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T


A lovely bowl of something intoxicating at the New Otani Hotel Trader Vic's.


Vic's lobby. The shot is a little shaky as I had to keep the shutter open longer to preserve the mood lighting and avoid using a flash.


The dining room was closed but they let me go in to take photos.


Another shot of the dining room.


I don't remember where this was! And I only had one drink!


My brother Alex molesting a blowfish.


My husband enjoying a cocktail.


The ceiling is covered with intriguing flotsam and jetsam.


Belly up to the bar! Look at that transparent person floating through the frame... could it be the ghost of Vic Bergeron himself?

[ Edited by: tikifish on 2002-10-02 08:52 ]

T

That's great! We didn't have time to visit this one when we were in Tokyo - but I will post some pix of my visit to Trader Vics Thailand soon......

C

I stopped in to Trader Vic's Tokyo in June & thought I'd post a few additional pictures. Great place with a very friendly & accomodating staff.

My lunch....

& yes - see the new use for those meneheune drink picks!

The very small bar area (about 1/4 the size of the bar in Chicago...)

Some meneheunes all dressed up for Japan, Hawaii & Christmas....

& finally part of the entrance -

A

Thanks for posting those. I've been there too, so it's a pleasure to see someone else's pics. We had the drink in the pineapple too - I don't remember the name. The place is nice at night too, with that cozy TVics lighting and the view down onto the Otani gardens.

-Randy

T

I'm in Tokyo for the week on business. I had some free time so I hopped in the cab and headed towards the New Otani Hotel and Trader Vic's. The food was fantastic, I had an excellent seared tuna. After dinner I sat in the bar for a while working on some cocktails. The highlight of the evening was definately the bartender (who told me to call him "Bob") making the Coffee Grog. He actually dimmed the lights the bar when he lit the alcohol on fire before pouring it into the mug.

He's worked at the Trader Vic's Tokyo for five years, and was very willing to let me try the various types of rum on the shelf for free, including the several rums that are made in Japan. Bob claims that the Tokyo TV has the best MaiTai's in the world because they use the french Martinique rum instead of the regular Trader Vic's brand.

The place was pretty empty when I got there (about 6pm), I think there was only one other table with people at it. But by the time I left the place had filled up nicely.

The evening was a little on the expensive side, but it's in Japan so that's not a suprise, and the company is paying for it anyway! Woohoo!

P
PremEx posted on Wed, Nov 8, 2006 6:11 PM

Tokyo is one of my favorite Trader Vic's in the world and I usually manage to swing by it at least once a year. Great food and great drink. But I've also found some of the best Trader's merchandise at this one, that I don't see anywhere else. Some real nice stuff.

Cant' wait to go back!

:)

I first discovered Trader Vic's in Tokyo two years ago. I was craving American-style Chinese food (Pork Chow Mein to be exact), and found the Trader Vic's Japanese website. (We'll get to the cocktails later.)

So, I went to the New Otani Hotel, made it to the Trader Vic's, and got an order of chow mein and an order of their special fried rice to go.

It was REALLY good, but also REALLY expensive... (And my employer of 12 years had just collapsed, so I was out of work at the time).

Flash forward to Christmas Day 2010 - my friend and I were in Thailand and decided to have our Christmas dinner at Benihana (located inside Bangkok's Marriot resort).

Benihana was filled up, and we were told there'd be an hour wait, so we decided to spend that hour at the Trader Vic's, which was just across the hall. I was determined to finally have one of their famous cocktails. (Living in Japan for more than 20 years had made me a beer (or "chuhai") drinker. I had never had rum, gin, or any other typical spirits.)

After a cocktail and some Cosmo Tidbits (and getting very relaxed looking out the window at the Chao Phraya river) we decided to forget about Benihana and eat a proper meal at TV's.

It was a GREAT evening and made me want to go back to the Tokyo location once I got back home.

Went there in mid-January and really took in the atmosphere. Had a Mai Tai and learned more about their Sunday/holiday brunch (all-you-can-eat buffet and all-you-can-drink sparking wine).

So, my friend Hiromi and I went there on "National Foundation Day" (Feb. 11), while there was a rare snowstorm hitting Tokyo.

What a perfect afternoon! The food was fantastic, and the warm restaurant (with the slight scent of wood smoke from the Chinese oven), made the nasty weather outside seem so beautiful.

Neither of us like wine, so we also bought a couple of cocktails to go with our lunch. (Trader Vic's Sling & Samoan Fog Cutter for me, and she had a Mai Tai and a Navy Grog.)

After lunch I needed to tell the manager how wonderful our waiter had been, so he came over and I did.

