I have done a lof of paparazzi photography work inside and outside of the Kanaloa Club.
During late evenings and the weekends, usually.
The famous faces I have photographed were Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Claire Danes, Daimen Lewis, Zac Efron, Cameron Diaz, Colin Firth, Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, January Jones, Melissa George, Emma Watson, and Kylie Minogue, and the list goes on and on.
I'm sorry guys, I had a really disappointing experience at Kanaloa.
My girlie friends wanted to "chillax" on Friday and after work, we went to various bars, had dinner around St Pauls, and they decided to go to Kanaloa afterwards. Now I haven't been to a club for a good amount of years (nor do I miss it), but I do expect not to be treated like scum of the earth.
We were 3 girls, paid £10 each to get in at around 10-11ish. We were each given a flower necklace (I'm guessing it's called a Lei) and to the bar for a drink. They were all tropical Tiki themed. I had the Coconut Canonball which came with the cute fuzzy little coconut but was a bit strange tasting. It had a slight sour taste to it which I wasn't really expecting. It was an ok drink and I don't doubt that this is what it should taste like but I just preferred sweeter drinks, which I was expecting from the ingredients. Drinks are around £8-10 mark.
My friends ordered Kanaloa Kula and I believe a Diablo, which I quite liked as it was sweet tasting. The barman was really friendly and gave us girls each an orchid off the stem, even wiping it off before giving to us so we could play with/decorate our hair with. So far as good right? Yep, but read on.
We turned right into the little enclosed dance floor room, which had quite a lot of people on a Friday night but was in no way packed. There seemed to be a big party at the sofa area. We wandered to the table next to the bar and dumped our bags and coats on a stool and stood around the table to sip our drinks. Within 5 seconds, the security guard (who we later gathered was called Richard from the security manager), came over and said we cannot put our stuff there and had to put it into the cloakroom (at least this was what I gather he was trying to say as the music here is overwhelming and I could barely hear anything). My friend pointed out to him that the party at the sofa had dumped a huge amount of items onto the sofa and why wasn't he speaking to them but only picking on us? We tried to move away from this irritating person and put our stuff onto the sofa with the other people and he just kept following us and basically stressing us out.
So when the security guard figured that we weren't scared of his power trip antics, he decided to call the rest of the team. Within another few minutes, 5 butch security guards were stood in front of us spread out in a threatening manner. Now, seeing as I didn't hear most of what was going on, I found this was a very disturbing scene. We had not caused trouble, we were not drunk girls, we had not hit anyone, nor were we shouting at anything or anyone. This security guard had decided to show us who's boss.
My friend wasn't having this and went outside to speak with the manager. I didn't go along with them and I stayed inside just standing there sipping my drink and waiting to see what was going on, as to be honest, I didn't like confrontation and I do not like being outside of public view as anything can happen outside.
It seemed the issue got resolved and my friends came back, but the mood was ruined. I was quite angry that after that incident, another group of Indian girls basically did the exact same things as us, they put their bags onto the exact same chair and now THAT security guard decided he was not going to confront them. Really? Is it now a racism issue then? Because 2 of us were Chinese?
We left about an hour or two later, when we were outside looking for the taxi, I spoke to the security at the door and that's how I figured out what was happening all that time. He decided to give my friends free cloakroom as he agreed that it was a very heavy handed way of dealing with the issue. And he said that because he couldn't hear anything on the walkie talkie about what was happening, all the guards turned up instead of just 1 or 2.
I have my doubts about what really happened, but I know this person I was talking to at the door is quite reasonable. It was just the initial guy "Richard" who was really going out of his way to spoil our night. I really didn't expect this from the sister club to Mahiki to be honest. Return trip? No thanks. I am not a teenager anymore, I do not like being harrassed like I was a child. We ARE all adults here right?
If you like pina coladas or getting caught in the rain...
then visit this spot in the winter, like I did.
For a space so tight, we actually we were able to get our groove on, Saturday night. Strange to get to as you're passing by many corporate buildings as you walk in your heels over, but a great find with a packed house.
The dj was spinning fun tunes, so I enjoyed shaking my money maker after a hard week at work. Not the best place to get a cab, so prep for that with a change of shoes to make the trek over to a more populated area.
For what it's worth, I don't go out much and neither do the people I went with, and we really had a good time. So, hope you do too.
