Trader Vics, it’s a been a long time since I’ve visited. In the basement of the Hilton Park Lane, it once was a very busy cocktail bar and a favourite after dinner hangout in London. I remember the tiki cocktails with the paper umbrellas in bamboo shaped glasses. I don’t remember much about the menu except that it had some rather exotic Polynesian dishes.
The Trader Vics of 2015 is a little different. It is not just a busy cocktail bar now but a busy Pan Asian restaurant. There are now 27 of them around the world the London outlet is one of the oldest ones. The current menu is a bit heavy on Chinese dishes but their new Manageress, Laurence, is aiming to change that.
The decor has remained relatively unchanged over the years but strangely not too dated. From the tribal masks, carved wood totems around the bar to the hand made wood bark wallpaper, their look is very distinctive. Their concept has been much copied by others who want to emulate that Tiki bar feeling like Mahiki.
Trader Vics did a special American Independence Day menu and it was a nice reintroduction. The menu was not the regular Polynesian fare but some more recognisable US favourites. Our evening started with a couple of rounds of their signature cocktails from their extensive cocktail menu. We then had tender, finger-licking ribs and Maryland crab cakes to start. Followed by a well flavoured beef short rib for mains. A very generous serving of banana fritter or Dobos torte provided the sweet end to the evening.
Tender BBQ spare Ribs
If you haven’t been there in a while, then it might be time for a revisit. Watch out for their new menu which will incorporate more dishes using their enormous wood fire ovens that sit in the middle of the restaurant. There might be other Polynesian restaurants in London today than when they first opened, but the original still has its own brand of charm.
Hilton on Park Lane,
22 Park Ln,
London W1K 1BE
020 7208 4113
EatCookExplore was a guest of Trader Vics