the trip. Inspect them carefully before you leave since these are ceramic and subject to chips.

I would be interested in hearing your experiences at the Kowloon. I hope you enjoy as much as I have.

[ Edited by: tiki_swizzle_stick on 2004-07-29 12:56 ]

[ Edited by: tiki_swizzle_stick on 2004-07-29 13:02 ]

[ Edited by: tiki_swizzle_stick on 2004-07-29 13:03 ]

[ Edited by: tiki_swizzle_stick on 2004-07-29 13:04 ]

[ Edited by: tiki_swizzle_stick on 2004-07-29 13:04 ]

[ Edited by: tiki_swizzle_stick on 2004-08-01 09:44 ]

[ Edited by: tiki_swizzle_stick on 2004-08-01 10:01 ]

Had the chance to visit Kowloon last Thursday, November 18th. I enjoyed a GREAT chinese plate lunch in the bar....beef chow yoke, and pork fried rice, plus an egg roll...and a Mai Tai.

the food was wonderful. The drink was decent...not quite "dedicated tiki bar" good, but good nonetheless. It was a tiny bit too sweet, but a very good flavor overall.

The establishment itself seemed to have succumbed to the evil KENO, and sports pub atmosphere, but I did notice something unusual. While it was rather bright, and there were no less than 5 TV's visible, a regular, blue collar joe came in, presumably after his shift, and ordered a Mai Tai! Sure, it was no Trader Vic's, or Tiki-Ti, but perhaps in the new millinium, this is how the modern everyman Tiki Bar has to survive. Sure, Bud light banners were everywhere, but this regular guy ordered a MAI TAI!!!

It's not exactly a purist's haven, but Kowloon is a pretty great place. Plus, they happily sold me 3 mugs and gave me a handful of cocktail napkins. I took a few cell phone pics I'll try to post soon.

Scott

S

Just noticed this Kowloon thread. I've got just a couple of pictures up on my site-

http://www.sevenpleasures.org/gallery/Kowloon

here's the best-

Driving north up route 1 it's a can't miss! There are other signage treasures in the area as well.

As has already been said, the joint is jumpin'! Lots of people- a real hang out, particularly for some of the 'younger' set.

Food was Great too! Hardest part is deciding whether you want Thai, sushi, or Chinese. They seem to do up holidays like New Years eve in a big way too.

R

Got to visit Kowloon in July 2005 - thanks to all who recommended it. The food was great; they have a huge menu. In addition, hurricane glasses and some weird carved coconut thing were available for sale.

Here are some assorted photos.
This awesome gigantic Ku guards the door:

A peek at the drinks menu. The food menu was divided into regions, and took quite awhile to sift through!

I'll admit - arty weird shots with the fill-in flash intrigue me. This is the largest dining room, which has a big ship theme. Note the ship's wheel, and the actual planking floor for the "deck." There are even lifeboats hanging over a table or two!

One of the smaller dining rooms had this lovely mural.

Longer view of said dining area:

The bar had some neat tiki totems holding up its roof:

Another view of the ship, with a lantern in full effect:

A different dining area:

A gander at the huge neon sign & architecture:

Closer view of the sign - love that neon:

Here's the forementioned lifeboat!

Thanks very much to all who recommended this place. Will be posting my Bali Hai photos from down the road in that thread tonight too, and they are here:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=6295&forum=2&start=last&10

cheers,
Rupe

[ Edited by: rupe33 2005-08-18 19:03 ]

Well, I've never been there. But judging from the photos, I'd that that place looks INSANE! Beautiful, beautiful restaurant, in and out. Did I mention I was impressed?

My wife and I went to the Kowloon last night and had a good time. The food was decent enough, but not the best I ever had. Here are some photos:

The impressive entrance -

The lagoon, which we sat next to -

The chicken ambrosia, which you can't tell from this, but it was covered in blue flames -

And the mugs I bought -

As you can see, the pineapple one has their signature on it.

the brown bamboo one is what I had my fog cutter in. The fog cutter was a bit on the sweet side for me, but it was still strong.

My wife had the planter's punch and she liked it.

