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“Look elsewhere for quality cocktails”
Review of Tiki Iniki

Tiki Iniki
Ranked #7 of 25 Restaurants in Princeville
Cuisines: Fusion
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
on the road to Rock'n'Roll
Level Contributor
46 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Look elsewhere for quality cocktails”
Reviewed February 28, 2014

<sigh.> Well, on a positive note: the place looks great. Another fine build by Bamboo Ben. Great decor with quality workmanship and tons of detail. If you could judge a a book by it's cover...

On the downside: the drinks need a LOT of work. A Tiki bar has to be judged by it's Mai Tai and theirs was easily the worst I've ever been served. On paper, it's the Trader Vic's recipe, but it was terribly executed. Despite allegedly using the correct ingredients, they created a drink that tasted almost exactly like Sprite soda. No rum flavor, no fresh lime flavor, no orgeat flavor - even the mint was scentless. Huge let down. And the other drink we tried (the Iniki) was no better.

We observed two different bartenders who each appeared to be new employees and, unfortunately, new to bartending. Both were clearly reading recipes for every drink they made - even using a cellphone app to look up how to make a Lemon Drop when another customer ordered one. Not quite the level of expertise we were hoping for.

The service was average; the bartender on duty when we first arrived did take our order fairly quickly, but didn't bother to ask if we'd like to order anything else or inquire how the drinks were despite the fact that we told him we were specifically there to try them (maybe he was afraid of the answer.)

We can't comment much on the food since we unfortunately arrived about 15 minutes after lunch ended and therefore weren't allowed to order off the lunch menu (really.) It was almost two full hours until dinner would be available and the only thing offered was a very tiny happy hour menu. We'd really hoped to spend some time here, eat, and try at least a few different drinks. But without food options, we had to bail out and go elsewhere. To be fair, we did try the small order of chicken wings since we were getting desperate for food, and the sauce on them was delicious. Wish they would've put that on a real piece of chicken (and let us order it without a deadline!)

We'll give them another shot next time we're on the island, but overall our visit was a big disappointment. We really wanted to like this place - the right components are there but they just aren't pulling it off. Hopefully in time they'll get it together. But after a year and a half of anticipation, we left unsatisfied.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bamalamalu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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603 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Really?”
Reviewed February 25, 2014

Stopped in just at "Happy Hour". Their only deal was Corona's for $3, not bad at all. There was 6 of us and we ordered without ordering food as we just wanted something to drink, but likely getting food after. When they saw we did not order food they came back and said they ran out of Corona...we were the only ones there and at 3:00pm when "Happy Hour" started. No alternative offered so we left being not so "happy"

  • Visited February 2014
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Oilexec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Tiki Iniki Tops Expectations”
Reviewed February 22, 2014

On February 16 I was fortunate to be in a wedding party that visited Tiki Iniki in Princeville, Kauai. I had no previous knowledge of this restaurant and was happily surprised by its ambiance and quality dining. Proprietor Michele Gray Rundgren greeted us personally and made sure the 4 month old restaurant staff did everything possible to make our dining experience special. I had the sesame seared ahi tuna, done just as I like it, medium rare. It was perfect as were all the side dishes and garnishes. Others had filet mignon with kimchi and purple potatoes or the house special confit chicken leg with spicy sweet potatoes. I loved the semi-outdoor dining in a pseudo-Polynesian decor. If you are anywhere near Princeville, make sure you visit Tiki Iniki and ask for Michele (or Todd).

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good food, weak drinks”
Reviewed February 18, 2014 via mobile

The menu is very creative and unique and the food is excellent. The atmosphere is casual and fun. Good for both couples and families. Open air. The only negatives were the beverages. The alcoholic beverages were consistently watered down. The diet soda was served in a can past the expiration date and had no fizz. If the beverage situation is resolved I would give it a high rating. I don't mind paying for a beverage but expect to get my money's worth. Especially true for a good drink.

Helpful?
1 Thank mgink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Pu Pu's at the bar, wow!”
Reviewed February 14, 2014

My wife and I just wanted to have a "little something." We thought of the new "tiki bar" opened recently by Michelle and Todd Rudgren, the "Hello it's me!" guy who is part of the Ringo Starr, All Starr Band, located in the Princeville Shopping Center. The menu was just enough to make some selections and leave enough to try next time. We split an Avacado Salad and a great flatbread w/ ham and sausage w/ goat cheese. Our bar tenders Jason and Amy were very helpful and most generous w/ their pours. We were very impressed w/ the food, the service and the total ambience at the bar. We will be back! The energy was very high for a Monday night.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank craigpainter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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