52 Canoes Tiki Den
- Great food
May 11, 2018
This colourful New Town tiki parlour isn’t exactly subtle, but then that’s not the point of these places. 52 Canoes is a ray of Pacific sunshine: bold, bright, and lively.
Cocktails are fruity and fun; many pack a punch and most are served in the obligatory novelty drinking vessels – there are mugs shaped like Polynesian statues and plenty of paper umbrella. The Caribbean Kiss blends black vodka, fresh lime, and strawberry purée, while the Bahia is a Pina Colada served Trader Vic style, silver rum shaken with coconut cream and pineapple juice.
There are a few more elegant drinks on the list, like the St. Germain Blossom, mix of elderflower liqueur with Sauvignon Blanc and hibiscus syrup, and there’s also a good range of ale and wine if you’re not in the mood for a citrus-coloured cocktail. Because it’s a bit apart from the main burst of bars and restaurants, it can be quiet on week nights, which has an impact on atmosphere.
The décor, however, is suitably kitsch, with an urban beach hut vibe and a photo of palm trees covering one wall. The leather booths don’t quite fit the overall aesthetic and feel like a throw-back to past incarnations, but we’ll forgive them that. They open early and do a decent breakfast as well as nachos and chilli and other cocktail-fodder.
Nothing here is ground-breaking, but it’s a friendly, fun place with an upbeat atmosphere and doesn’t take itself too seriously which is more than we can say about some of the swish bars on George Street.