298 Beachwalk Drive, Waikiki

The view:

Despite its rooftop location in downtown Waikiki, the view from the top of this three-storey building is a little lacklustre. Think hotel towers and surrounding high-rises. If you choose to sit in the beach pit – a sand-covered corner with low sofas arranged around gas-fired glass cubes – you'll find yourself mesmerised by the flames as night falls.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar is located in the heart of Waikiki on the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Beachwalk. Photo / Supplied
Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar is located in the heart of Waikiki on the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Beachwalk. Photo / Supplied

The vibe:

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Is a little confused. Tommy Bahama is a clothing store and you enter the bar through the shop front, weaving your way through tables of brightly printed shirts and shorts. Once you head up two flights of stairs, you'll arrive at the rooftop restaurant and bar, where young families settle in for an early dinner alongside couples looking to enjoy a sunset cocktail.

The chat: Was friendly and confident – although our server's advice turned out to totally miss the mark. Having explained I was looking for something refreshing and not-too-sweet, I was delivered a diabetes-inducing Blood Orange Margarita that was almost certainly 90 per cent sugar syrup. A second attempt, ordering a Cucumber Smash, yielded similar results and we decided it was time to wrap things up and head downstairs for dinner.

The scenic location features a second- story dining room, as well as a third- story rooftop bar with a beach-inspired cocktail area complete with a fire pit. Photo / Supplied
The scenic location features a second- story dining room, as well as a third- story rooftop bar with a beach-inspired cocktail area complete with a fire pit. Photo / Supplied

The menu:

Is extensive and enticing, with a variety of martinis and rum concoctions on offer, as well a range of signature cocktails. The execution, however, was heavy handed. A little more finesse – and a lot less sugar syrup – would improve the experience dramatically.

The expectation: Several people had recommended Tommy Bahama's rooftop as a must-visit destination so we had had high hopes.

The reality: As far as cocktail hour goes, it was disappointing. However, when we retreated downstairs for dinner in the main restaurant, we were more than impressed. With a focus on fresh, local produce, the food was excellent and made the visit absolutely worthwhile. Next time, we would just bypass the cocktails and stick to wine instead.