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Polynesian & Hawaiian Food/Restaurant in TORONTO

I'm looking for a Polynesian or Hawaiian restaurant downtown Toronto. I'm new to the area and have a project for school (GBC) focusing on Polynesian cuisine and I need to find an AUTHENTIC restaurant, I've googled to no avail! Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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    1. I'm not aware of any

      There is at least one Canadian/Chinese restaurant that also has some faux "Trader Vics" type tiki bar polynesian dishes, it's been a long time but it was pretty lame.

      There is a Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community in the GTA with several dance troupes that show up at cultural events, you may try reaching out to one of them, like Hula San or Pacific Magic and see if they can suggest anywhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bytepusher

        The GTA hula dance troupes are almost exclusively Filipino.

      2. I kind of did a search last year and didn't have any luck either, therefore I had to make my own Hawaiian luau using just online recipes. The Kalua Pork is a tough one to do since it's easily overcooked, make sure you give good insulation and moisture. I'm no expert, but at least watch it carefully. Good Luck.

        1. Hmm how about anything from Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji or anything along those lines. Part of the project is To visit a restaurant on the cuisine that my group is focusing on.

          Any other suggestions for cuisines/cultures would actually help a lot, just in case we need to switch it up!!

          Thanks again!

          1 Reply
          1. re: saresw

            You'd think whoever put the course together would know there hasn't been a Polynesian restaurant in Toronto since the 70s.

          2. Hmmm. I'm from Hawaii but I have never seen real Hawaiian cookery here. It would be much more fun to make your own luau style party but making an imu or the cooking pit might be difficult to recreate at your school. However, there's lots of quirky island dishes that you can re-create easily, like the ubiquitous "plate lunch"-scoop of rice, scoop of macaroni or potato salad, something breaded and fried like chicken, a pork tonkatsu, or fish. There's always grilled chicken teriyaki, poke salad (raw fish and seaweed with spices). Forget the poi. Just wear lots of leis and embarassingly bright shirts and shorts. I think that a Filipino or Malaysian restaurant will the closest that you can get to a restaurant with palm trees/grass roots/coconut shell decor.Like it was said before, there was that tacky quasi-polynesian Trader Vic's but I think it is long gone. Contemporary Hawaiian food is a real blend of many cultures and is making foodie news with the new wave of amazing and daring chefs.

            1. As far as Hawaiian is concerned, maybe no restauranteur wants to risk a place serving Spam, as it might be disregarded...;>)

              3 Replies
              1. re: Wiley

                I love spam. I also love loco moco and roasted pig. Maybe the food's not healthy enough for Toronto.

                1. re: GoodGravy

                  Don't forget poi! That's healthy, right? But goes best with the roasted pig so I guess that nullifies the health benefits! I would LOVE if there was somewhere I could go for shaved ice. I know Harapeko is supposed to have kakigori, but when I've gone, it wasn't available.

                  160 Baldwin Street Unit 1, Toronto, ON M5T 3K7, CA

                  1. re: always_eating

                    If I heard that a fun and adventurous GTA restaurant was planning a Hawaiian/Polynesian theme dinner (with regular menu available alongside), I'd go just for the experience. Why don't restaurants do this more often?

              2. I know of no restaurant myself. It seems I have discovered a fab dance troupe but have no venue for such.

                Perhaps you could start with imu imu pork and check out travel flyers for names of occasions such as hukilau and other Hawaiian feasts.

                If you ever find a place with enough space for both guests and dancers, please let me know. I live in the heart of exciting downtown Toronto, too.