For a taste of the tropical life in Vancouver anytime of the year, visit The Shameful Tiki Room
On a typically overcast, cold day in Vancouver with rain just beginning to fall, I was standing on the corner of 28th and Main waiting for Rod Moore to meet me outside his bar, The Shameful Tiki Room.
Rod opened the door and ushered me into a low-lit cavern, painstakingly decorated with tropical wallpaper, low lighting, authentic Tiki antiques, carvings and glassware. Candles, red globe lanterns and drowsy tropical music completed the scene. The contrast was startling; a complete tropical escape had been effectively produced by walking through the threshold.
The Shameful Tiki room is a harkening back to what our Grandparents might have done on a night out. There is something interesting and carefully placed everywhere you look: there are no TVs to distract you, and on any given night you might see a live Ukulele player, a vintage surf band or even a classic movie playing.
Carefully crafted drinks – some featuring over 13 ingredients in a single glass – from the classic Zombie to the dramatically presented Mystery Bowl, have been created following vintage recipes and even preparing ingredients in-house that are no longer available to the public.
The food is inventive – some vintage, some fresh and original. Entrees and appetizers are available, but Shameful specializes in share plates. Encouraging you to connect with your companions, sip instead of gulp and experience foods you wouldn't ordinarily prepare is the name of the game. The resulting effect removes you from your daily grind so effectively it's like a truncated vacation.
Of course, if you don't feel like venturing out into the cold and wet, but you're intrigued by this culture and have a home bar of your own, Rod shares this original recipe from the 1940s by Donn the Beachcomber himself. Cocktail fixings and glassware for Tiki at your home bar are available at The Modern Bartender, Rod's store in Chinatown designed for home-bar enthusiasts.
Navy Grog Recipe
The Navy Grog
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz honey mix (*heat one part water and one part honey to dissolve and now you have honey mix!)
- 3/4 oz white unsweetened grapefruit juice
- 1 oz white rum (Havana 3)
- 1 oz gold rum (Appleton Jamaican)
- 1 oz dark rum (Lemon Hart Demerrara)
- 3/4 oz soda water
- Flash blend ingredients for five seconds with crushed ice, pour unstrained into double old-fashioned glass.
- Add half a spent lime shell into the glass and sprig of mint for garnish.
- Drink through a short cocktail straw and enjoy.
The Shameful Tiki room opened in March 2013, and has been busy ever since. The intimate space seats 50 and does not take reservations, so get there early to catch the live music. Enjoying an escape to the hot tropics during a chilly winter? Sounds just right.