I then learned that the manager was an ex-pat American who's been running the Tokyo location for many years. Larry (never got his last name) is a real gentleman and he spent some time telling me all about the Tokyo location and how he always tries to keep the menu authentic, with many classic Trader Vic's dishes that other locations no longer prepare. He said the Tokyo restaurant has been at the New Otani for more than 36 years and that its rather fancy interior wouldn't be allowed if built today due to more modern fire codes.

Larry also makes sure to decorate the restaurant for each public holiday (both Japanese and American) and other seasonal events. The music played in the bar area is classic island music, which is loud enough for you to enjoy, but not to the point where you cannot have a conversation.

The restaurant doesn't have a shop to buy merchandise at, although you can still get the small doll with your Menehune Juice. The Tahitian Pearl (which is unlike the one shown on the Trader Vic's website) includes an orchid with a real (cultured) pearl inside! :)

I've grown to really like the Tokyo branch of Trader Vic's and imagine it's one of the more authentic ones operating today. It's a bit pricey, but it is in an exclusive hotel, so what can you do? (To save myself 10%, I joined the "New Otani Ladies" club. It's free to join, and 10% is a nice little discount. (But sorry guys, it's for gals only.)

Here is the English version of the Tokyo branch's website: http://www.newotani.co.jp/en/tokyo/restaurant/vics/index.html

The pics (if they show up) are as follows:


The view from my table at the brunch


the Chinese oven (taken with a 4-second exposure as it's really dark in there)


the bar


a puffer fish hanging from the ceiling


the Tokyo version of the Tahitian Pearl.

[ Edited by: Michelle66 2011-03-06 04:43 ]

On 2011-03-06 04:39, Michelle66 wrote:

although you can still get the small doll with your Menehune Juice. The Tahitian Pearl (which is unlike the one shown on the Trader Vic's website) includes an orchid with a real (cultured) pearl inside! :)

[ Edited by: Michelle66 2011-03-06 04:43 ]

You don't get that at Trader Vic's Bangkok, you might get the nice views of the river but I expect to come back from TV's with a pocket full of Menehunes and a parrot or two.

C
croe67 posted on Sun, Mar 6, 2011 8:12 AM

Thanks for the tips!

Headed back to Trader Vic's Tokyo for a week this Fall & can't wait!!
& this time we'll be staying at the New Otani, too, so no need to stay sober enough to get back to another hotel on the Tokyo subway :wink: We'll just be stumbling up to the room.

After nine days of earthquakes (and there have been TONS of them after the big one on 3/11), and fears of a nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, I decided not to cancel my brunch reservations for yesterday (made well before the quake).

Very glad I went!

It was the first time in over a week that I was able to relax and enjoy myself. The staff was wonderful (as usual), and it must have been hard for them to be so professional in light of the recent turmoil in the country.

Enjoyed the wonderful food, and got a Dr. Funk's Son to get things rolling. (We were also lucky enough to get one of the two tables next to the window with a view of the Japanese garden outside.)

The exodus of foreigners from Tokyo (as well as a decrease in the number or Japanese tourists to the city) has turned the New Otani Hotel into a ghost towm. There were a number of folks at the brunch, but I saw that TV's has been forced to cut back its hours due to the current situation. (ALL restaurants in Tokyo are feeling the pinch.) If you're in Tokyo for any reason, I suggest supporting the TV's by stopping in for dinner, brunch, or a cocktail or two.

Dr. Funk's Son

TV's Own Punch

The view from the window.

Thanks for the thirsty making pictures and glad to hear that you're okay Michelle. :)

V

Did they move the Trader Vic's, or made an extension somewhere ?
Because last time I went (2007), it was on the 4th floor or something, and the view was of the city Shinjuku neighborhood, not a garden at all.

On 2011-03-21 02:13, virani wrote:
Did they move the Trader Vic's, or made an extension somewhere ?
Because last time I went (2007), it was on the 4th floor or something, and the view was of the city Shinjuku neighborhood, not a garden at all.

No, it's in the same location (been there for 36 years too!). It's on the 4th floor and looks identical to the pics at the top of this thread.

The restaurant has a couple of sections. The boathouse bar has windows that look out to one of the other buildings. The dining room has two big windows on one end that look out into the garden. (In the first post (from 2002), you can see the two windows in the 4th photo. We were sitting next to the window on the right.)

The garden's ground is actually quite high. There is a huge stone wall that looks to be about 1.5 to 2 stories tall. You can see the very top of this wall in the picture I took of the TV's Punch. If you look out the window and straight down, there is a 4-story drop.

The New Otani Hotel is a complex of a few buildings. The TV's is in the Garden Tower. The main hotel building looks to be located at the top of a hill, so you need to go to the 5th floor of the Garden Tower to be on the lobby level of the Main Building.

http://www.newotani.co.jp/en/tokyo/restaurant/vics/

The above link is the English website for Tokyo's TV's. Click on the "location" button to see a cross section of the whole complex and the restaurant's location.

V

wow, very cool. I didn't see that garden when I visited !
Thanks.

