The last time I was in the premises now occupied by 52 Canoes Tiki Den was a good while ago. If memory serves, I was wearing a three-foot tall pink top hat and singing a soulful karaoke rendition of ‘Words’.
Since that time, the place has undergone a Pacific rim transformation. It’s now part trad bar, part hula hut. It manages to pull it off without drifting in to the twee…just.
They have a smart looking “lunchtime quickie” deal, which offers a range of simple dishes, like their pasta of the day, a steak sandwich, or nachos, for £5. These would have to wait for another day, though, as I arrived in the early evening.
My mind was set on a burger, so I was pleased to see a range of options from which to choose. I settled upon the 52 Canoes Burger, which featured a beefy burger topped with bacon and stilton.
The barman was pulling double duty, as he tended bar and offered table service to a relatively busy pub. He did so really effectively, with plenty of friendly words along the way, although he could have used an additional pair of hands to make things a little less frenetic.
My burger arrived in good time, accompanied by rustic chips and a crunchy slaw salad. The burger was extremely thick and encased in a good robust-looking roll. It was right on the cusp between being a knife and fork job or a shove faceward proposition. I gave my jaw a rub and opted for the latter approach.
The stilton cream topping was excellent, ensuring that good flavour and moisture came through on every mouthful. However, the burger itself was too lean, meaning it was both a bit crumbly and an almost entirely flavourless vehicle the stilton.
The chips were really good, though, as was the crunchy salad, so I was pretty pleased with what I ate.
So overall, I enjoyed my visit to the Tiki Den. I think their burger needs work, to get some more fat in the mix, but they’re not far off being a very decent little place. The service was excellent, if stretched, and the place was full of character. I look forward to popping back, at some stage, to try their value lunch deal.
Blythe scores 52 Canoes Tiki Den
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: 52 canoes burger (smoked bacon and stilton topping)
I drank: red stripe lager
I wore: Cartier boots
Total bill: £13.95