Walk over the wooden footbridge that’s fringed with foliage and the bar area unfurls in front of you. Wicker tables transport you straight to an upmarket Hawaiian holiday resort and the long bar on your left leads your gaze through to the small flight of steps at the far end. More tables in the elevated seating area allow greater privacy and a bird’s eye view of the rest of the bar. Downstairs, the dedicated club area has tables dotted around the ample dance floor although you’re going to have to get your credit card out as they come with a minimum spend of £500.
The regulars may be rarefied but the camaraderie is the kind that you find in a high-end, all-inclusive Polynesian resort’s bar and it’s what makes Kanaloa so enticing. From strangers high-fiying you on the dance floor to the staff’s genuine smiles, it’s reassuring proof that in the capital carefree can be every bit as cool as cutting edge.
The bar area of Kanaloa consists of a long black bamboo bar front, surrounded by carved wooden pillars and attractively lit with lampshades made from exotic shells. Moving through the venue, the lounge is the most traditionally tiki styled area, with crazy paving stone floor and rattan screens providing discreet alcoves placed at intervals throughout.
Those who want to hit the dance floor to the eclectic music played by Kanaloa’s resident DJs Tommy Crane and Chris Anderson can head to the club area, featuring large elevated booths looking out over revellers and a colour changing ceiling to reflect every mood.
Towards the rear of Kanaloa is the Treetops, a rainforest styled retreat with giant palm trees, tropical leaf patterned walls, and rustic wooden planking. Guests can hide away in the branches at the top or sit in the shade of the palms on the beach underneath.
The cocktails at Kanaloa are truly exceptional. Designed by award-winning mixologists Papa Jules and Captain Richard Hunt and made with freshly squeezed juices, exotic fruits and primarily organic ingredients, they delight guests.
To reflect the Kanaloa brand, drinks are served in an appropriately amusing way and signature drinks will include the Kanaloa Kula, a heady mixture of Mahiki Rum, Lemon, Star Anise, Lime Sugar, Pomegranate juice and Vintage Spanish Sparkling Wine.
Kanaloa’s sharing cocktails are a star attraction with drinks such as Octopus Punch, which serves eight people and features Eldorado 12 Guyanese Rum, Nui Nui Spiced Syrup, Fresh Lemon, and Black Tea served in a bespoke Octopus punch bowl. For a truly theatrical bar experience, order the Dead Man’s Chest composed of Seven Tiki Gold Mascara Cherries, Fresh Lemon, Pomegranate and Apple Juices transfused with a carafe of blood red Claret and brought to your table by a full blown voodoo funeral procession from the bar to your table.
Food is Pan-Asian inspired and delicacies include Tempura Lobster with Wasabi Sauce, Chilli Salt Baby Squid with Lime Soy Sauce and Thai Green Chicken Broth with Sticky Coconut Rice.
Despite its location in the heart of the male-dominated financial district, Kanaloa is a City bar that breaks the mould, aimed firmly at attracting women. To achieve this there are several female-friendly house rules and initiatives including; men cannot speak to women unless spoken to by them, complimentary entry, complimentary cloakrooms and discounted drinks for all women members and all cheesy chat-up lines banned. Women members can also benefit from manicures, massages and makeovers.