Sorry about constantly hijacking this thread with pictures of the TV's in Tokyo, but I can't stay way from the place. (I was lucky enough to have a rare non-holiday weekday off today, so I stopped by to help support the restaurant during these lean times. (I really hope the New Otani gets its usual supply of foreign businessmen back soon as I'm just a poor nursery school teacher who can hardly afford to keep going there at the rate I've been! :wink:)

The atmosphere of the restaurant is a lot nicer in the evening when all of the lights are on, but during the day, you can get a better view of the beautiful grounds around the hotel.

Anyway, here are the pics:

To the right of the elevator doors is this gazelle statue made by Vic Bergeron and presented to Mr. Otani (by the Bergeron family) in 1986.

The plaque under the statue.

Opposite the elevator doors is this model of a sailing ship.

Turning left out of the elevator is the Trader Vic's sign and main entrance.

A closeup of the giant tiki (the sign you can see at the bottom of the picture explains the current shortened hours).

Another tiki in the main hallway.

The same tiki, but the shot was taken with a 4-second exposure.

Next to the reservations desk (4-second exposure).

Between the restrooms (4-second exposure).

I sat in the boathouse bar area, as the main dining room was closed (I arrived LATE for lunch today). I was allowed to take pictures anywhere I wanted, so the following shots were taken in the dining room (with all of the lights off).

One of the private rooms.

Looking out the big windows into the garden. (I guess I exaggerated the height of the wall the other day. It's not as high as I had thought.)

Back to my table in the bar area.

My Scorpion finally arrives! (Yum!)

Sipping a Scorpion on an overcast day in mid-Tokyo! :) (Would be a lot nicer if there wasn't a radiation-spewing nuclear plant 150 miles away... :()

My lunch arrives so it's time to stop taking pictures and start eating! (It's the "Barbecue Sparerib Sandwich". Typically delicious TV's spareribs, but with their bones cut off for easy eating!)

P

Excellent dim feeling. :)

On 2011-03-22 07:07, Michelle66 wrote:
Sorry about constantly hijacking this thread with pictures of the TV's in Tokyo, but I can't stay way from the place. ...

Huh? You must be kidding! You're not hijacking anything!

Your great photos and commentary is much appreciated. The more the better. And those long exposure shots... Amazing! Thank you so much!

On 2011-03-22 23:30, Hakalugi wrote:

On 2011-03-22 07:07, Michelle66 wrote:
Sorry about constantly hijacking this thread with pictures of the TV's in Tokyo, but I can't stay way from the place. ...

Huh? You must be kidding! You're not hijacking anything!

Your great photos and commentary is much appreciated. The more the better. And those long exposure shots... Amazing! Thank you so much!

Glad you like the long exposure shots. I'll ask the manager if I could bring my tripod to really get some nice ones. (It's hard to get good angles when you need to rely on whatever's around to get something to put the camera on.)

The restaurant really is nice. It's just a shame the current situation in Japan has scared away all of the people who can generally afford to go there.

I'd like to echo that the manager there is a really stand up guy. We talked for a good long time about how things had changed over the years, how committed he was to preserving the classic feeling of Trader Vic's, how the downturn in the economy had affected business and how they had worked hard to avoid having to let anyone go by trimming hours rather than jobs.

If you go to Tokyo it's certainly worth a visit and a very different experience than going to Tiki Tiki (which has its own wacky charms).

Now that the Fukuoka and Osaka locations are closed, this is the only one.

Note the seasonal Halloween theme in this pic.

  • fm

Went to TV's for my weekly cocktail. (Got a "Shark's Tooth" for the first time this evening. Hoo-boy, was it strong!)

And while the restaurant is not at its pre-earthquake/nuclear crisis levels yet, more people were there than three weeks ago. Hopefully, the number of guests there will increase and allow the restaurant to put the operating hours back to normal.

Below are some pictures from tonight. A couple were taken with a 4-second exposure so more details can be seen.

The view from my usual table.

Tonight's drink.

Looking towards the bar from my table.

Almost the same vantage point as the previous picture, but with a 4-second exposure.

The intimate back corner of the bar area (taken with a 4-second exposure).

The interior of TV's in Tokyo looks so great with the longer exposures, I'd really like to bring my tripod with me some time. Putting the camera on tables limits the angles you can get.

M

Looks great!

I'm the most thirstiesterest of all!

TRADER VIC'S stuff for sale on EBAY 1957SPUTNIK
http://shop.ebay.com/1957sputnik/m.html

Spent a wonderful Easter Sunday today at the Tokyo TV's.

What a fantastic time it was!

The food was great (as usual), the cocktails smooth (& strong!), and the weather was absolutely gorgeous! (I made reservations more than two months before, so I was able to get one of the two window tables.)

Below is a photo tour of Easter Sunday at Trader Vic's Tokyo.

The above poster is on display in the lobby, and it features two seasonal cocktails unique to Tokyo's TV's - The "Sakura Mai Tai" and "Spring Fragrance". Both are sold during March & April. (I found out today (with less than a week left in April...) that I should have tried the Sakura Mai Tai much earlier, as it's very yummy!)

Larry (the manager) likes to decorate the restaurant for each season / holiday. For Easter, he had bunnies everywhere, as well as a lot of colorful Easter eggs on the buffet table. Below are some sushi-loving rabbits on display in the main entrance.

A warm and sunny spring day is just the medicine for these trying times in Japan. (The view from my table this afternoon. So beautiful and peaceful! :))

And what could make a simply stunning day even better? How about a Sakura Mai Tai!

The Sakura Mai Tai has rum, sakura liqueur, and even ground-up "shiso" leaves (aka "perilla" in the west).

It was VERY tasty! (I love shiso, but I was still amazed as how well it went in the drink.)

It's also has a very pretty pink color. Just perfect for a sunny spring day!

My friend wanted an alcohol-free drink, so she went for one called a "Sunshine". She LOVED it and said she could drink one every day.

For my second drink, I decided to try a "Kamaaina". (While it was good, I definitely prefered the Sakura Mai Tai.)

Sunday brunch at Tokyo's TV's also has a loaded dessert table (with cakes, tortes, fresh fruits, ice cream, and a whole lot more). Today we also got Easter cookies, and these two were the last things I could possibly eat this afternoon.

This picture doesn't look framed very well, but it what I was trying for. The idea was to show the intricate ceiling detail and some of the things on one wall. This is the interior view from my table today.

The final picture today is to show how plush the restrooms are. Real towels and creamy hand soap are a nice touch. Much better than what you get in the USA.

All-in-all, another superlative day out. I can't wait until next month when the featured food will be Mexican (for Cinco de Mayo)!

[ Edited by: Michelle66 2011-04-24 04:38 ]

For the rest of May, TV's in Tokyo is running a Cinco de Mayo theme.

They've got Mexican dishes added to their wonderful Sunday brunch (on May 15, 22, 29), and a bunch of potent tequila-based cocktails at the bar. (Tried a "Señor Pico Parrot" the other night. It's basically a Mexican "Potted Parrot" and you even get the toy parrot with your drink.)

They've also added some Mexican appetizers to the menu for May.

The way Tokyo TV's does holiday-based themes is a lot of fun, as these special items are in addition to all the classic dishes and cocktails - they don't replace them.

(BTW, I hope you folks at Tiki Central find my updates helpful. I'm just smitten with TV's in Tokyo and would like keep others in-the-know about what's going on there.)

I love your Easter pictures Michelle. The gardens are gorgeous. I know what shiso is but I've never heard of perilla before (it sounds kind of dowdy and spinsterish). What does sakura liqueur taste like? Is it cherry? I enjoy your TV Tokyo updates, keep em coming.

On 2011-05-07 21:07, Sweet Daddy Tiki wrote:
I love your Easter pictures Michelle. The gardens are gorgeous. I know what shiso is but I've never heard of perilla before (it sounds kind of dowdy and spinsterish). What does sakura liqueur taste like? Is it cherry? I enjoy your TV Tokyo updates, keep em coming.

"Perilla" is just the English name for shiso (if you google "shiso", you can get the wikipedia page on perilla).

Sakura liqueur has a sweet cherry-like taste to it. (Though not the same as Heering at all.)

Actually, I got the recipe for the Sakura Mai Tai from one of the bartenders, and tried to make one last week.

A total disaster... :(

The biggest problem was my rum choice. I had used Havana Club 3 year, but its flavor seemed to overpower the sakura liqueur. (I think they use Bacardi in this one at TV's.)

The shiso leaves obviously weren't cut up fine enough either, and they just adhered to my shaker, glass, straw, and every other smooth surface.

Since I did shell out about $18 for the bottle of sakura liqueur (Dover Sakura Liqueur), I'm sure I'll try again. But, I'll see if I can get the bartender to make me one next week, so I can watch him and see what I did wrong.

[ Edited by: Michelle66 2011-05-08 08:07 ]

Sorry to see that the Trader Vic's in Scottsdale, AZ bit the dust.

But, at least things are jumping at the TV's in Tokyo!

The place was like a ghost town in the days/weeks/months following the earthquake and resulting nuclear mess in Fukushima. But, when I went in this past Friday night (for my weekly cocktail), the bar area was pretty much to capacity.

The Sunday/holiday brunches have also been getting busier since March.

As mentioned earlier in this thread, the brunches feature standard Trader Vic's favorites, as well as special dishes that are part of a seasonal theme.

