Tiki Central / Locating Tiki
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GRAND OPENING JUNE 9TH !!!
HILTON GARDEN INN
[ Edited by: RevBambooBen 2019-06-09 13:07 ]
[ Edited by: Otto 2019-02-22 00:33 ]
[ Edited by: Otto 2019-02-22 00:43 ]
Article in today's paper. Can't wait to visit this place in November!!
Hilton Garden Inn Kauai at Wailua Bay debuted Mamahune’s, a retro-inspired tiki bar and restaurant, on Sunday. Open daily from 11 a.m., Mamahune’s will offer contemporary Hawaiian cuisine, handcrafted cocktails, and picturesque views of Wailua Bay.
The name Mamahune’s was inspired by a fictional character, Mama Menehune, whose children, the Menehune, ancient craftspeople of Hawaiian legend, built this tiki shack by the sea for her.
Mamahune’s encompasses classic tiki flair from the 50s, 60s, and 70s featuring a custom, hand-carved wooden bar, ample seating, and an erupting volcano in an inviting open-air space that welcomes visitors and locals alike to experience quintessential island vacation vibes year-round.
Mamahune’s menu highlights local ingredients prepared with a fresh vision. Guests can enjoy Ahi Poke and Avocado Nachos with Hawaiian yellowfin tuna and crispy wontons; Crispy Rice Sliders with marinated Spam, topped with grilled pineapple salsa with nori and sesame mayo; Steamed Bao with Char Siu pork and spicy chili slaw; Shave Ice with a choice of pureed strawberry, mango, lilikoi, guava, or POG; Dole Whip Kona Coffee Ice Cream; and more.
Signature tropical libations abound including Mamahune’s Ali’i Tai, a delicious spin on the classic Mai Tai infused with guava, nectar, pineapple juice, lime, and coconut water; Mamahune Grog, a refreshing grapefruit cocktail with China China liquor finished with lime juice; and Shipwrecked, a twist on an old fashioned with Koloa aged rum, pineapple simple syrup, and Peychaud’s all smoked with island flavors.
Or you can try something on fire, literally – Da Very Sneaky Tiki. As the name would suggest – the ingredients are secret, but the drink is made to be shared.
Guests can gather at Mamahune’s to indulge in small bites of the island and sip on paradise invoking cocktails that set the tone for an unforgettable afternoon or evening.
Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay boasts a beachfront location. Guests can embrace the aloha spirit while strolling through the hotel’s Garden Isle, relax in guestrooms and suites equipped mountain or garden views, and listen to the sounds of the sea while lounging on lanais. On property, patrons can dine at the hotel’s casual restaurant, The Garden Grille. The hotel’s amenities include two outdoor pools, a whirlpool, and a fitness center.
Just have my phone lately so posting here is a bit difficult.
For build photos of this job please go to my facebook page photo albums.
They have a mug available, if you’re into it, and they will ship. Here’s their facebook post.
Cool mug. May have to pick one up when I’m “in town” beginning this Saturday.
We were able to visit a few times during our recent return to Kauai. Fun place with a nice location right above Lydgate Park with views of the water and mountains, and directly overlooking Hikinaakala Heiau. Best of all, 1 mile from where we stay!
This is an outdoor bar so lots of open space and not as much room for typical Tiki bar clutter. But it's still full of all that good Bamboo Ben-ness: Bamboo, Tiki stools, routered trim, fun old swizzles and travel brochures embedded in the bar, nice lamps, etc. Everything you'd expect, but with a tradewind breeze and an ocean view. The volcano is a nice focal point and got a lot of attention from customers the one time we actually saw it in action. The bar itself isn't large and has somewhat limited seating, but there several tables nearby and then a large lawn area with many more tables. We always stayed in the bar area, but the lawn tables looked to be nicely spread out and comfortable.
Our first visit was on a Saturday and we were really impressed. Service by the bartender, Tom, was very good, and there was a lady hustling around serving all the tables. And the drinks were surprisingly good quality. Their version of a Mai Tai, the Ali'i Tai was pretty nice. They had a "Painkiller" made with Smith & Cross that was really spectacular, and the Shipwrecked was a really nice rum/syrup/bitters mix (with smoke added, when the smoker's working.) They even have really nice chewable ice.
I wish I got a clear picture of the menu; it's different than what's currently listed on the website. On Saturday they also had a duo playing - Wailana & Tia. These ladies played some really nice, fun mostly older-style Hawaiiany tunes and added to the relaxed tropical atmosphere.