Let me give you the atypical review: I didn't go here to dance, and there was nobody dancing wen I was here. It was a Tuesday night, the second stop on a Tequila Tuesday, and it was so quiet that we had our pick of tables, and basically the sole attention of the server. I mean, read that like it really is: we had free table service! (On a Tuesday, when it was dead...)
The venue itself is pretty cool--they've definitely committed to the tiki bar theme, top to bottom, windows to walls. That's great for theme parties, I would imagine. The drinks are cool too--well themed, and the pina colada I had from a frozen pineapple was very good. Expensive, but strong by club standards, so I'm not complaining.
The biggest thing worth noting is that this is in the middle of the City. That's great, as there's not a ton of clubs in the city, but it also makes it a little bit weird to get to. It's always going to be super quiet when you come out at night too, which can, if you haven't had enough to drink, be a little odd. Other than that, nothing blew me away, but nothing to complain about.
Oh, they also have tons of bathroom stalls. That's so important, I'm willing to note it!
How exciting! The sister bar to Mahiki, open for business. Like any good yelper, I had to know if Kanaloa could be a contender.
The City isn't one of my usual haunts so it took me a while to find Kanaloa. In retrospect it isn't difficult to find at all. There isn't much competition in the vicinity so Mahiki's little sister has no choice but to be a destination bar and club.
I arrived at 6:30pm to a comfortable but not busy bar. The relatively modest entrance opens up to a low-lit tiki themed bar you'd expect to see in a 4/5* Barbados hotel. Wicca furniture, totems and hot island love molds seamlessly into contemporary bar furnishings and classy mega city decor. It wasn't long before my partner and I were approached by a lady in a sophisticated and vibrant evening dress and offered a seat of our choice and two menu's. The cocktail list is extensive and very impressive. The tiki theme holds sway and from £7 cocktails served in real coconuts to £100 cocktails served in mini coffins the options are both imaginative, potent and tasty.
By the end of the night I had sampled the decent but not mind-blowing food, enjoyed live music, and been looked after attentively by our waitress. So is Kanaloa a contender? It is a tough call. I haven't sampled the late night atmosphere, and even though our evening was nice, I do not believe it broke new ground, or enticed me enough to become a regular. I have no doubt the big spending city boys will be calling it home soon.
I love a good tiki bar and whilst Mahiki has established itself as London's key polynesion playground, the place is a bit pretentious, overpriced and frankly quite average. So when a friend suggested Kanaloa - I thought unless they were charging £400 at the door, there wasn't too much that could go wrong.
Kanaoloa is actually a bit ugly inside, and does unfortunatley lack the slightly more refined décor and clientele of Mahiki. With beer goggles off, the place had the very standing 'city' interior of boring wooden tables and chairs and was slightly grubby.
The drinks however, were yum and well themed, and far most reasonably priced than their Mayfair big brother's, and with two large bars, you didn't need to queue for long to get a drink. The music was average chart stuff, but with enough of a beat to get you dancing. Nothing too mind-blowing however, and I can't imagine anyone other than the KissFM DJ's making an appearance here.
Overall an average night, made fun primarily by the company I was with. Unlikely to go again unless going with a top crew.
A welcome change from the usual night spots in the city. Whilst I didn't quite feel like I was on the North Shore with the roar of backdoor pipeline thundering outside, it was definitely a solid step up from the run of the mill, picked straight from the catalogue, pub that permeates the city.
They put in a decent effort with the interior decor, and by having a cover band on a Tuesday night. The menu was really creative, albeit somewhat pricey, but you gotta expect pricey in that location. The staff had a good vibe going down and were really friendly. In fact I would've given them 4 stars if the bathroom attendant hadn't got *so* friendly, he practically asked for my phone number...
Always a bridesmaid and never a bride when it comes to Kanaloa, I literally pass by this place every day on my way to and from work. I have seen boys in ridiculous fur hats smoking outside, girls in architeturally unsound shoes trying to negotiate black car rides home in the rain, and finally, even a random circus-dressed performer blowing fire in front of the entrance queue.
Yup, high expectations Kanaloa, and you were ... ALRIGHT I GUESS.
I came on a Wednesday night (don't judge meee!) and immediately started off with maitai's (delicious and served in amusing cups) and sambuca shots (less delicious and more ominous looking). The night mellowed out with mojitos and a dark and stormy (very ginger tasting and very good!).
In all, I was very satisfied with the drinks and glassware and somewhat pleased by the island motif going on. The music was sporadically good and the after hours douchey City crowd was AS EXPECTED.
