If you’re looking for an evening escape, Maka Hiki should be at the top of your list. This tropical bar and grill has been opened by Max Traverse, well known for his “tiki chic” concepts Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge and Mahalo Tiki Lounge.
Nestled in Little Tai Hang on the second floor, Maka Hiki’s spacious decor and menu are inspired by tropical islands and oceans around the world, featuring a surf-and-turf menu with an array of vegetarian options. In addition, a few members of Honi Honi (which unfortunately shut owing to COVID) have joined the Maka Hiki team, bringing over their signature tipples and creating some unique drinks just for this new spot.
Food is a focus at Maka Hiki, and heading up the kitchen is Russell Doctrove, a veteran of the HK F&B industry. Former Group Executive Chef for Maximal Concepts, Chef Doctrove is also the founder of Patti Boi.
To get into an island state of mind, we started with a pina colada ($120) served cold in a ceramic coconut. This classic tropical cocktail is mixed with Don Q rum, Cartron Cocody liqueur, lime, pineapple, coconut syrup and coconut flakes to create a fruity and creamy drink blended with ice.
Two dishes I enjoyed were the Hawaiian-style tuna poke ($260) and Mauritian tamarind and pineapple salad ($120).
For the poke, sashimi-grade Micronesia tuna is marinated with a very savoury mix of shoyu, red onion, salt and fried peanuts, served with puffed chips.
The salad is a big contrast with the poke. The dressing contains tropical elements of mango and toasted coconut, but I don’t recommend ordering this if you don’t like fresh coriander and mint, which are abundant in this salad (which is also surprisingly pretty spicy).
Because we’re attempting to do more plant-based dining these days, we ordered the coconut milk curry ($230) sans chicken. This is a delicious, filling vegetarian option, containing aubergine, kale, mushroom and red bell pepper with a turmeric base.
The slow-cooked beef ribs ($590) are perfect for groups, and despite our ribs being a tad overcooked, this is a must-eat dish. The ribs are smothered in an addictive tamarind jaew BBQ sauce (Thai-style sauce) that is sweet, sour and smoky all round.
If you still have room, the desserts are recommended at Maka Hiki. The warm, mellow rice pudding ($78) contains coconut milk and vanilla, but cardamom steals the show, balanced by crushed pistachio on top.
A lighter option is the coconut ice cream ($78), which sits atop grilled pineapple caramelised with dark rum.
Priced reasonably with decent portions, Maka Hiki is a chill spot for a casual drink and bite with a friend, and it’s also great for entertaining large groups. I can’t wait till the patio is complete! I foresee it being a fun summertime spot, but it will still be comfortable in colder weather if you sit under the heaters. Maka Hiki will soon open for breakfast and brunch too.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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