Unfortunately, staff is everything and we found the service and drink quality wildly inconsistent on different nights. We returned the next Wednesday for my birthday and were really disappointed.
Since there were four of us that night, we sat at one one the tables right by the bar. The young waitress brought us menus but never came back. We eventually just ordered a around directly from the bar. The bartender that day seemed inexperienced and uninterested. They have a 'drink of the day' we asked about but she had no idea what it was and after finally checking a notebook said it was "uh, it's uh...bourbon and fruit juice." The Painkillers and Shipwrecked that were so good the previous time where nearly undrinkable and weren't even consistent among themselves - The 3 Painkillers ordered by our group were completely different from each other. I happened to order the same salad on both visits, and even the food was a let-down. The service continued to be lousy - loooong waits for the server to appear, one person's meal wasn't entered... We're patient and would have understood had it been busy, but there were very few customers that evening. There just seemed to be a huge lack of interest by the staff. A really disappointing experience. [Side note: we ended up going to Avalon Gastropub across the bridge afterwards to make up for the dud of a birthday dinner. Service there was spectacular and the cocktails impressive.]
We knew Wailana & Tia were performing there again the next Saturday, so we decided to give it another try in the hopes our first bartender would also be working again. Score! Tom was back and we had another nice time with delicious drinks. We made sure to find out his schedule and came back again his next night working for another good time.
Oddly enough, we met a lady elsewhere who had been the head bartender at Mamahune's when they opened and had helped set it up and came up with several of the drinks. We talked with her about it a few times and she was sad, but not surprised, to hear of our experiences. It sounds like they started with a real vision and apparent dedication, but it just kind of fell apart and she eventually left due to the inconsistencies.
It's really a shame - It's a great experience when done right. As I remember Ben once said about Tiki Iniki, he just builds 'em, he doesn't run 'em. Too bad! Hoping they can get the service and quality on a consistently good track so everyone can go and fully enjoy his work.
They currently open at Noon, but do close early, generally around 8 PM. They did open late & close early a couple times while we were there due to rain and/or low turnout, so I'd recommend calling to verify the hours. And find out when Tom's working, and go then!
I didn't get great pictures, but here's a taste:
Hmm. Apparently I didn't update after our trip last year, thought I did. Just returned from another visit, so will add a few newer pictures. The bar/restaurant area has been expanded a bit, with a larger covered area for sun/rain shelter. Fewer seats at the actual bar, as they've turned one side into staff service area.
Menu has changed a bit again; they still do a Painkiller, but no longer have the Ali'i Tai. They now have 4 "Mai Tai" options, mostly with fruit juices, but there is a Vic's style "O.G." with just lime juice (though noted as "Don's original" on the menu.) My favorite was the same as it was last year, the Navy Pog.
The overall experience is still highly dependent on the staff that day and our previous advice stands: Go When Tom Is Working. Sadly, as of now, that's only Friday day shift (open at Noon) and Saturday all day/night. The drink quality and service are exponentially better when he's taking care of you.
The first time we stopped by on this trip, they were closed due to "inclement weather," but we were told they were open inside in the lobby bar, same menu. Skip it and hold out for a day when outside is open. They don't have all the ingredients up there and your drink won't be the same, even if someone who's trying to make it correctly is there. I suspect they also only open inside due to staffing shortages or other issues - the weather had been notably clement all day when we stopped by and, as was noted during one of our other visits, "it's kind of a mess here."
Definitely worth a visit or 3, but do yourself a favor and time your visits for when Tom's there.
[ Edited by bamalamalu on 2023-02-18 14:09:03 ]
Tom was an amazing bartender.
Jungle bird was the best I had ever had.
My mother is a picky drinker, even with non-alcoholic drinks, and he found a non-alcoholic mix even for her. And then replaced it when she accidentally knocked it over.
I got the tumblr and a few different swizzle sticks.
I ordered the Don's original, but got halfway into it when it HIT and I had to stop and commit a party foul, because I was driving and knew one sip more was more than I could handle. It was good, but that was one hell of a potent drink. Especially after I had one, and oh, right, I'm 115lbs. So I did the responsible thing and committed the lesser crime of having Tom toss the rest so I could be responsible.
The tiki tacos I had and the taro burger my mother had were both excellent.
We gave Tom something like a 30% tip.
Awesome! Glad you were able to experience it with Tom there & enjoyed everything.
Yeah - we got the "Did you really mean to tip that much??" alert from the credit card company after our last visit. Fortunately we stay just across the bridge and can walk.
Enjoy the rest of your trip!
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