The most hilarious thing about the entire experience was our super sassy server who, with an artful flip of his choppy fringe haircut, declared to me that there was no way he could have gotten our drinks wrong. He later gave us the side eye when one of my companions accidentally knocked over an empty glass of ice and finally announced his intention to sit with us after we repeatedly ignored his declarations that the venue was closed.
Never change, you!
Tucked away down the pedestrianised side of shoe lane, if you were familiar with this venue when it was known as Alibi, the lay of the land here will not come as much of a shock. It is more or less the same as previous but one corner has been better sectioned off to create a distinct dancefloor area, the Tiki seating around the place is in abundance, and the decor is generally much improved. The bar is still to the left, kitchen to the left-back and toilets upstairs, that's all the same.
What can I say about Kanaloa. The first time I attempted to go here the doormen were distinctly icy and did not let us in, this being when it was new and playing itself up to be exclusive. This seems to have since passed, which is a good thing, thumbs up.
Next things next, cover charge is high. £20 if you are not organised enough to get yourself on a guestlist in advance.
I was here late-ish on a Friday night. It was loud. Very loud. And middle of the road chart/dance music playing too. If you intend on having any deep conversations, get them out of the way before hitting Kanaloa.
The drinks are as advertised. Exotic, come in funky glasses, strong, expensive, and the bartenders put on a good show when making them for you. Conducive to dancing the night away, you *must* dance these lethal concotions off.
The crowd is a nice mix. You really get all sorts in here. And the staff I would say are top rate. All extremely friendly and up for creating a party atmosphere. The best asset to this place in my opinion. If your wallet can take it, you can end up having quite a good, late night here.
The team also make an effort to organise themed nights on most nights of the week, i.e. ladies night, club tropicana 80s night, that sort of thing.
My overall analysis, it's overpriced but if are willing to fork out the cash you are unlikely to ever have a bad night here (unless the lethal cocktails disagree with you!).
This place gets a massive thumbs up from me! The hostess Hayley is so gorgeous and reallllly good at her job! I also had a gorgeous Pina Colada which came in a frozen pineapple! Proper cheesy 90's tunessssss too!
I've given this place 2 stars only because I am sure some people like it...just not my cup of tea...
This is a sister bar/club of Mahiki's. So tropical themed.
Went there on a Friday night as part of my boyf's work thingy. We had booked a table so had no issues with queues or paying. (If you book a table, there is a £500 min payment so you get to skip the £20 entry charge).
The place was sooooo CROWDED!! You just could not move past anyone.
The music was LOUD!! So LOUD! and, for me, really daggy (kinda RnB and pop).
The crowd seemed to be young after work professionals, prob city workers.
There was some VERY awkward dancing going on (think the chicken song moves but to Beyonce music).
Good selection of cocktails, drinks were quite expensive. Thank god we had drinks brought to the table because the queues for the bar looked ridiculous!
Over all, I personnaly would not pick this place for a night out.
I'm a huge fan of Mahiki, so I couldn't wait to try the newest addition to their family Kanaloa. I'd been reading reviews of the place for a while and had even signed myself up for the friends of Kanaloa membership card should the chance to trek into central London for drinks on a school night ever present itself!
I finally got the opportunity to visit on Wednesday and I'm pleased to report that it suceeded my high expectations. The staff were extremely helpful and I was delighted to find that my membership card got me a free glass of Laurent Perrier Rose at the bar. Whilst the champagne was fantastic, no one visits a tiki bar without sampling a cocktail and as it was happy hour we decided to start the evening with a shared cocktail for two! The happy hour discounts were incredible and a drink that would have set us back £18.00 was priced at just £10 from 4pm to 8pm.
Compared to Mahiki, drinks prices seemed to be slightly on the cheaper side and single drinks were priced at £5 or from £8 after the end of happy hour. As you would expect, our drink was presented beautifully in a boat shaped vessel and decked with out with flowers and aloe vera leaves. You almost wanted to sit and take photographs of it, rather than ruin the appearance by drinking it! Kanaloa use the Mahiki brand of rum, so the cocktails were very similair in taste to their Mahikian counterparts.
With a whole tiki menu to work through, I'll definitely be coming back to Kanaloa.