Mexican dishes were included for May's Cinco de Mayo brunch, and for June, July, and August, the theme is "American Picnic" - with mini hamburgers and hotdogs available (complete with mini hamburger and hotdog buns!).

Here are some pics from the "American Picnic" brunch:


This is the main buffet table - with traditional TV favorites. Ribs and chicken wings, Thai vegetable curry, and other popular dishes are here.


Here's the table where the special dishes for the monthly theme are offered. Mini hamburgers, mini hotdogs, chili, fries, and onion rings are available through August. The special for September will be three different curries (I can't wait! Yum!)


The other end of the table in the first picture. The Thai vegetable curry is SO good!


This special table features meat cooked in the Chinese oven - roast beef, pork, and chicken. This is the only table that is not self-service. A chef will slice the meat and serve you. (BTW, it's cooked to perfection (especially the pork), and VERY delicious!)


Going back to the table, my Tiki bowl is waiting.


I dared my friend to try the Tiki Puka Puka... (Yes, she got quite loaded from it! :wink:)

And finally, below are three shots of the area behind my booth.


Michelle66

Do you know what goes into the spring fragrance cocktail? What are the dominant flavors?

MC

On 2011-07-18 10:05, Maui Chimes wrote:
Michelle66

Do you know what goes into the spring fragrance cocktail? What are the dominant flavors?

MC

I can ask the next time I'm there. They are usually quite good at sharing their cocktail recipes.

C

Great to hear that things are recovering!!

Are their hours back to normal, too, then?

On 2011-07-19 03:13, Michelle66 wrote:

On 2011-07-18 10:05, Maui Chimes wrote:
Michelle66

Do you know what goes into the spring fragrance cocktail? What are the dominant flavors?

MC

I can ask the next time I'm there. They are usually quite good at sharing their cocktail recipes.

That would be much appreciated!!!

On 2011-07-18 10:05, Maui Chimes wrote:
Michelle66

Do you know what goes into the spring fragrance cocktail? What are the dominant flavors?

MC

I just asked the bartender here at TVT. The basic ingredients of the Spring Fragrance are cherry brandy, peach nectar, and guava juice.

As for the hours, as of today (July 22, 2011) they are as follows:
Restaurant - last order 9:00 (restaurant closes at 10:00)
Bar area - last order 10:30 (bar closes at 11:00)

By Cherry Brandy I assume they mean Heering "The Original Cherry Liqueur" rather than Kirschwasser, a cherry Eau de Vie. Sounds like a pretty sweet drink.

On 2011-07-22 17:54, TropicDrinkBoy wrote:
By Cherry Brandy I assume they mean Heering "The Original Cherry Liqueur" rather than Kirschwasser, a cherry Eau de Vie. Sounds like a pretty sweet drink.

I asked the bartender last night. For the Spring Fragrance they use Bols Cherry Brandy. He told me its scent is better matched to that particular cocktail than Heering.

Thanks for the info. I've visited Japan three times (Osaka area) but don't know when I'll get a chance to return. I'll try mixing this up tomorrow as that's what I love most about cocktails, a chance to smell the smells and taste the tastes of long forgotten times and faraway lands!

Also wanted to mention that you take the best Tiki Bar photos I've seen! The long exposure ambient lighting method is the way to go. Very atmospheric.

B.T.W. Tonight at the Emeryville Trader Vic's I had a Tiki Puka Puka, Navy Grog and an E’ville Awa (the specialty drink of the Emeryville Trader Vic's). Yum! The server said the E'ville Awa was similar to a Long Island Ice Tea but it had a definite coconut flavor and wasn't as strong as the Tiki Puka Puka as far as I could tell.

On 2011-07-29 18:17, Michelle66 wrote:

On 2011-07-22 17:54, TropicDrinkBoy wrote:
By Cherry Brandy I assume they mean Heering "The Original Cherry Liqueur" rather than Kirschwasser, a cherry Eau de Vie. Sounds like a pretty sweet drink.

I asked the bartender last night. For the Spring Fragrance they use Bols Cherry Brandy. He told me its scent is better matched to that particular cocktail than Heering.

Thank you Michelle66 for the follow up on the Spring Fragrance. Really appreciate it!

Visited TV's on Friday night. My friend Hiromi and I pigged out on a lot of tasty food, and enjoyed a very relaxing time.

The restaurant is now decked out with Halloween decorations, and I also saw that one of their bartenders recently won a cocktail competition.

Anyway, on to the pics!


A big tiki in the entrance hall looks all happy in its new chapeau.


A couple of Bacardi barrels: booze on the inside, and boos on the outside... (OK, now where's the "bad pun" smilie...? :wink:)




Some more creepy crawlies to get you in the mood.


TV Tokyo's bartender Koji Hagiwara recently won the Grand Mariner Cordon Rouge portion of a cocktail competition. This is a laminated card that's on display at the entrance. (Koji wasn't working Friday evening, so I didn't sample his winning concoction, but I will next time.)

