Recognising the potential of upscale Tiki in Hong Kong, Max Traverse takes Polynesian culture to the next level by launching Mahalo Tiki Lounge. Situated in South Wan Chai on the top floor of QRE Plaza, Mahalo is a luxury bar and lounge where a sophisticated interpretation of the Tiki concept comes to life with retro, 1970’s/1980’s vibes. The bar, lounge and open-air terrace offer sweeping views of the city and Mahalo’s fresh Tiki cocktails are set to attract both connoisseurs and classy party animals.
“Mahalo is a Hawaiian expression of gratitude and respect, which is what I want our guests to feel when they walk through the door,” says founder Max Traverse, the man who is also behind Central’s much loved Honi Honi Cocktail Bar & Lounge. “With Mahalo, we are combining luxury with Tiki, taking the concept to the next level in a way that Hong Kong can really get behind. As soon as our guests step out of the elevator, they will be transported back to that romantic, 1970’s/1980’s time period when the Polynesian theme took off around the world, while enjoying the attentive service and quality expected from the best 5 star experiences. We’re bringing kitsch up market!”
Mahalo’s “QRE’s Doctor No,” a blend of Bacardi 8yrs Rum, Wood’s 100 Navy Rum, homemade Falernum, cinnamon syrup, grapefruit juice, lime bitters and Absinthe (HK$140)
Traverse has appointed Richard Moreau and Yacine Bensalem of Interior Architecture Company In Situ & Partners to create a setting that subtly encompasses the classical elements of Tiki culture: earth, water, wind and fire. The interiors feature vegetal, oceanic and floral components, with tropical plants situated throughout and intricately designed botanical wallpaper adorning the walls in the entrance and lounge. Bamboo is visible all around, and two large, 70’s style Jensen light fixtures in the shape of palm trees stand as “islands” inside the room. Behind the bar, large circles and bubbles are a nod not only to the beverage industry, but to the avant-garde house of Pierre Cardin on the Cote d’Azur, a 70’s design by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag.
Mahalo’s “Polynesian Love,” made with Pampero Especial Rum, Amaretto, Massenez Crème de violettes, blackberry puree, raspberry puree, and lime juice (HK$120)
Bar Manager Zoltan Konczol worked alongside Traverse to craft the cocktail list; a treasure map that takes tipplers on a journey around fresh Tiki tastes. Guests can expect an exciting list of exquisite concoctions embellished with fresh and colourful fruit, with every beverage prepared with the utmost quality. Traverse has appointed Junior Boma-Kapitene-Shiama as General Manager to ensure quality, consistency and attentive service.
Of the opening, Traverse says, “From the design concept, to our cocktail list to the location in South Wan Chai, Mahalo is the perfect place to enjoy summer 2015 in Hong Kong.”