GOOD TO KNOW: www.shamefultikiroom.com/vancouver
Specialties: exotic, rum-filled cocktails and island grub
Gluten free: items available but not labeled
Reservations: recommended for weekends and large groups
Other: plan transportation that does not include drinking and driving
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use them to make a purchase, I'll earn a bit of money from the sale to save for my next gluten-free adventure.
Marianas Trench fangirl heads to British Columbia
I admit it. I am a shameless fangirl of Marianas Trench. I love their music. I love their look. I love their live shows. And I love that they are Canadian. As a self-proclaimed fangirl, I follow the band on Twitter and happened across a shout out to the Shameful Tiki Room in Vancouver, B.C. <insert eyebrow quirk and fangirl squeal>. Perfect timing for my upcoming trip to Vancouver (to see the band). Whoot. Canada here we come!
Shameful Tiki Room - A taste of the tropics in Canada
Dining with a food intolerance can take a lot of the fun out of finding exciting places and trying new things. But here's the deal with the Shameful Tiki Room. They have a great website with menu and contact info and they accept reservations. I emailed the restaurant weeks ahead of time asking about gluten free options for me and vegetarian items for my husband, Shawn. They assured me we would find plenty of both on the menu so I made a reservation and was very much looking forward to "Vintage-style Tiki in Vancouver".
Nine hours of driving, one concert, and a couple taxi rides later and we arrive at the Shameful Tiki Room for our reservation. Clearly the owners are committed to the theme. From the dim lighting and puffer fish lamps to the Polynesian music and exotic drinks, the Shameful Tiki Room transports patrons to a place where ukuleles play and palm fronds sway. It has a definite retro vibe and as Shawn put it, "I keeping thinking I'm going to see Scooby Doo come through the door." Be forewarned. This is not a meat and potatoes joint nor does is serve a traditional "meal" per se. Instead, it's all about the cocktails. Lots and lots of cocktails with names like Mai Tai, Day of the Dead, and Volcano Bowl. Food stuffs include finger foods, tiki nachos, and specialty plates which are all perfect for sharing.
Gluten-free small plates to soak up the rum
The menu did not clearly indicate gluten- free items and the descriptions weren't overly helpful so I had to ask our server. She was very nice and double checked items with the kitchen. I ended up ordering the spiced curry with a prawn skewer and Shawn chose the vegetarian samosas and the half avocado with shrimp to share. One thing to note, the curry plate included wedges of naan which I promptly handed over to Shawn. I can't say I got overly full but the combination of flavors and spice left me satisfied. A note to self for next time, I would definitely order a couple small plates to start/share/soak up the rum and then order something larger a bit later. As it was, all the food arrived at once and the experience seemed a bit rushed. I'm not sure Shawn was as enamored as I was but for me The Shameful Tiki Room is a gem of an eatery that goes all in on atmosphere and unapologetically turns drinking into an art form. My kinda joint.
So Matt Webb, if you ever stumble across this blog post, thanks for the recommendation.
Like Tiki bars? Read about Frankie's Tiki Room in Las Vegas.
A note to readers:
I am gluten sensitive/intolerant so I am not overly concerned with possible cross contamination. If you have severe reactions, I recommend taking additional precautions.