Reviews: Mai-Kai




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Mai-Kai Restaurant & Molokai Bar Reviews

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The Mai-Kai Restaurant
and Molokai Bar


by dlo80       01/31/2010

Great Time - I took my parents here for there anniversary. It was the first time we had been here. After reading the reviews I was a little nervous about the food and show however the food was great we had great service and the show was awesome.

The place has a nice garden with water falls which we all took pictures. I think this is a great place for family and couples.


by CampfireMike       07/24/2009

The Mai Kai is an absolute must-visit in Fort Lauderdale! It's a classic 50's Polynesian restaurant with a floor show and gorgeous gardens with waterfalls. I recommend anything from the Chinese ovens, and the seared rare tuna is excellent. The drinks from the Molokai Bar are spectacular! Go with a large group and order a Mystery Bowl, as the presentation is unlike anything you'll experience anywhere else.

The Mai Kai is a unique treasure. If you can't get reservations for the dinner show then go and visit the Molokai Bar, where you can get appetizers and taste the incredible (and incredibly potent) cocktails.

Highly recommended!


by melody C        07/22/2009

what a grand old school tiki palace! I highly recommend it to all my friends who might be traveling to Fort Lauderdale. Good food, drinks, service and a wonderful floor show. When I'm in Fort Lauderdale I try to go every day to the Mai Kai.


by Jay      07/16/2009 

This place is a page right out the last century and I mean that in a good way. A perfectly preserved Polynesian palace right in the middle of all the modern, boring dreck on N. Federal Highway. Once you step inside, you're transported around the world. 

Once you have a couple of their amazing tropical cocktails at the Molokai Bar, you don't care where you are. I love this place. I could spend all night looking at the decor every time I go. Plus there's a dinner show that better than a movie and cheaper! Do yourself a favor and go.


by Theron      07/14/2009 

What an incredibly rare dining experience this was! There's nothing else like this outside of California, and this restaurant has been in continuous operation since it opened in 1956. Forget the trip to Disney World, this place has everything you need to get away from the rat race: gorgeous waitresses, exotic decor & music, and the most mouth-watering dishes & drinks I've ever tasted. Can't wait to go back and spend my midlife crisis there!


by Dean C      07/13/2009 

I have been to South Florida on vacation several times in the last 10 years, and every time I visit the Mai-Kai at least once. It is a one-of-a-kind restaurant with amazing romantic Polynesian atmosphere, wonderful food, and superb tropical cocktails. The dinner show is a fabulous and fun time for a special night out. 

I especially recommend any of the meat dishes cooked in the Chinese style wood-fired oven. Happy hour at the Molokai Bar is a favorite of mine. It is a great deal: half-off the bar menus for cocktails and food. I highly recommend the Mai-Kai for anything from a cocktail at happy hour to a special occasion dinner. And when visiting Fort Lauderdale on vacation it is a must!


by jh      07/13/2009 

I love the Mai Kai, it's one of the great Polynesian restaurants anywhere in the world. Great food, great drinks, great service and a wonderful floor show.

Don't pay attention to the ridiculous bad reviews. If you read those reviews you can tell that most if them are posted by the same person, who is likely a disgruntled former employee who is trying to make trouble for the restaurant. 

Go to the Mai Kai, you'll love it. But remember, this isn't a fast food restaurant like TGI's or Applebee's; you are gong to spend more than $15 per person. You are not going to get in & out in 45 minutes. You need reservations. Enjoy yourselves folks, it's a special night out after all!


by Mr. Boris      07/12/2009 

Whenever I'm in Florida this is one of my must visit destinations. (What am I talking about? This is the reason I go to Florida!!) Amazing atmosphere, stunning wait staff, excellent cocktails, great garden on the grounds, fantastic show, periodic rainshowers and happy hour specials. What more could you ask for? I already mentioned the stunning wait staff.


by VelveteenLounge      07/12/2009
The Mai-Kai is a beautiful, romantic tropical escape, with excellent food, top-notch drinks in the Molokai Bar, great service and an atmosphere and decor that are like a tropical vacation you can take in one night.


by R N      07/12/2009 

Excellent service and great food. One of the few remaining Polynesian palaces in the United States. The Molokai Bar serves cocktails with premium liquor and fresh mixers. Take the time to visit some pop culture history at the Mai Kai


by Tiki tOny      07/12/2009 

The Mai Kai could have served me McDonald's Chicken Nuggets (food was good) and I would have still been amazed at the artistry and ambiance of this mid century delight. No where else in the world have I ever seen a place decorated and presented to the extent of this Polynesian theme 1950's restaurant. 

Not only was the floor show amazing (better than Hawaii for me) but the food was much better than I've had there in years past. Maybe they put some extra care into the food, since you need more bang for your buck these days. If you want a cheap restaurant experience, go to some run of the mill chain that is the same all over the U.S. but when in Fort Lauderdale, have a true one-of-a-kind experience and see what America became famous for in the 50's, exotic escape! 

Go for some Pupu Platters and a drink in the Molokai Bar if you want to go on the best 2 hour Mai Kai vacation for only a few bucks! Okay, I think I've stated exactly how I love this place... now I wish I wasn't back in California anymore. See ya next summer Mai Kai!


by tikiyaki      07/12/2009 

5 Stars.

The absolute BEST Cocktails in the universe. A Polynesian Hula and fire-dancing show that rivals anything in Hawaii, and amazing food prepared in a Wood burning Chinese Oven. What more can one ask for in a Polynesian restaurant ? 