Here's the Japanese site with details on the competion: http://www.hotel-barmen-hba.or.jp/event2.html#41
The recipe for Koji's "Luxury Rouge" (as per the above website) is this:
Grand Mariner Cordon Rouge: 40ml (1.35 oz)
Creme de cassis Burgundy: 10ml (1/3 oz)
Ocean Spray cranberry juice: 30ml (1 oz)
Monin passion fruit syrup: 1 tsp
The cocktail is shaken, and then garnished with an orange peel spiral and "bell rose" (I think "belle rose" is Japanese for "mini rose" (or "edible rose").)

Congratulations, Koji!


Started off with a Cosmo Tidbits and Beef Cho-cho (with its pot flaming away).


Here's my Tiki Puka-Puka...


...and Hiromi's Samoan Fog Cutter


Cooking some meat in the fire pot.



The Menehunes are also getting into the Halloween spirit!


And some Menehunes in traditional garb for tiki purists!

Another fantastic evening at Trader Vic's Tokyo! (Can't wait for my next brunch!)

Wow, that's the spirit Trader Vic's Tokyo! I don't know if they decorate the Trader Vic's Emeryville for Halloween but now I've just got to go to find out. So glad to see that they serve Tiki Puka Pukas in the Menehune Footed Compote at TV Tokyo https://shoptradervics.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68_74&products_id=239 . In both northern California Trader Vic's they serve it in a clear glass "Grapefruit Supreme" goblet, which they don't sell. The Tiki Puka Puka is one of my favorite Trader Vic's drinks so I bought the Menehune Footed Compote to serve my home made version in as a substitute, but now I know it is the right way to go! Now I just have to find a source of gardenias.

On 2011-09-29 20:23, TropicDrinkBoy wrote:
Wow, that's the spirit Trader Vic's Tokyo! I don't know if they decorate the Trader Vic's Emeryville for Halloween but now I've just got to go to find out. So glad to see that they serve Tiki Puka Pukas in the Menehune Footed Compote at TV Tokyo https://shoptradervics.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68_74&products_id=239 . In both northern California Trader Vic's they serve it in a clear glass "Grapefruit Supreme" goblet, which they don't sell. The Tiki Puka Puka is one of my favorite Trader Vic's drinks so I bought the Menehune Footed Compote to serve my home made version in as a substitute, but now I know it is the right way to go! Now I just have to find a source of gardenias.

The manager of Tokyo's Trader Vic's told me that they stopped using gardenias in their drinks due to getting too many shipments with ones that had already turned brown. For the Tiki Puka Puka and Scorpion, they now use white orchids.

No nice gardenia aroma, but they sure do look good!

I just wanted to let folks know that Trader Vic's in Tokyo is back to its normal operating hours. (They had been shortened due to the aftermath of the big earthquake last March.)

The restaurant is featuring roast turkey (with all the trimmings) as part of their Sunday/holiday brunch for November and December. (This is in addition to all of the other TV favorites served during the brunch.)

The turkey at TV's is jaw-droppingly good! VERY juicy and tender. Cooked totally to perfection! (After growing up on my parents' over-cooked, dry, and tough turkey, eating it at Trader Vic's was a revelation.)

For Thanksgiving this year, TV's in Tokyo will be offering a five-course dinner with free second helpings of turkey (if so desired).

For Christmas, there are two different specials: the "MELE KALIKIMAKA" brunch (Hawaiian entertainment from 12/23-12/25), and the "Faith, Hope & Love Dinner Cruise" from 12/22-12/25. (I've got reservations for the brunch on the 23rd, so I can't wait for that!)

Went to the brunch last weekend. Enjoyed my first "Rum Giggle", which was VERY tasty!

Here's a picture of it:

Larry (the manager) is getting the restaurant all decked out in holiday trappings, so if you're an expat who wants to get some real Christmas spirit, I suggest dropping by!

The wife and I dropped by in October. As always, service was very pleasant and efficient. As I haven't lived in Japan for a while the prices there are always a bit of a shock with the yen being so strong, they are essentially double that of the US.

It's interesting how Halloween decorations are now everywhere in Japan. 20 years ago Halloween decorations were few and far between. Now the country is blanketed in them.

  • fm

Drink menus for your viewing pleasure.

[ Edited by: fez monkey 2011-11-20 20:58 ]

W

Hey there,
Awesome pictures! I am headed to Yokohama in 5 days for the Mooneyes Hot rod show and I wanted to chekcout TV in Toyko, (...among other tiki bars). I saw on their website "No jeans, T shirts, sneakers" and I'm about to pack up my stuff... Should I bring some "decent" clothes to rock or is my normal wear of dickies and vans not going to get me in? I just want to hit the bar really... Thanks for your time/help!

