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21 October 11

review - happy hour in the tiki bar in the tonga room in the fairmont hotel in san francisco

Sophie, Jason and I had a very good idea which was eating a Hawaiian all-you-can-eat buffet at a tiki bar. Tiki bars are invented in America probably. They are a wooden style bars with wooden style mask and mainly they are basically exotic. Their style is tropical and Polynesian. Tiki bars are cool because they are magical. They are dark and a little bit like a beach or a rainforest. I have never been to a tiki bar because Austria doesn’t have them. But Sophie likes tiki bars a lot, so we decided to go to the famous tiki bar in Sophie’s old guide book. 

The tiki bar we went to was called “Tonga Room.” The Kingdom of Tonga is a state in the South Pacific Ocean. Tonga is not related to Toga, and suggesting that it is would be a very stupid thing to write in your review. But maybe it could be? It isn’t. But the words are nearly the same and I thought a Tonga is a Toga. 

The Tonga Room is in a very famous hotel in San Francisco that is called “The Fairmont.” You can tell that it is a luxury hotel because of its building. It’s very luxurious and beautiful. Usually a lot of flags on a building are always a sign of luxury or of a school. 

Because the Tonga Room is a tiki bar by a luxury hotel, it is very expensive. But on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they have an “extensive” happy hour buffet. The buffet is all-you-can eat and it is only $9.50 (plus a minimum of one cocktail)! If you go for dinner, sometimes you pay $9.50 for just one dish, and then once you finish it’s done, you can’t ask for more (very rude). So paying $9.50 and getting more is an amazing good deal and that is why Sophie, Jason and I decided to go to the Tonga Room Tiki Bar!

We got to the Tonga Room. You enter it on California street although the hotel is on Mason street. If you want to go to the Tonga Room, go down along the hotel on California and enter the door close to the big sigh that says “Tonga.” It’s also the entrance to the gym (“Club One”). Even if Google Maps shows the restaurant next to the Mason entrance, it isn’t. It’s on California.

Next you have to ask for a table. They will offer you a table on one of the sides of the room, on a deck that looks like a ship, or in the middle of the room between a lot of people but close to the bar. If you aren’t sure which table you want, get the one on the ship because it’s better. If you want to be close to the bar, don’t, because you have a waitress that can get you anything from the bar.

The tables are made of wood and the chairs too, but they have pillows which are really soft. That is good if you plan to stay for a while. The room is very dark and tropical. There is a candle on every table and light-lantern style strings. They are nice because they give a nice mood. There is a ship’s wheel and straw hut roofs, and in the middle of the room is a giant pool, but a dark one and it’s not for swimming just for mood. 

The special thing about the Tonga Room is that they have storms. Every 30 minutes maybe, they have a storm with rain and thunder and lightning, but it’s a trick storm because it’s indoors and storms aren’t indoors except for Donald Duck when he is unlucky. The thunder is just a soundtrack, and the lightning is just flashes of light bulbs. The rain is kind of real because it’s water that comes down, but they made it themselves with sprinklers maybe. It’s a mood thing, and it works. It lasts very short, but the room feels wetter because of the rain. 

It is important that you order a cocktail. You have to, because that’s the rule of the buffet. They have a selection, and every cocktail is $7.50 because it is happy hour. Normally the cocktails are more expensive. They have a selection, and one yummy cocktail I had was the Tonga Itch. It sounds nasty because itches are STDs sometimes. This is a cocktail and it is delicious. You can see all the cocktails they have HERE.

In the middle of the room is something that could be a dance floor, and there you will find the buffet. When we saw the buffet we were very surprised. It was on a table that was not very long. This is what they had:

- Chicken wings in a sweet chili sauce
- Macaroni salad
- Spicy edamame
- Fried rice with ham
- A mix of cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple, but mostly it was honeydew
- Asian style noodles with vegetable style stuff
- Mini spring rolls with a sauce
- More chicken wings in hot sauce 

I didn’t miss anything. This was their buffet. I was very disappointed and sad.

This is a photo of the fruit and some chicken wings and some edamame.

- The chicken wings in the sweet chili sauce were tasty, because chicken wings and sweet chili sauce are yummy and everyone likes them. I had lots of chicken wings, and one of them had the most meat on it I have ever eaten from a chicken wing! That was nice but could also mean the chicken was bionic.

- The macaroni salad was very horrible. I dont like macaroni salad because I don’t like mayo, but sometimes you eat something you don’t like and it’s okay. This macaroni salad was very disgusting. 

- The edamame were okay. They had very good intentions because of the spicy stuff, but they didn’t taste very fresh and it’s edamame - it’s not a real food you cook!

- The fried rice was very normal. It was fried rice, and if you don’t like meat it sucks because it had bits of ham in it. I like fried rice, but it usually fried rice has stuff in it except for ham. Like pineapple. It didn’t. It was boring.

- The fruit was very horrible, too. It wasn’t fresh fruit and it tasted like they got it from a can. Pineapple is always yummy, even from the can, but they didn’t have much pineapple, mostly honeydew that was disgusting. I used some pineapple and ate it with my fried rice so it would be less boring. 

- The noodles were very oily and boring. They are the noodles you get at a Chinese buffet when you pay $4. I ate them and they were whatever. 

- The spring rolls were okay. They had a sauce which was good because they were the kind of spring rolls that are dry. They tasted like spring rolls that you get and you eat but don’t comment on because they are normal; not delicious or disgusting. You just eat them and talk to your friends. 

- I didn’t taste the other chicken wings. But they are chicken wings and hot sauce, and everyone loves chicken wings and hot sauce.

It was very disappointing and sad, and I had 4 servings because I was hungry and I wanted to eat more so it would feel less expensive to pay for a Chinese dinner at a tiki bar. 

In conclusion, the tiki bar in the Tonga Room was nice, but the food was sad. But if you go to the Tonga Room and read this review first, you will feel less bad about it, because you will go for the experience and not for the food. And the experience was nice, and the cocktails were nice, and if you aren’t facing the people coming in and out of the gym next door, you can see a nice room with pretty lights and have a good time. 

Here are some tips:

You can have the happy hour all-you-can-eat buffet from Wednesday to Friday between 5 PM and 7 PM. I think I would suggest to go at 5 PM and then eat a lot, then wait and get more food before they take away the buffet at 7 PM. The waitress was nice, because I’m always shy to get a lot of food from all-you-can-eat buffets because the waiters are always mean when you take all you can eat, but our waitress told us to get more plates with lots of food before the buffet closes. 

Another good tip is that when you eat, eat two plates, then wait. Sometimes you eat and your stomach is full, but it takes your stomach 15 or 20 minutes to tell your brain it is full! It’s true! If you don’t know that, you keep eating and then when you notice how full you are, you already ate too much and feel very sick.

More details are HERE.

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh