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Mahiki, Trailer Happiness and Kanaloa are testament to London’s appetite for all things tiki, but will they outlast the daddy of them all, Trader Vic's – a hula hideaway still going strong 50 years after it launched? The Beatles were yet to break America when this crazy Californian import first wowed London. Five decades on, Trader Vic’s Polynesian beachcomber kitsch, old-skool presentation and attentive staff dressed like extras from South Pacific make for a pleasingly retro experience. A mainstream US/Asian menu boasts tender, meaty spare ribs lathered with BBQ sauce made to the ‘original 1972 recipe’ alongside crab and grapefruit salad, spicy tuna tartare and moreish ‘maui waui’ (sweet and spicy coconut shrimps with slaw), while mains include lobster with black bean sauce, crispy duck pancakes, and a piquant curry of tender braised lamb. A wine list plays firm second fiddle to Vic's reasonably priced rum cocktails, served in fabulously tacky tiki mugs. Coffee liqueur digestifs are a must; dancing to samba disco hits, performed by wedding reception-style combos, is optional.
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