Much like a sand castle, fine tropical cuisine is complex in structure, typically found at the beach, and induces tear-filled tantrums when it finally disappears. Comfort wailing stomachs with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of dine-in South Pacific fare at Tiki Terrace in Des Plaines.
Tiki Terrace serves an extensive menu of island-inspired eats in an exotic getaway bedecked with hand-carved statues and swaying palms. Diners can start their voracious vacationing with crispy taro chips and homemade pineapple salsa ($4.50), or move straight to the main course with handheld selections, such as the Kalua pork sandwich, tender, shredded oven-roasted pork served on a toasted bun ($8.50). Sample sea-sourced delicacies, such as the classic Maui mahi, a lightly breaded and fried fillet of mahi-mahi topped with house-prepared sweet-and-sour chili sauce ($11 for 6 oz. cut, $14.50 for 10 oz. cut). Finish with a dessert of rich chocolate lava cake, overflowing with delectable hot fudge sourced from Candy Land's sweet molten core ($5.50). Two to four of-age diners can split a celebratory tiki bowl of Hawaiian punch, a more mature take on the popular pugilistic quaff, made with vodka, gin, and cranberry and orange juices ($13).
Since a trip to the tropics without a luau is like attending a rock show without getting body slammed by a screaming guy, Tiki Terrace offers a dinner-and-show package, which includes one entree and entertainment, on Friday ($19.50) and Saturday ($22.50) nights. Attendees can nibble on a variety of dishes, including Kalua pig or mahi-mahi, then feast eyes and ears on the Echoes of Polynesia revue show featuring live dancers and audience participation. Sway to sweet South Pacific sounds at a hand-carved booth sheltered by a grass roof, perfectly situated with uninterrupted views of the dining room's large central stage. With a rotating schedule of additional live events, Tiki Terrace brings guests all the sights and sounds of an island vacation without the hassle of unsightly tan lines.
- …the Tiki Terrace offers dinner shows that feature costumed dancers. These are authentic Polynesian dances done by people who can really move, but naturally there are moments when audience members are invited up to hula with the pros. – Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune
- Tiki Terrace was a pleasant surprise for me in the burbs of Chicago. Walking in really takes you to another world - one that should be familiar to anyone that has visited Hawaii. – Lyn P., Yelp
Hand-carved tikis and 12-foot-tall stone Easter Island moai preside over Tiki Terrace, which blends Pacific West influences with European flair. Seated under swaying palms at hard-carved booths and tables near a fireplace, dinner guests enjoy old-world roasted coffee and a regional menu that starts with traditional pupu appetizers, such as taro chips and housemade pineapple salsa, and proceeds to traditional seafood and pork specialties. In the party-friendly tiki tradition, groups of up to four can share the Hawaiian punch bowl, a powerful elixir that arrives in a volcano tiki bowl with a fiery surprise. On Friday and Saturday nights, the dining room's elevated center stage fills with the South Pacific’s dances, music, and ceremonial red-rover matches.