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December 24, 2018

Trader Vics, America’s First Fusion Restaurant

Trader Vic’s captures the beautiful essence of what London is all about; culture, decadence and memories. It has a rich history of success and innovation that all began in 1934, when Vic “The Trader” Bergeron built a cozy little saloon on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, California called Hinky Dinks.

If you are looking for a special evening, perfect for all occasions and accommodating of every party, you are in luck because this is the place to go! After having the pleasure of dining at Trader Vic’s, I could not recommend it enough and here is why.

The entire experience was a dream! Celebrating nearly 55 years, this Tiki bar and restaurant at the London Hilton on Park Lane offers an eclectic collection of global cuisines using Chinese wood-fired ovens, alongside tropical cocktails served in signature glasses and an exotic atmosphere, decked out with authentic artefacts and trappings from around the world!

Trader Vic’s continues the tradition with an ever-evolving menu, featuring dishes from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, and Japan. After embarking on an adventure to Cuba to refine his skills as a bartender and explore the subtleties of rums from around the world, ‘The Trader’ transformed Hinky Dinks into a Tiki-bedecked tropical retreat, aptly named Trader Vic’s and put into practice his research on rums. Years ahead of his time, Vic began serving simmering plates of island-style cuisine, and Trader Vic’s quickly became one of America’s first fusion restaurant concepts. As popularity of Vic’s Tiki haven grew, Trader Vic’s expanded to international shores in 1963 at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane followed by a booming success in the Middle East in 1994 with multiple restaurant openings.

Upon arrival, you are met by the gorgeous artwork of the décor which immediately sets the tone for a luxury experience. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with lots of Polynesian elements and authentic detail that embodied Tahitian culture. Greeted by highly friendly and attentive staff, our evening was off to a great start. One of the best elements of this experience was the efficiency of the staff within the restaurant, as within two minutes of being seated we were enjoying beautifully presented cocktails. The amazing cocktails that they serve have four are featured on different pages of a menu, with delicious options. If you can’t find a cocktail to tickle your fancy, they are more than willing to whip up anything you ask for. However, we fell in love with the Mai Tai. The Trader Vic’s Mai Tai cocktail has been modified to perfection as their signature drink and it did not disappoint; the perfect mix of exotic juices with your favorite spirit and garnished with an edible treat. Which leads nicely me to the best part… the FOOD!

Accommodating for all dietary needs, the restaurant menu offers high standard and freshly prepared ‘Tidbits & Pupus’ platters. First, The Original “Cosmo Tidbits” platter includes crispy prawns, crab Rangoon, Char Siu pork, and BBQ spare ribs for two. The Trader’s most popular sampler pupu platter arrives on a beautiful ceramic plate and a silver mount so that you can serve yourself, buffet style.

Despite being able to enjoy one completely to myself, their platters are ideal to share in a group, so I recommend ordering more than one and enjoying a wide range of tastes; this makes the experience even more exciting. To spoil us further, we also enjoyed the Jalapeno Cheese Balls, which consisted of Cheddar and Emmental cheese, fresh coriander and chopped jalapeños, light, flavoursome and crunchy. The only bad thing about these is that they are so good you cannot get enough of them, what a shame we could not eat them for desert aswell!!

The most exciting part of this evening has to be when the ‘beef cho-cho” arrived; Rare beef skewers, soy-sake glaze and finished at the table over a flaming hibachi. The amazing visual of the blue and environmentally sustainable hibachi flame provides a unique fondue experience that allows you to cook your beef yourself, from rare to well done. the beautiful layout was supplemented by a variety of sauces and oils to add even more flavour. The entire meal was perfect for those that eat with their eyes and their tastebuds; an Instagrammer’s dream!

Overall, Trader Vic’s is a restaurant that you should experience at LEAST once whilst visiting London. The menu accommodates for a variety of tastes and preferences and is one of my new favorite places in London. I recommend it as a perfect setting for all occasions and I will definitely be returning soon. Thank you very much to the restaurant bar and kitchen staff who took such amazing care of us, my first (and certainly not my last) experience with the Trader Vic’s chain was a fantastic success.

W: Trader Vics
A: 22 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1BE, UK
T:  (020) 7208 4113

Written by Cresta Okonkwo for Luxuria Lifestyle International

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