OK, how about a huge garden with waterfalls and tiki's everywhere, a bar that has a tropical storm going on outside the windows, Maitre D's in white pants and Blue Blazers greeting you at the door, and a gift shop that sells all the cool stuff from the restaurant. Not to mention that every inch of the place is a work of art...hand carved, one of a kind decor, vintage, and original from the 1950's

Still not enough....How about over 50 years running, and one of the last remaining large scale Polynesian Restaurants in the US ?

The Mai Kia is not a restaurant, it is an adventure, it's a vacation, it's paradise.


by Craig Hochscheid      07/10/2009
What a gem! The Mai Kai is something out of the past; A lavish floor show, exotic Tiki Drinks brimming with rum, great food and service. My parents used to go to the Mai Kai when almost 40 years ago, when I was a kid and it's been beautifully and lovingly maintained for all of these years. Whenever my Wife & I are in Florida we always make a detour to Ft. Lauderdale just to spend an evening at the Mai Kai.

The food has been updated a bit to suit more modern tastes, but the Polynesian & Cantonese dishes are still classics and are outstanding. You must try some of the exotic rum drinks at the Molokai Bar, there's nothing like them. The Mai Kai is great for a romantic night out, or anytime. In a world of fast food, generic chain restaurants, the Mai Kai is a sight for sore eyes.


by TikiRugger      07/10/2009 

The Mai-Kai is seven levels of awesomeness! From the authentic tiki cocktails to the incredible decor (recently given a facelift) to the great food, the Polynesian show, the great staff and the lush back paradise garden. This is one of the last of it's kind from a bye gone era of flower leis and tropical dreams. A must see in So FL.


by verotiki      07/10/2009
The Mai Kai is a one of a kind experience. It transports you to paradise as soon as you walk in the door. Every inch of space is decorated with found Polynesian objects and decor. The Molokai Bar is a replica of a shipwrecked boat and is awesome. 

The drinks are world famous and the bar maids efficient and beautiful in their bikinis and sarongs. The food in the restaurant is top notch and the service is impeccable. The waiters are very attentive and anticipate your needs. The show is something that everyone should see and experience at least once in a lifetime. 

Don't forget to order a Mystery Drink, and the Mystery Girl will deliver it to your table and dance for you! After dinner, you can stroll the tropical gardens (you would never know that you are between 2 furniture stores on Federal Highway) and enjoy the authentic Tiki carvings throughout. This is truly a Tiki mecca and not to be missed!


by Swanky      07/10/2009
A fantastic supper club! Their dancers come in first place every year against Hawaiian dancers. Best drinks in the country. Anything out of the Chinese ovens is great. This is not a kiddie show. Don't expect Chuckey Cheese prices and quality. A 5 star restaurant with 50+ years of tradition. Been doing it right for a long time. Greatest place on earth!


by Mark W.      04/18/2009
The Taj Mahal of tiki bars! They should make the Mai-Kai a historical landmark. It's like a time-warp to the 60's as soon as you enter. A must visit every time I'm in south Florida!


by Bruce S.      05/18/2008
I love this place-I have been here many times! Not counting the appetizers, the best food is ANYTHING cooked in the Chinese oven. The oven cooks with a combination of heat and smoke, which gives the food a great flavor! 

The drinks are the best in the Untied States-I mean it! THEY can be pricey compared to, say, your average local bar. BUT-this is by no ways your average local neighborhood bar. It is a Tiki palace! The gardens outside are spectacular, too! A Five Star zazz rating from me!


by W. Ryan J.      07/09/2007 

If you want a bit of South Florida nostalgia then go the Mai Kai Restaurant. I took my parents here a few years back and had a blast. They have been at this location since 1956. You are transported to a Polynesian Island in the pacific and forget that you are still in Fort Lauderdale. The food is great, drinks are strong, and the entertainment is wonderful.

This place is a wonderful retreat from your everyday restaurant.


by ninzinga16      01/29/2007 

Mai-Kai Restaurant: This restaurant is fantastic! the entertainment was just wonderful and exciting I couldn't stay in my seat. The food was tre bon. I would highly recommend this restaurant to every one in the whole world. The people were friendly, the food was magnificent and the entertainment was incredible. I truly had the time of my life.


a Local User      12/10/2006 

Great place for happy hour!: My husband took me to this restaurant one year for our anniversary and we have been going back ever since. The restaurant is open for dinner only (doors open at 5:00pm). 

There is a wide variety of food from seafood, to chicken, to steak. Dinner also came with a show (for $9.95). The food was excellent as was the show. If you do not wish to see the show, you can reserve a dinner table in the bar lounge area or there are tables outside. 

The Molokai Bar drink menu is broken down into weak, medium, and strong drinks. The first round is two-for-one. The last time we were there, the bar offered half priced appetizers from 5:00pm - 6:00pm and a free sushi bar on Wednesdays (usually when we go). The bar fills up fast so get there early for a table.


by exotic chinita      09/20/2005 

THE BEST RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE... I went here for my birthday this past June, it was absolutely awesome, such a beautiful experience. Though it is kinda pricey, it was well worth it. You cant beat dinner, and a show and an unforgettable night you cant put a price on that. 

The food was amazing, it had such great taste, the show was amazing it felt like if i was at the actual island, just the whole setting was amazing, a once in a lifetime thing. I will definitely be going there again for the most special occasions/holidays.


The Mai-Kai Pre-Opening in 1956

Many folks see the Mai-Kai as it is today... Here's How It Looked When The Thornton Brothers Started It Back In 1956.
It remains a family operation, same family for over 50 years.



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