One of Honolulu’s neglected oft ignored treasures is the Fort Street Mall. Stretching from the waterfront at Ala Mona Boulevard to Beretania Street, it plays host to a variety of restaurants & shops ranging from nationally known Macy’s, which many locals remember as the site of Liberty House — itself an architectural gem — as well as Ross Dress for Less & Payless Shoe Store (where men can find size 14 & 16 dress & casual shoes!) to local favorites such as Local Fever and Fisher Hawai’i and many more.
However, if one needs an excuse to stop at the Fort Street Mall while changing buses, then that would be the Tiki Café at 82 S. Hotel Street. Andrew Lee, one of the owners of Tiki Café, greets you with an easy, ever-present smile when you step through the door of this tiny yet efficiently laid out café. An eclectic mix of tables and chairs decorate the walls in a soothing sky blue. A pair of fish — each in their own tank — apparently get along well with customers but not with each other!
The downtown crowd raves about breakfast at the Tiki Café, especially their scones & muffins. Tiki offers a tempting array of scones — apricot, blueberry, chocolate chips, coconut butter, cranberry & raisins, guava jam, oatmeal raisin, peach slice, peanut butter, pineapple slice, pumpkin walnut, and strawberry jam — each a bargain at just $1.50. Muffins are similarly priced, and come in banana, blueberry or corn. Ask Andrew if they have Tiki’s special cream cheese blueberry scone, a terrific deal for $2; it is yumelicious!
Tiki has a variety of breakfast favorites including one you are not likely to find at any other café. A banana peanut butter sandwich for $3.25 is a great way to start the day. You can also grind on breakfast bagel or croissant sandwiches. A healthy egg & cheese is $2.75, or rip your teeth into either bacon or ham with egg & cheese for $3.25. Breakfast burritos are a fave and a bargain for $3.25 — chock full of green pepper, hash browns, egg & cheese with your choice of bacon or ham or Portuguese sausage.
Every day there is a new lunch special or two, usually priced from $5.50 to $7.50. Daily there are a variety of sandwiches on white or wheat bread — either $4.25 or $5.00 depending upon the sandwich, but whatever you choose you will get a delicious side of lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and mayo plus chips.
But what truly sets Tiki ahead of the crowd are the salads. Fresh, crisp, tasty — a wondrous variety ranging from $3 to $5.50. On my most recent trip I ordered a whole Oriental Chicken Salad for $5.50, and it was awesome, a delicious mix of shredded chicken (perfectly cooked and then chilled), green lettuce, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, won ton strips (crisp & firm, not wimpy) served with a delicious homemade Oriental dressing aromatic of crushed peanuts.
Tiki Café resembles those Magical Boxes that seem so tiny and yet more & more wonders tumble from the box. The food is enough to rave about but they also offer beverages that are a equally delicious. Tiki has a variety of flavored iced teas for $2, and we are not merely talking about them popping a can they bought at neighboring Long’s Drugs. Not that I have anything against canned tea, but still what Tiki has to offer is much more or a treat. Not too sweet, nicely blended in a sealed cup, a variety of flavors, my favorite is peach as well as green apple, li-hing mui, peach, lychee, passion fruit, passion-orange, mango and more. Plus flavored milk tea such as honeydew, coconut, taro, and more, for only $2.50.
Then there are bubble drinks, that slightly silly but always tasty treat. Tiki has an incredible array of blended bubble slush flavors for $3.25; almond, lychee, peach, mango, strawberry, are but a few of the tempting tastes. As if that is not enough variety, Tiki also serves smoothies for $3.75
So trek on down to the Tiki Café, open Monday thru Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM.