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Poly Asian (Albert Gee's), Houston, TX (restaurant)

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Name:Poly Asian (Albert Gee's)
Street:9530 S. Main Street

I just got this postcard from Albert Gee's Poly-Asian Restaurant located in Houston, Texas.

Classic example of the melding of Poly Pop and Asian cuisine that happened in the 60s.

I love these types of postcards that give you shots of the different interior rooms.

The Poly-Asian Dining Room.

The Kabuki Tea House.

And the swinging Club Luau lounge.

The info on the back of the card.

Here is the write up from James T's book Tiki Road Trip on the history.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2009-07-11 11:07 ]


here are some matchbooks


menu front & back:

So who used that Tiki matchbook cover first: The Poly-Asian -or the HALA KAHIKI !?

On 2009-07-12 16:08, bigbrotiki wrote:
So who used that Tiki matchbook cover first: The Poly-Asian -or the HALA KAHIKI !?

hala kahiki opened in 62' if i'm not mistaken, the year albert sold his place....which means albert gee's matchbook design came first....


Great menu, is that the one James used for TRT?


Seems like there was a lot of matchbook copying going on at this place.

On 2009-07-11 18:23, pa'akiki wrote:
here are some matchbooks

Here is an older one with the same back cover from the Tonga Hut.


Hre is the Poly-Asian West from 1971 Houston newspaper

Closer look.

From 1961.

The Luau was the private club section of the Poly-Asian.

"Poly-asian - This is one of the outstanding dining spots in the South, featuring Cantonese, Polynesian, and Japanese foods served in the atmosphere of the South Sea Islands. Located at 9530 S. Main, the Poly-Asian is operated by Albert Gee. Gay South Sea Islands costumes are worn by the waitresses and waiters. The restaurant is decorated in the theme of the islands. Dinners are from $2.75 up. The Las Vegas style Polynesian Chuck Wagon for the after-the-theater crowd serves a wide variety of Poly-Asian food from $1.95 up. In the Kabuki Tea House dining room, patrons are served at low tables while suited on cushions on the floor and watch the meal being prepared tableside. The Club Luau, a private membership club, operates in conjunction with the public dining facility. Hours are from 5pm to midnight and to 1am on Saturday."

Here's the menu from Mimi's collection.

"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-07-16 13:22 ]


Here is the ashtray

Spied another postcard on the internet from the Poly-Asian featuring a kimono-clad hostess and a few objects-de-Tiki. The card shows another menu version that has not been seen in this thread as well as a small saucer and bowl with the Poly Asian logo (which may be on the plates as well).

There seems to be a few more items to find out there. If only PTD lived in Houston!


That mask is pretty cool, but the girl is the real beauty here...

There seems to be a few more items to find out there. If only PTD lived in Houston!


Man, you know I would be all over it...but for now all I can do is haunt Northern California, which keeps me really busy at the moment!



Don't know why it took me so long to upload these... but here they are: two masks from the Poly-Asian on South Main. I don't have any photos that show the masks in context with the building, but if I remember correctly they were supposedly on either side of the front door (or near). These photos are from the ebay auction on 2007. I believe they went for over $400 each. I'll edit with the original text from the auction which described where these masks were situated if I can find it. :)

Here are the two brief conversations I had with Ott Chin, Peter Chin's son, in March 2007 just after the auction:


My Dad had purchased that restaurant from Albert Gee as Mr. Gee's business was crumbling. I worked the restaurant everyday when I was a kid and I remember like it was yesterday. Everything from Mr. Motto (the talking bird) to the Kabuki Room (japanese room where patrons had robes and sat on the floor. Unfortunately I have no memorabilia. Thanks for asking. Ott Chin


I believe my Dad owned it from 1965-1969. Reason I say that is because he took me to the Astrodome to see Cassius Clay and Cleveland Williams fight and that was in '66. Yes the Club Luau was still upstairs. Even though I was about 11 and 12 I remember those VooDoo Bowls and real coconuts. If someone opened a restaurant like that now it would probably do well. Back when my Dad got suckered into buying it people only ate out for Mother's Day, Valentine's and Graduation. Thanks for your interest, it gets me to think about what a great influence my Dad was on my work ethics.

I spotted a second matchbook type from Albert Gee's Poly-Asian on ebay. This one lists both the Main Street and Westheimer locations.

And this menu from a Houston dining magazine with a photo similar to the postcard. Interesting that it list both Albert Gee and Peter Chin as owners.

Finally, a video on youtube with a brief peak at the Poly-Asian A-Frame and tiki torches at the 31 second mark. The Ding How restaurant shown at the 51 second mark was also owned by Albert Gee.



The Reef restaurant in Roseville Square used the same Tiki as the Poly-Asian matchbook (minus the outrigger). TTT


Pages: 1 14 replies