Trader Vic’s, London Hilton Park Lane

I’d been looking forward to visiting Trader Vic’s on London’s Park Lane since a trip to Los Angeles several years ago where our hotel also had a Trader Vic’s restaurant, but just never seemed to get around to it. Sadly, after finally making it there, it was not a case of ‘worth the wait’. However let’s begin on a more positive note; the decor in the restaurant is exactly what you would expect in a Polynesian themed restaurant. It’s located in the basement but the lack of natural light was not a problem, and it was quite atmospheric. The disappointment here was the food:

Trader Vic's starter

My starter of butterflied prawns with a spicy sauce was quite small, not particularly well presented, and the sauce did not taste freshly made.

The main course of steamed sea bass ‘Cantonese style’ was a bit better but too sweet (the sauce) and lacking in variety in terms of the vegetables and in terms of the texture. I’ve had far superior sea bass in numerous other London restaurants.

Steamed sea bass, Cantonese style

Steamed sea bass, Cantonese style

Trio of desserts

Trio of desserts

The pudding was actually the biggest disappointment of all, I felt. On the left was a chocolate brownie (too firm, when and where had it been baked I wondered?), in the centre a sickly sweet strawberry ice cream, and on the right a piece of pineapple in a vile clear chilli sauce. In essence it was not how a meal should end, thank goodness the cocktails were significantly better than this!

Trader Vic's Cocktail

What I would say to anyone thinking of paying a visit to Trader Vic’s is go for drinks rather than dinner!


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