On Saturday we headed to the city, San Francisco, for an early birthday celebration. Even though my husband dreads the one way streets and the parking, we had to check out The Tonga Room restaurant.
The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar is a restaurant located at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco,CA. The Fairmont itself is an experience. The restaurant was once a 75 foot swimming pool built at the hotel’s terrace level in 1929, and they refer to it as the “Fairmont Terrace Plunge.” The beautiful pool attracted many visitors including actress Helen Hayes and actor (President) Ronald Reagan. In 1945 Set director Mel Melvin was hired to transform the pool into a Tonga room.
The Tonga room has been recognized as one of the nation’s hottest bar by many magazines and has been featured on ABC, Travel Channel & Food Network. This restaurant of Tropical decor and Asian cuisine is such a treat.
Once we arrived we were greeted by a door man at the Fairmont hotel, they took our car and we went in. The hotel is gorgeous and you instantly feel like a million bucks. We arrived a bit early. As soon as we got to the restaurant entrance inside the Hotel we saw a line and thought we needed to get in line. The line is for those wanting to go into the bar. We had reservations (make them in advance) so we were redirected to the hostess, who quickly asked for the name on the reservation and asked us if we wanted to wait for our table at the bar. We did. We headed over to the bar which is located in front of the pool by the entrance. In between the pool and bar they have a small area where people were crowding around trying to dance and see the band that was playing from a thatch-covered barge on the lagoon (pool). Getting our drinks took a bit, it’s truly a hot spot. The bar was crowded. We ordered a Mai-Tai and watched the people dance for a bit. My Mai Tai was good.
At exactly 9:30, our reservation time, we headed to the front desk and the hostess was ready to walk us over to our table. The sitting part of the restaurant is on both sides of the pool. So you get to see the band from the side while the bar gets to see it from the front. We were right in front of it but we had the side view of them, the singers do turn and face the sides at times though. The music is a mixture of back in the day jams to current favs. They even sang happy birthday to all of us there celebrating our day. They do take a break about every 20 minutes, but music continues to play in the background along with rain effects around the pool. You truly feel like your in a ship with tiki decor and all.
We ordered the Peel & eat prawns as our appetizer and they were delicious. I ordered the eggplant & zucchini stir fry which came with a side of white rice, I also loved it. My husband ordered the smoked & slow roasted Kalua Pork, which was a little too salty for our taste and ordered a side of the forbidden fried rice blend which was perfect. As a drink we shared The RainMaker, which was just enough alcohol to get me through the night and provide a pounding headache the day after. It was so worth it though and I don’t regret it.
Just for your 411 as per their website: “As part of Fairmont’s commitment to environmental stewardship, this menu contains locally sourced, organic, or sustainable items wherever possible. All cuisine is prepared without artificial trans-fat.” You can find more information on their website Tonga Room .
Our waiter brought me what I think is the Mai Tai Creme Brule, not completely sure. I don’t know if they included that in the bill, we can’t find the receipt. Our server brought it after we were done eating and our server (and hubby) sang happy birthday to me.
Overall I LOVED the experienced. The ambiance was the perfect amount of fun. I would say that the bathrooms are a bit too far and they do need to lay off the salt in some of those dishes or at least the pork one my husband had. Also, to really experience it in a calm/comfortable and fun way, make sure you make a reservations way ahead of time or you will be standing in a very crowded bar hoping someone will eventually move from one of the seats at the bar.
Happy Monday Luvs,
❤ ❤ ❤ XOXO Chicmom
Follow me on Instagram for a little video of the experience too 🙂