What's the vibe?
Entering off Queen Street, you're immediately ushered into a different world. There's no mistaking where you are, and just in case you weren't sure, the gong goes off and a server delivers a flaming fishbowl to a tiki hut in the back. Natch. You're in a Polynesian paradise, exactly the vibe that owners Rod Moore and Alana Nogueda (ex Harbord Room) set out to create. It reaches far past the usual decor elements too - the space is filled with more tiki-inspired posters, mugs, totems and knick knacks than they know what to do with and there seems to be stories behind them all. This isn't Moore's first rodeo with the Toronto location an offshoot of the original Shameful Tiki Room in Vancouver. Is it kitchy? Maybe a little, but we say if you're going to do a theme bar, DO A theme bar.
What to drink?
With Nogueda behind the bar, you know that while the drinks will be playful, there's substance to them too. The cocktail menu is picture-based making the two sides of it a little less daunting, one side dedicated to rum, the other side for everything else. Naturally, cocktails are served in fun mugs and bowls with the tropical garnishes to match. The Navy Grog arrives flaming and hits you with 3oz of a few rums, grapefruit, honey, lime, soda and 'secret spice'. Colourful and fruity yes but one sip and it'll put hairs on your chest. They have three bowl's on offer for larger groups, all shrouded in secrecy as to their actual ingredients but worth ordering for the theatrics alone. Tiki mugs and bowls are also available for purchase once you've polished off your drinks.
What to eat?
The drinks are by far the headliner here. That being said, our 18-year-old selves have taught us that downing a bunch of rum on an empty stomach is a serious no no. Therefore, they've curated a small but satisfying menu of shared snacks like the Teriyaki fried brocolli, snow crab wantons and sweet potato fries along with some larger stomach fillers like the fish tacos and Luau sliders to compliment your cocktails. Finish it all off with some deep fried pineapple rings because why the heck not?
Snacks and drinks for two: around $75
1378 Queen St. W; shamefultikiroom.com