Right now they have a special coconut-based drink that comes in a coconut with a monkey carved on it that you can keep. However, I hate coconut, so that wasn't happening.

--SBiM

I have nothing meaningful to contribute, except that I passed by this place as I was lost, driving from Boston to Salem. I was on a highway that I didn't mean to be on, I think the 99 highway. Kowloon is sort of on a peak of a hill, so it was very impressive seeing the giant tiki rise out of the hill.

I looked this place up after coming back home, and I'm really sorry I didn't stop by.

Wow! I had no idea. This place seems kinda overlooked/underappreciated, even on TC--we'll have to do something about that!!! The entranceway is particularly amazing, and I dig that neon too.

Oddly enough, I recently found a Kowloon tiki mug in a thrift here in Vallejo. I'll have to bring some of my own back if I ever get to Massachusetts...nah, make that WHEN. I have tons of forebears in Boston and now there's even less excuse not to visit.

J

I haven't been there myself but may actually go for the first time next weekend. From the little bit I've heard here (and from other local friends) its worth a visit. I'll be sure to post my impressions after the inaugural visit.

Looks like I'll be adding to my mug collection as well!

W

Okonkuluku!

Mr. Ho and the Mayor visit the Kowloon for Mr. Ho's birthday on march fife-th - some fotos!

Kowloon mug!

Mr. HO and the Mayor gettin loopy after rehearsal!

The Mayor explains to Orchestrotica singer Yolanda and a brazilian friend (monica) why the hell he joined WAITIKI. It took about 2:45 coconuts for him to finish!

B

I recently went to Kowloon and had the 'Coconut Monkey Mist' and kept the carved coconut monkey.

http://www.astrostation.com/tikitravels/Bill's%20Tiki%20Travels%20p2_files/CocoMonkeyCup.JPG

I blogged my tiki explorations while on vacation in Massachusetts. Mainly using the Tiki Road Trip book.

http://www.astrostation.com/tikitravels

Just found some older pics of when the wife and I went to the Kowloon in Oct 2004. Definately worth the stop if you are in the area. The food was awesome! Cocktails were so-so. We went there on a friday night and it was PACKED. Reservations are very good idea.




P

Wow. I just found this site this past weekend. I am checking out these Tiki haunts and of course, the 'Loon reigns supreme for local Tiki.
I grew up about 3 miles north up Rte 1 in Peabody and have always lived within a 30 minute drive of this place. Proms, birthdays, anniversary parties, or just looking for a great night out, this was the spot!

For the most part, family-run all these years. The owners are always around and, if you ask nicely, they are willing to look around for some stuff from the past. My brother and I went there for a coupla' mai tais and some teriyaki nuggets after a concert and he talked the owner into hooking him up with a salt and pepper shaker set from the early 70s! Score.

Yeah, between the massive Weyluh's (or rather, now East Manor,) Sake, the Japanese restaurant, as well as the Hilltop, The Prince House and the big orange dinosaur, Rte 1 is great.
There used to be another spot up the road called the Diamond Head that my father went to. But it went out of business in the 80s and I don't remember it in detail. Bummer.

Wow....that place looks awesome and the food looks good too. Thanks for the pix.

B

On 2007-01-22 18:57, Passerby wrote:
Wow. I just found this site this past weekend. I am checking out these Tiki haunts and of course, the 'Loon reigns supreme for local Tiki.
I grew up about 3 miles north up Rte 1 in Peabody and have always lived within a 30 minute drive of this place. Proms, birthdays, anniversary parties, or just looking for a great night out, this was the spot!

For the most part, family-run all these years. The owners are always around and, if you ask nicely, they are willing to look around for some stuff from the past. My brother and I went there for a coupla' mai tais and some teriyaki nuggets after a concert and he talked the owner into hooking him up with a salt and pepper shaker set from the early 70s! Score.

The Kowloon rules, and it's definitely a great place for celebrations. I did my 29th birthday at the 'Loon and then took the family and some friends there for my post-law school graduation dinner. The owners took a shine to us and hooked us up with a Scorpion bowl (at the time, they weren't selling them because they were in short supply) and one of the Maoi salt 'n pepper shaker sets.

Good times, good times...

