Lifestyle & Parenting

Kanaka: Gastown’s New Tiki Bar

May 6, 2014

hulaGastown’s got a tiki bar. It’s open until 2 a.m., Wednesday to Sunday, underneath (and affiliated with) Blacktail Florist and called Kanaka—a Polynesian term for a local. And, with its below-street-level low-keyness meets cheeky, light-handed kitsch, this spot certainly embodies a friendly, relaxed and, well, local, vibe.

k1Cocktails come to you in a novelty mug (Easter Island head, Hula girl, orca whale) and are consistantly delicious. The Long Beach Old Fashioned ($10) is sweetened with maple syrup (maple and rye has replaced peanut butter and chocolate as our pairing of choice) and the Tonquin Beach is super refreshing with a bright-green burst of apple and gin laced with Orgeat. Not familiar with Orgeat? Kanaka is manned by some of the friendliest bar staff we’ve ever met. Ask one of the tall, dark, handsome guys (with hair to make Jared Leto weep) for a sample of the almond-flavoured liquor with a soda splash. Snacks are good, too, with nibbles like root chips ($5) and oysters with Maui rib sauce ($14). We opted for the spam with pickled carrots and daikon in lettuce cups ($12), which is actually saucy pork hock—not the canned stuff—and paired exceptionally with the vinegary tang of pickled vegetables.

If you feel like sipping dangerous fruit punch and twirling a little umbrella in your fingers while a good-looking crowd grooves to early Vampire Weekend and Beach Boys tracks around you, check out Kanaka’s official opening party Wednesday night (May 7th). —Adrienne Matei

Kanaka, 332 Water Street, Vancouver

Kanaka on Urbanspoon


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