On 2011-11-26 13:58, wolf_138 wrote:
Hey there,
Awesome pictures! I am headed to Yokohama in 5 days for the Mooneyes Hot rod show and I wanted to chekcout TV in Toyko, (...among other tiki bars). I saw on their website "No jeans, T shirts, sneakers" and I'm about to pack up my stuff... Should I bring some "decent" clothes to rock or is my normal wear of dickies and vans not going to get me in? I just want to hit the bar really... Thanks for your time/help!

I think you'll be OK with Dickies and a polo shirt. (Isn't that the "uniform" for American men these days anyway...? :wink:)

Last summer, I was concerned about heading in after work with (designer) jeans and sandals (nice leather sandals). I was told that the dress code is basically to prevent folks from heading in with flip-flops, and really ratty-looking clothes, and that my attire was just fine.

Trader Vic's Tokyo is a nice place, but it is a tiki bar/restaurant. People don't go there wearing tuxedos or tiaras. Tasteful casual wear is OK.

Just use common sense. (And don't wear Crocs. They might not be on Trader Vic's dress code, but they sure are on mine!)

After an afternoon of shopping yesterday, I called my friend Hiromi and asked her if she cared to hit TV's with me.

She said "OK", and we met there.

Didn't have the digital camera with me, so the two pics here were made with an iPhone (so they aren't the best).

The Trader Vic's in Tokyo has some cocktail selections on the menu not available in other locations. (And, of course, there are concoctions served at other TV's that you can't get here.)

One of the drinks that I had always wondered about is the "Hinky Dinks Fizzy". This one isn't even on the TV's website, and since it's got the pre-Trader Vic's name attached to it, I presume it might be a drink from Vic Bergeron's first establishment.

But, I'm not a wine fan, and since champagne is one of the ingredients, I kept shying away from it. (I just cajoled Hiromi into ordering one so I could get a shot of it! :wink:)

This is the listing of the drink as it appears in the special English version of the TV Tokyo's cocktail menu:

HINKY DINKS FIZZY - Feel dizzy... Gin, light rum, apricot brandy and juice with sparkling wine. ¥1,785 (¥1,700)

Hiromi liked the drink and said it would be something she'd have again.

My second drink of the night was the newly-formulated Tiki Puka Puka. It was OK...I guess....but maybe a bit too sweet.

Why did Trader Vic's Tokyo need to reformulate the Tiki Puka Puka? It's due to the current unavailability of Lemon Hart 151 rum in Japan. (The 80-proof stuff is also unavailable.)

It seems that for some reason, importation of Lemon Hart into Japan stopped sometime last year. Trader Vic's had learned of the cessation ahead of time, and stocked up on the rum. But, they eventually ran out and needed to reformulate any of the drinks that called for it.

So, things like the Tiki Puka Puka, Navy Grog, etc. are now made with alternative combinations of rum. (I was told that Bacardi 151 and Navy Rum were combined to replace the Lemon Hart 151 that had been used in the Tiki Puka Puka.)

Now, most folks probably would never notice the change (I mean, there are a lot of other ingredients in there too). I did only because I had known ahead of time it had no Lemon Hart. Also, the Tiki Puka Puka was something I was ordering a lot when I knew TV's was getting close to the end of their supply of demerara rum. I had been used to its old taste, and the new version was just a bit different. Not bad, just not exactly the same as before.

I'm sure that Lemon Hart will eventually be imported into Japan again, and that once it is, Trader Vic's will return the drinks to their old recipes. (BTW, the bartenders are totally transparent if you ask them about which rums are being used. No secrets about anything. They will also give you any of the drink recipes if you ask. My inquisitive nature tends to get the best of me, and I've pestered the poor bartenders at TV's about the drinks more times than I can recall...)

As for the food, in addition to the Cosmo Tidbits, Hiromi and I shared a "Vietnamese Spring Roll". If you'd like to try something with a creamy peanut taste, get this! It's a steamed spring roll filled with veggies, chicken(?), and a peanut sauce (with extra sauce on the side). SO TASTY! (Not spicy, but creamy and flavorful. We really enjoyed it!)

[ Edited by: Michelle66 2011-11-26 18:53 ]

I had a great time when I stopped by Tokyo over Halloween weekend. Michelle was a great hostess meeting me there for cocktails on a Saturday evening and making introductions. Had a great night and managed to get back there for Sunday champagne brunch the next day. Larry the GM is a terrific guy and runs a top-notch establishment at the Hotel New Otani! Good times, just save up so you can push through the sticker shock. The cocktail menu there is old school with some items that haven't been on US menus for several years.

Well....'tis the season for Trader Vic's Tokyo to get gussied up in its holiday finery!

And today was the first of three special Christmas brunches which feature live Hawaiian music and dancing - in addition to all of the delicious food and drink.

The nicest thing was being able to get some sense of the holiday spirit that is usually missing from the way Christmas is celebrated here.