I just went up to MA last week for vacation. Did some sightseeing, and went to dinner at Kowloon. I sat in the booth in the above picture that is closest to the right. The food was alright. Not the best Chinese/Polynesian I ever had. The atmosphere was good, the service staff was very helpful. You have to like the huge A-frame that juts out of the landscape on 1A, and the Tiki on top is massive. The inside was decorated more toward the Orient than Poly-pop. I would recommend if you are ever in the area, but not to make a trip only for that.

C
Chub posted on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 11:00 PM

A few pics from January 2nd 2011.


I grew up in Reading, MA and the Kowloon was the only Polynesian/Chinese restaurant we'd go to as my mother would only eat one type of "exotic" (to her) food: Kowloon's "boneless fried chicken" (which is just small chunks of chicken in a brown sauce).

My dad would always order one of their flaming Pu-Pu Platters and we just needed to sit next to the volcano so I could watch its animated smoke coming out (a rotating piece of tin foil behind a colored-glass window). (I'd get sulky if that table was occupied.)

I still need to make a Kowloon stop every summer when I go back to the Boston area for vacation.

Funnily enough, I've never had a cocktail there. (Too young when I went with my folks back in the 70's, and I don't drink if I need to drive.)

Kowloon is an institution, so I'm sure it will last for many more years.

X
xtine posted on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 3:36 PM

Is it true there was a fire there today? I hope everything is OK!

[ Edited by: xtine 2011-07-12 15:40 ]

They announced on Facebook that all is well!

Whew!

Are ya trying to give me a heart attack!?!?

I picked up this matchbook from the Kowloon. It is an older one that has the Luau 400 style Tiki mask as the logo.

Here is a newer version with the building and Volcano Bay Room.

This matchbook also advertises the Kowloon Cafe in Boston, which I don't think had any Tiki.

A 1970s postcard with four views of the Kowloon.

And finally, a cool mug I spotted on ebay from the Kowloon - I had not seen before.

DC

I'm deeply fond of this place. Though we never went there on family trips to Boston down from Maine, since my mom was serious about Chinese restaurants and loved china town so much. I never went until just a couple of years ago when my dad and I went after I fetched him from the train. He died last year, and last Saturday I stopped in with my wife and girls and we sat across from the booth Dad and I shared. When I'd been there with my pops an old lady said to me, "I'm glad to see you here with your father, because we don't get to keep them forever." Remembering that as I drank a strong and tart Zombie I was moved to compose a poem in memory of the old man.

Very sorry to hear of losing your Dad, thanks for sharing a great story. My parents & I used to frequent the Nan King restaurant in Hudson NH. The silent, empty seat where a loved relative once sat can speak very loud in many ways...some good, some tough. Enjoy your fond memories and poem.

[ Edited by: MooShi Tiki 2012-06-28 06:58 ]

Didn't see this posted here or on Ooga...

T

Found this mug while thrifting today. Wasn't on Ooga-Mooga:

If anybody in the Boston area wants to meet up and go to Kowloon next Thurs (9/25), please PM me. I live in Southern California, but am in Boston for the week, don't know when I'll be back and would love to meet up with any local TCer tikiphiles.

Cheers! :drink:
Ryan

Bummed I missed that post Ryan! I just went to Kowloon for the first time tonight and after being seated in the Thai Room (non-descript room) I asked to be moved to the Volcano Room and had a Fog Cutter and a tart Mai-Tai with some sesame tofu and fried rice. Going to try and make it out a bit more, but the hospitality was great!

One thing that bummed me out is that a few other friends went that night, and though we all ordered different drinks they all came in the same mugs, while in the menu they are all in different mugs.

[ Edited by: RyanTheTerrible 2014-10-06 06:18 ]

Spotted this nice old menu from Kowloon.

Somewhat tribal in the graphics.

DC

Aloha all, my family and I will be heading up to Kowloon in Mid October. Any recommendations on where to sit? I've heard there are specific places tikiphiles will appreciate more than others. In any case, looking forward to checking this place out and picking up a few new mugs for the collection!

Mahalo!

