Named after a Polynesian greeting meaning “kiss kiss”, Honi Honi Cocktail Lounge is a veritable haven of elegance and design, serving up fresh cocktails concocted by seasoned drink connoisseur and partner Max Traverse. Here, the vision is to create an establishment to match Max’s unique style and sophisticated service, bringing back a time when a bartender could concoct exactly the right tipple for clientele he would know by name.
In addition to what is arguably the most expansive list of rums ever seen, the menu includes the usual tiki suspects sure to make “father of Tiki” Don the Beachcomber proud, as well as many novel creations such as the Maori Spring Punch, or Max’s personal favourite, Honi Honi Kiss.
Honi Honi boasts a highly detailed aesthetic and finely balanced design consisting of classic Polynesian elements, generous use of color and patterns, and architectural creations of timber and bamboo. With the terrace adorned lush greenery and sculpted furniture, it is the perfect space to kick back and relax to live grooves by day and party among Hong Kong’s vibrant revelers by night - truly an escape at the heart of the city.
Max Traverse is a veteran in the high-end cocktail scene, with over 14 years of experience at France and England’s top bars and lounges. Honi Honi Cocktail Lounge is his first foray into owning his own venue, but clients will always find him behind the bar doing what he does best – shaking up a storm.
Max began his hospitality career serving European royalty and celebs at top five star establishments including Trianon Palace (Versailles, France), The Village Montana (Tignes, France), Golf Plaza (Ste Maxime, France) and the renowned Miramar Beach Hotel (Cannes, France) where he quickly moved up the ranks.
His passion for mixing drinks brought him to London, then a burgeoning capital of cocktail innovation and the original birthplace of lounge culture. He continued to hone his skills and penchant for combining interesting flavours at some of the city’s most esteemed venues – Monte’s Club, The Library Bar (Lanesborough Hotel), The Cuckoo Club (Piccadilly), and the Hoxton Pony, to name but a few.
While he is known city-wide for his rum and bourbon old-fashioned’s, Max’s current favourite is the Honi Honi Kiss, a delectable mix of 42BELOW passion fruit vodka, passion fruit puree, French vanilla syrup, fresh guava juice and Taittinger Brut Champagne.
In 1934, Don the Beachcomber opened a Polynesian themed restaurant in Hollywood serving tropical rum punches and exotic cuisine with décor featuring carved Tiki masks, flaming torches, flower leis and bright fabrics. Thus began Tiki, spreading like wildfire into music and cinema, particularly after American soldiers brought home stories and souvenirs from Oceania in 1945. Maybe Tiki is a way for modern man to forget his woes amongst misty rum drinks. Maybe it provides a connection to man’s inner tribal roots. What’s certain is Tiki is back and its long storied history will continue here at the Honi Honi Cocktail Lounge.