This place is definitely a bit cheesy, but if you're going to a Tiki bar/club, you know that already. We had a comfy little corner to hang out in, a Beach Boys cover band to listen to, and a giant cocktail served in a wooden coffin. Yes, this cocktail is worth a star by itself. How did it taste? Fine, I'm sure. Was it pricey? I'd bet it was, but who knows. But you're missing the point- it was served (with rose petals and roman candles and four straws) in a wooden coffin. It couldn't not make me happy.
Nothing too special. Fairly standard tiki bar type experience, with a nice crowded dance floor. The clientele was fairly pretty. I ordered a honey based drink that looked like it was going to be good (they put some interesting looking honey cream into it), but was way too sweet to be enjoyable. I got some dancing in and was quite happy.
We came here for an office party for the half priced cocktails and boy was I surprised! I never had to wait more than 5 mins for my cocktail to be made and they were all really delicious. Al the bartender was really nice and quick to make the drinks. The venue is tiki themed and there were girls doing Hawaiian dancing on the dance floor. All in all a fun time and happy hour made it really affordable!
Another tiki themed bar. Like the others its not cheap but you can come during happy hour for half price drinks. If you go, it's the most fun to get a table and order the themed drinks like the treasure chest or canon. The drinks are what makes this place stand out.
i have such mixed feelings about kanaloa.
i really want to like it. i really do! it just feels like it has an extrodinary jaw-dropping appearance with no soul.
i'll put it out there that i am a purveyor of all things associated with classic 1960's polynesian-pop -- whether it be finely crafted cocktails with freshly squeezed juices, dark moody lighting with exotica music teasing you, intricately crafted carvings mixed with large floats and puffer fish dangling from the ceilings, or the overwhelming feeling that you have escaped to an exotic isle and time no longer exists. this is what the kanaloa is trying to capture, and is somewhat successful due to the amazing decor and carvings. however, kanaloa crashes and burns in the area of concept design. and this is what i predict will cause its untimely closure within the next few years after the new-ness fades. the club music and atmosphere contained within a throw-back salute to the 60's tiki bar just doesnt mix. it seems like if they kept the club stuff concentrated to the separate enclosed dance/club area, they might really have something here.
sadly, i cant review the drinks because of the TWO times i went, the bartender wasn't there. this begs the question, what's going on with the management??
i do recommend still going, though, due to the absolutely amazing decor. i suggest to bring ear-plugs if you are a tiki purist.
oh, and do NOT trust the google map to the right of this screen. it is completely wrong and maps the wrong area for kanaloa. since blackfriars tube station is closed, the closest stop would be chancery lane, go east on high holborn and turn right onto shoe lane. google likes to say it is located on "wine office court" for some reason.
Hidden out of the way this is one of the best tiki cocktails bar's for me in London. I'm obsessed with the Rockabilly, Sailor Jerry, rum, scene so when I heard about this through an event called shore leave, it seemed right up my street and it has to be said it didn't disappoint! The decor is absolutely amazing think of a tropical tiki bar with bamboo, shells, coconut and pineapples! Think rum, pirates and wooden tiki's. There seems to have been a lot of attention to detail here, with some well placed decorations. I was particularly impressed as the bar smelt so nice and although it took me a while I realised it was because they had huge vases of real Star Gazer Lilies. I love that certain cocktails come in Tiki mugs which really adds to the experience. The cocktails themselves are good quality and very tasty (from what I tried from my and my friends selections). I didn't try the food so cannot comment on that! The only downside was the price of the drinks which are about £8 -£13, however I think that they are worth the cost and as it's happy hour Monday to Friday 4.30-8pm, you can get some reasonably priced drinks in these hours.
This tiki bar is apparently run by the same people who did Mahiki, which might give you some idea of what to expect. The funky decor, low lighting and cute waitresses in costumes make for a fun atmosphere, but you'll have to get there fairly early if you want to bag a table to enjoy it. Later on the place will be full of the usual heavy-drinking groups of guys and stunning, immaculately groomed girls, although there seems to be none of the snobbish ill will that you occasionally get at Mahiki. The drinks are well made and innovative, although I sadly didn't have enough money to try some of their more flamboyant concoctions! The free bar snacks we were served were really tasty, but they didn't make up for the fact that they'd added way too much ice to the drinks and the amount of liquid we received was relatively minimal. I'm not usually one to quibble, but their prices are expensive enough that they shouldn't have to skimp on ingredients. Having said that, it does create a nice little Polynesian paradise in an otherwise sedate area and it is hard not to have at least a little fun..
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