After hearing so many wonderful things about the Tonga Room in San Francisco we were pretty excited to check it out. We read about it in our AAA guidebook and got word of mouth reviews from my friend and even from a cab driver in San Francisco! However, there were some good things and some bad things about our experience at the Tonga Room.
The decor in the Tonga Room is purposely kitschy Polynesian themed. Every so often water falls from the ceiling (a tropical rainstorm) into a pool set in the middle of the room. A band plays purposely kitschy well-known songs from a boat floating in the pool. There is a bar and dance floor as well as tables and chairs for meals.
We went for dinner and arrived 15 minutes before the cut off to pay a cover. They made us wait the 15 minutes in order to charge the cover. Not cool Tonga Room! We were seated and shortly after that placed our drink orders. If you go, definitely order the Mai Tai! As I sipped it I was immediately transported back to Hawaii. It was a good strong drink, totally worth the price. Plus it comes in this ceramic coconut drinkware!
The menu is small, there isn’t much too choose from and it is pricey. For our appetizer we ordered calamari. That tasted great, nice and cripsy and the dipping sauce was zesty. A perfect start to our meal. I chose the orange chicken, Kyle ordered roasted chicken, and our friend Jon ordered coconut prawns. My dish tasted good,the chicken was juicy and the glaze was nice. It wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t bad. Kyle did not like his chicken and did not like the way his asparagus was cooked. Jon’s dish however, was awful. The shell was left on the prawns and he lost his appetite. The waitress graciously took the plate away and removed the item from our bill.
I unfortunately do not have any photos of our food because it was after a long day of sight-seeing for me and Kyle. We were famished by this time and just dug into our meals when they arrived. Plus the dim ambient lighting didn’t allow for good photos, although it did set a nice mood.
I would recommend going to the Tonga Room to enjoy a Mai Tai or two at the bar and just have fun dancing and listening to the band. Maybe going for lunch might be a better experience! I do not regret going, it was all part of the San Francisco experience for me.