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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

China Paradise, Wayne, NJ (restaurant)

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Name:China Paradise
Street:1082 Hamburg Tpk.

China Paradise stays true to it's write up in 'Tiki Road Trip'. If you had no previoous knowledge of this place you wouldn't know that it was re-modeled. Although one of the rooms is adorned with many huge tiki masks, China Paradise's design is more akin to one of those modern looking shmaltzy catering halls that is so often used for weddings. Not sure what the term is for that kind of design, but tacky comes to mind. The bar is in a separate room and unfortunately looks nothing like a tiki bar. My guess is that this place may have been something to see back in the day, but not so today. Although it is very clean, with good service, it is no more than a slightly upscale Chinese restaurant with a few Tiki masks. The food was very good. And if there was one thing Tiki worth talking about at China Paradise, it was the drinks. I was able to sample the Mai Tai, and the China Paradise Special. The Mai Tai was served in a regular 'old-fashioned' glass and tasted alot like the Mai Tais at the other Jersey polynesian places. The China Paradise Special was served in a more decorative surfer girl mug that had 'China Paradise' printed on the back. The drink was very good, and tasted like nothing I had had before, however when I inquired about puchasing the mug on my way out.....they wouldn't let me buy it. As we all know, this is a BIG no-no to us Tikiphiles, and I thought it was strange that they wouldn't agree to sell it. I mean...they coulda marked up the price and made a coupla bucks, right? Anyway...China Paradise is a pleasant enough place with good food and drinks, but as far as my impressions on what this place may have been once, my only conclusion is that China Paradise is Paradise lost....

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