Christmas Day (December 25th) is not a national holiday in Japan. (But, December 23rd - the current emperor's birthday - is.)

Japan is not a Christian country, so Christmas is celebrated quite differently than in other countries. Stores have seasonal decorations and play Christmas music. But come December 26th, all of it will be gone as the Japanese gear up for New Year's, which is the most important holiday here (and it lasts for a few days).

The usual customs Japanese folks have adopted for Christmas (actually Christmas Eve) are eating "Christmas Cake" (often white Cake with strawberries on top), eating chicken (with LONG lines going out the door at KFC), and even couples taking in special dinner shows at fancy hotels on the 24th.

So, even though the image of Christmas is here in Japan, it's often hard to catch any true feeling of Christmas spirit.

But, you can get that feeling at TV's, and here's a report.

As you step out of the elevator, a big Christmas Tree greets you at the entrance:

This is the poster advertising today's festivities:

Here's a poster for the upcoming New Year's special. (The tiki is now sans the witch's hat he had on for Halloween!):

A bigger shot of the tree:

Today being a national holiday, the restaurant was PACKED! It was busier than I'd ever seen it before. You even had to wait in line at the different buffet tables.

The staff had warned me long ago that the 23rd would be crowded, so I was able to reserve a nice U-shaped booth in a small alcove. It gave me a different vantage point than what I was used to, but with the scent of the Chinese oven in the air, it sure was cozy. :)

The counter above my booth's sofa had some thin Santas:

..and this too:

Tried a Honi-Honi for the first time today. (Nice, but I think I prefer rum to bourbon.):

Today's special live Hawaiian music soon started, with the musicians standing next to the alcove my table was in (hence the less-than-ideal pics).

If you'd like to hear how it sounded, I switched on my iPhone's voice recorder and captured about six minutes of the performance. You can download the audio file here: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=R739MYKW (It's not the highest fidelity, but it will give you a taste of the nice atmosphere TV's had today! :))

Some of the seasonal decorations:

Well, all good things must eventually end, and the end of my most wonderful meal were these cute and yummy Christmas cookies! (Yes, COOKIES! [I've never been able to get into Christmas cake...]):

Here are some Christmas Menehunes wishing everyone the most happiest of holidays!

Nice photos as always.

Christmas in Japan (like a lot of things) does lose a bit in the translation doesn't it? It'a all part of the weird charm. It's good that you've found an oasis.

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Today was a national holiday in Japan, so there was a rare Saturday brunch at TV's.

And since Valentine's Day is fast approaching, the restaurant is currently dressed up with decorations and the brunch had some nice surprises (which I'll get to in a minute). (Unfortunately, I forgot my digital camera today, so all I had was an iPhone to take pictures with.)

Here's the entrance as it looked today:

This is an old-school tiki I don't think I've photographed before:

And a mask:

Larry, TVT's GM, loves to add special dishes to each brunch that are themed to the season. Since chocolate is the most-popular gift for Valentine's Day in Japan, today's brunch featured a VERY delicious Mexican chicken mole. (Larry is from San Diego, so he likes to celebrate the cuisine of Mexico quite often.)

I had never had a mole sauce before, so I was a bit apprehensive. (For me, chocolate sauce meant something to pour out of a can with "Hershey's" written on it...) By chance, the head chef was standing at the table when I was looking at the various foods and he cajoled me into trying the special dish.

He then explained how to prepare one, and I when I ate it I was stunned at how good it was!

Definitely not Hershey's syrup!

And definitely my favorite dish at today's brunch! (I ended up eating four of them!)

Here's the chicken mole station - with chicken covered in chocolate mole sauce, toppings, and steamed flour tortillas:

Another standout special dish today was a pork dumpling soup. The dumplings' filling tasted like the pork-based Peking Ravioli/pot-sticker filling served at Chinese/Polynesian restaurants in the USA, not the cabbage-based "gyoza" filling served everywhere in Japan. Fresh cilantro was available to add as well.

If you happen to be in Tokyo right now, get to Trader Vic's for tomorrow's (2/12) brunch. The chicken mole and pork dumpling soup were amazing! (Everything else was great too.)

Another positive development in Japan is it looks like Lemon Hart demerara rum is being imported again! So, Trader Vic's will soon be able to go back to the original recipes for drinks that call for Lemon Hart (like "Navy Grog","Tiki Puka Puka", and other favorites).

In fact, as I was on the train heading to the brunch, I got a call from my local liquor store to tell me the bottle of 151 I had ordered was in.

And here it is - new label and all:

This is great news because sellers at Yahoo Japan Auctions were trying to get upwards of $100 per bottle of dead-stock Lemon Hart 151. (Maybe a "Hell In The Pacific" would be a great way to celebrate Lemon Hart's re-availability here...)

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