I like to sit by the fountain best. I like that area itself, and I feel like you get a better view of the whole room, down past the ship and to the mural of the volcano on the far wall. If you're seated past the ship right by the volcano mural, that's good too, but I feel like the view back over toward the fountain isn't as good. And sometimes there are parties or big groups in the ship area, which can get distracting. But as long as your're not stuck off in one of the other areas (to the left of the fountain as you walk in, on the Rt 1 side), you should be good.

It's been way too long since I was back out there and got to visit. Enjoy!

On 2017-08-30 11:25, bamalamalu wrote:
I like to sit by the fountain best. I like that area itself, and I feel like you get a better view of the whole room, down past the ship and to the mural of the volcano on the far wall. If you're seated past the ship right by the volcano mural, that's good too, but I feel like the view back over toward the fountain isn't as good. And sometimes there are parties or big groups in the ship area, which can get distracting. But as long as your're not stuck off in one of the other areas (to the left of the fountain as you walk in, on the Rt 1 side), you should be good.

It's been way too long since I was back out there and got to visit. Enjoy!

Great! Mahalo for the info! Been looking forward to going since I found out about this place! I'll post pics of our visit.

A

We finally visited the Kowloon over the summer in August, and naturally I took a bunch of pics, so here they are! Right now I can't think of a bigger tiki I've ever seen anywhere else. Is that the biggest still standing?

Also some souvenirs - some new from our visit and the giftshop, and others a bit older.

-Randy

Great shots, Thanks!

The whole building is huge! Are those I-phone photos? The quality is great!

A

Thanks guys! Nah, I brought a regular dedicated camera for our visit (plus I don't own an iphone).

Just curious - Sven, got anything to say about a bigger tiki anywhere? Maybe I'm just not remembering, but I can't think of any that are still in-place at any granddaddy polynesian palaces, that are as big as the Kowloon A-frame entrance guy.

-Randy

In the US, only this guy at The Tikis - and he's not standing anymore:

This fine OA Tiki at the Hotel Tahaara in Tahiti measures up:

...and looking at this fairly recent photo by Jochen, it is still standing:

F

Sharing a short article noting that Kowloon will have a “pop up” tiki bar on site this summer. At least there may be cornholing. ; )
Kowloon tiki bar

A popular Asian restaurant along Route 1 is about to channel some tropical paradise vibes.

In mid-May, Kowloon will introduce a temporary tiki-themed bar and dining area behind the restaurant, said Kowloon co-owner Bob Wong.

The outdoor summer pop-up will have a 10-seat tiki bar, a bamboo structure with a thatched hut that California-based company Bamboo Creations is making. Additional tiki huts and tables with umbrellas will be spread around the area with enough seating for a little more than 100 guests.

As for the food, a limited menu from the restaurant will be available, and Wong said that the restaurant plans to have Kowloon’s food truck parked adjacent to the tiki area.

“Everything is going to be really casual,” he said.

Tiki drinks will also be on the menu, including both cocktails from Kowloon’s regular bar and special libations (“We might use dry ice!” Wong said.) created for the summer space.

Last year, the restaurant launched an outdoor dining concept that featured a large tent.

“The only problem with the tent is that a lot of people thought it was a function facility,” Wong said. “One of the comments was that, when people walked into the tent last year, they said it didn’t feel like Kowloon. That gave us the idea that this year we’d go with the tiki decor idea.”

Along with illuminated, faux palm trees and other tiki fixtures, Wong said that there will be live Polynesian music and steel drum bands, and perhaps the return of last year’s cornhole set.

“The main thing is to have people come enjoy being outside in the summertime,” he said. “We’re hoping to be a lot of fun for the community.”

While last year’s outdoor festivities ended at 11 p.m. each night, the city of Saugus has approved a close time of 1 a.m. this year, with entertainment ending around 12:30 a.m. The tiki-themed addition will operate daily, with an official opening date and set hours to be announced soon.

H
Hamo posted on Sat, May 7, 2022 10:59 PM

There's some great recent drone footage and interior shots of Kowloon in this episode of Spike's Breezeway Cocktail Hour:

The greatest tiki palace in the North East [Kowloon]
https://youtu.be/sdhoYlnpy7Q

My photos of that wonderful Spike MeetUp. https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzN8hm

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