Bar review: Tikitiki Bowling Bar Sai Kung brings Polynesia to the New Territories
Fruity and spicy cocktails, laid-back staff and a beach vibe in this eclectic package
The vibe: not your usual Sai Kung local. With a Polynesian tiki theme originally dreamed up in California, entering the bar, in an ugly high-rise car park, is a surreal experience. It is a vast, comfortable space with two main bar areas, a terrace and generous seating for bowlers. Money has been lavished on Tikitiki, and it was well spent. The rustic, beachcomber decor extends through the wooden floor to colourful distressed-wood furniture, dangling buoys and coconut lamps, vintage ship parts, and an old diving suit. Marbled glass lamps harmoniously tie the eclectic design package together. When the live band is not playing Latin music, the tunes are distinctly ’80s, with large video screens above the nine pins you’re focusing on. The vibe is chilled. Staff are laid-back and chatty, happy to share notes and exchange opinions on the cocktails they shake.
The drinks: if it’s not a bowling alley, it’s a cocktail bar. The tiny beer list hides near the back of the drinks menu, as if an afterthought, where you’ll find a bottle of San Miguel for HK$58 and a pint of Asahi for HK$72 – more SoHo than Sai Kung prices.
Cocktails are the draw and include four signatures, half a dozen “bubbles”, and classics. Appealing to partygoers, much of the menu has prices for glass and bottle, for wine, whiskies and rums, the largest category with listings from Antigua to Venezuela.
The signature Sense of Love cocktail (HK$118) is served in a bamboo log with bamboo straw. The peach schnapps dominates the drink, which also has cognac, pineapple juice and chocolate bitters.
The Mai Tai (HK$98), a tiki staple, with Pampero Blanco rum, was pleasantly tart and not too sweet. It was over all too soon though, and the glass was still entirely full of ice.
Another signature is the Muddled Mind (HK$118), a curious blend of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, tequila, chilli and other spices. It was a big hit. Despite being warned it could be a mouth burner, it was a well-balanced and pleasant tipple, sweetened by pineapple juice. The warm, spicy aftertaste arrived just in time for the bill.
The verdict: this bar might be more welcome among young professionals on Hong Kong Island, but there would simply be no room for it. As a bowling alley, it’s an excellent venue for Sai Kungers to hang with friends on occasion for a big night out. Alternatively, it’s a fantastical escape for young weekenders visiting the country town.
Tikitiki Bowling Bar, 4/F Centro, 1A Chui Tong Road, Sai Kung, tel: 2657 8488