Here’s what Japanese like: themes. Theme parks, theme restaurants, lifestyle themes—I think it’s part of what makes being a professional tourist in Japan so satisfying. Whatever you do, do over the top. Not surprisingly, when you go to Tiki Tiki Hawaiian Restaurant, you can count on a full-on Hawaiian experience. Love it!The first great thing about this restaurant: the company! Thanks, Katelyn, for planning a fun evening!! Someone (not me) once said, “Rarely do I think I couldn’t have planned this better, but…I could not have planned this better!” Ha ha!The second great thing: the food! I had three things I’ve never had before and they were all delicious. How often does that happen? We started with the crocodile appetiser. Exotic! For the record, it tasted exactly like alligator. We all ordered tropical cocktails of course. I got the Hummingbird (complete with tiny bird), Katelyn had the nonalcoholic Loco Girl, and Mary had the nonalcoholic Volcano Goddess. Mary and Katelyn ordered salmon avocado fettuccine—yum! And I had the spicy cheese curry. It came in a little cauldron and the server tossed it there at our table. The cauldron was so hot that it crisped the rice along the edges…I love that! It was so good I would order it again. Another thing that doesn’t happen often in Japan is leaving food on your plate, yet we were all full before we could finish our food. Chris, you can believe I’ll be bringing you here! Probably in the middle of winter when I need a faux-cation! 🙂 Katelyn said she thought there would be hula dancers: “At least, they’re prominently featured on the website!” I hailed the waiter and asked, “Hula dancers…arimasu ka?” which may or may not mean, “Hula dancers…do you have them?” I guess he understood, because he said, “Nine o’clock!” Perfect! This brings us to our third great thing: Japan is a punctual nation, so at nine on the dot the lights dimmed and there they were!Panic! They pulled Mary out of her chair and wrapped a skirt on her before she could protest (much)!!No problem; this guy was really into it!Oh boo, after laughing and cheering for Mary I got pulled up as well. Mary and I couldn’t even try very hard because the guy next to us was shimmy-ing so frenetically that the entire restaurant—including us—was cracking up. That’s when I realized there was no need to feel silly; Japan is a drinking culture so hopefully everyone was drinking more than we were!Here the hula dancer is trying to give us a lesson. I was thinking, “Hmm, I can’t believe how many styles of dance I’ve learned since coming to Japan! Before now I haven’t danced since I was five! I was born to be a Japanese dancer! Oh wait, this is the hula.” Mary was thinking, “This would be a lot easier if I was drinking.” Wait, I was thinking that too!
Mary is sipping our free thanks-for-participating soda in victory. Nice shakin’, bacon!
I didn’t see the hula dancers posing with anybody else. I’m not sure why we got so much attention. Three birthday people were applauded and everyone sang them happy birthday, then one of the dancers asked Katelyn when she was due. They shone the spotlight on her, adorned her with a lei and the entire restaurant said in unison, “Omedetou!” Congratulations!!!