Restaurant Review: Trader Vic’s
Located just off Park Lane, Trader Vic’s has been offering Polynesian cuisine, quirky cocktails and great tropical vibes to Londoners since 1963. Of course, you’d be forgiven if your first thoughts were to dismiss this place as another gimmicky tropical-themed restaurant in London, but Trader Vic’s manages to exude authenticity, from the shells and corals that adorn the walls to the wood-panelled interior design, and this helps to reinforce its history and make it stand out from its competitors. Also, who wouldn’t want to dine in a restaurant that has managed to attract celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Elton John and Cristiano Ronaldo?
We found that the bar and restaurant itself offered the perfect oasis in the midst of the City. The venue has a fun and relaxed atmosphere that makes it perfect for an informal drink with friends or a sit-down meal. Trader Vic’s is also conveniently located just below the Hilton hotel, meaning that throughout our evening it was constantly filled with an eclectic mix of people.
We were quickly ushered to our table and handed the menus. The cocktail list was nothing short of extensive, but by no means did it feel overwhelming. Trader Vic’s makes no secret of having over 200 signature cocktails to its name, but what stood out the most on the menu was the Original Mai Tai, which Trader Vic himself invented in 1944. We therefore decided that it was only right for us to try this and immerse ourselves firmly in the island atmosphere. The Original Mai Tai certainly did not disappoint, and should be part of anyone’s dining experience here.
To eat, we opted for three courses each. For our starter we chose the platter for two, which consisted of crispy prawns, crab, charred pork and BBQ spare ribs, offering the perfect way to sample more of the great menu in one go. We then decided to try the Indonesian rack of lamb (served with Singapore noodles) and the rib-eye steak, which were both beautifully prepared in one of the few Chinese wood-fired ovens that can be found in the UK.
For dessert we would definitely recommend the coconut Trader Vic’s Polynesian Snowball, or if you are feeling a little less adventurous, perhaps the warm apple pie.
With its quirky style and authenticity, I would strongly recommend Trader Vic’s to anyone looking for a restaurant filled with history, good food and a great atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit (or two)!