Would you like to add a little spice to your holidays? It’s back! Reposting from our friends @ Nonstophonolulu.com, who filmed a mixology session with us a year back.
Bartender Cory Nomura from Wang Chung’s Karaoke Bar focuses on a technique called “nitrogen cavitation.”
Today’s cocktail is a jalapeno and cilantro margarita made with freshly infused tequila and lime juice, making for a sweet, tangy and spicy cocktail.
Jalapeno and Cilantro Margarita
- 1 1/2 oz jalapeno and cilantro infused tequila
- 1/2 oz triple sec
- fresh lime juice to taste
- 1 oz simple syrup
We raised $1,600 for charity this weekend! I can’t begin to thank you enough for your support and for making The Chinese Laundry and our 3 year Anniversary such a success! Thank you for making the smallest bar in Waikiki feel like the biggest one in aloha spirit. Our community is blessed to have amazing people like you!
Wang Chung’s was recently featured in Star Advertiser’s Pau Hana Patrol!
Wang Chung’s is easy to miss — it’s hidden, in an alleyway off a side street behind the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. There’s no sign, and the door is discreet.
Once you find it, though, you’ll be glad you did. This cozy little karaoke bar is one of the best kept secrets in Waikiki, with entertaining performers and enticing refreshments.
There’s room for just about a dozen customers at the bar, and maybe a few more along a red banquette by the wall, and Wang Chung’s filled up quickly on a recent Thursday evening.
The bartender, Brian Silva, was belting out a hit from the ’80s in between serving drinks when we arrived. He hit every note, giving a performance worthy of “American Idol,” and when he finished, everyone applauded.
The cocktail specials ($1 off during happy hour) are worth the visit, too.
Wang Chung’s makes its own lychee-infused vodka for the Lychee-co-tini ($8), which is mixed with Absolut Pear vodka and Calpico — topped off with two lychees on a stick, of course.
The “To Die For Key Lime Pie” ($9) was my favorite — a luscious concoction of Malibu rum, vanilla vodka, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and a cream top sprinkled with (who would have figured?) crushed Nilla wafers.
You can tell that the juice is fresh, and you can really taste the lime.
Another cocktail with zing is the Moscow Mule ($7): vodka and fresh lime juice topped with fresh, homemade ginger beer. That’s right: Wang Chung’s makes its own from scratch, using locally grown ginger.
There are unique cocktails here, incorporating unusual flavors including Kai Vodka’s Coconut Pandan. (Pandan is an herb usually found in green-colored Southeast Asian desserts.)
The service is top-rate and professional.
This isn’t the kind of place where they just bang out the booze and collect your tips, but where the bartenders know your name and drink, and fix it just the way you want it.
If I had known about this place earlier, it would definitely be on my list for friends who visit from the mainland.
To be honest, karaoke really isn’t my thing, but the fun of it is kind of infectious in this intimate space, and so I found myself singing along to “Mama Mia.”
Karaoke is free during happy hour, and just $1 a song during regular hours. After 8 p.m., expect it to be standing room only.
DAN CHANG, 31, is the entrepreneur behind Wang Chung’s, often at the bar to personally greet customers with a hug.
A former engineer who dabbled in real estate, Chang opened the karaoke bar three years ago this month. He was originally planning to flip it, but ended up keeping it. “This was one of the spaces I could never lease out,” he said.
He transformed the 250-square-foot corner space (350-square-feet if you include the bathroom) into a bar modeled after “nomiyas,” or hidden, pocket-sized bars in Tokyo.
The bar is named after the ’80s band (a light went on in Chang’s head while texting friends), and has a fun, Japanese pop-art vibe.
It’s done up in clean, Zen-inspired lines, a combination of strong blacks and reds accented with hanging paper lanterns and unique artwork, including a mural depicting Godzilla.
Karaoke is on two flat-screens, and it’s high-tech here: The song list is available online and accessible through your smartphone, eliminating those big, clunky binders filled with titles. No smartphone? Write down the song you want on a piece of paper and hand it to the bartender.
Check out the giant okame, or “happy face,” on the rear wall — it’s actually where the door to the bathroom is hidden, blending seamlessly into half of the face.
The bar is gay friendly, but the crowd is really an eclectic mix of gay, straight, locals, tourists, male, female, old, young, single, engaged and married.
“It’s a happy place,” said Chang. “Everyone’s like family here.”
Pau Hana Patrol sends reporters out in search of rewarding happy-hour haunts. Visits are paid for by the Star-Advertiser.
Article by Nina Wu, email@example.com, Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell, firstname.lastname@example.org, online link to article: http://www.honolulupulse.com/bars-clubs/pau-hana-patrol-creative-cocktails-and-karaoke-are-served-up-at-a-tiny-hideaway-wang-chungs
A little belated, but we wanted to thank the online voters for @nonstophonolulu‘s First Annual Best of Nonstop. Nonstop’s editors and writers chose the five nominees in each of the 23 selected categories including favorite dishes, eateries, bars and clubs. Then readers had two weeks to make their selections.
Wang Chung’s Karaoke Bar won in two categories: Readers’ Choice Best Bar and Best Cocktail.
We cannot thank you enough for your support and votes. All of us at Wang Chung’s strive to make it the Friendliest Bar in Waikiki with Kick-Ass Karaoke! And we are proud to serve stylized cocktails with the freshest ingredients from here in Hawaii.
Come down and join us and we’ll be glad to thank you with Free Hugs!
We’re happy to join in on the monthly online cocktail party known as Mixology Monday. This month’s MxMo is hosted by Filip of Adventures in Cocktails, and the theme he chose for is Niche Spirits.
“June’s theme will be “favorite niche spirit”, so any cocktail where the base ingredient is not bourbon, gin, rum, rye, tequila, vodka etc would qualify. So whether you choose Mezcal or Armagnac get creative and showcase your favorite niche spirit.”
Here at Wang Chung’s, we’re going to feature an original cocktail created by one of our patrons, Tanis. It’s called “Ginger ‘N Maryann” and features Domaine de Canton Liqueur.
“Domaine de Canton is a French ginger liqueur comprised of eau-de-vie and VSOP and XO Grande Champagne Cognacs, which themselves are produced using fresh Tahitian vanilla beans, Provencal honey and Tunisian ginseng. The ginger comes from fresh, baby Vietnamese ginger and adds a wonderful flavor profile to this unique distilled spirit.”
We love using fresh juices here, and what makes this cocktail unique is that we use locally fresh squeezed pineapple juice from Govinda’s. If you’ve never tried fresh squeezed pineapple juice, the first thing you’ll immediately notice is the thickness followed by the super fresh flavor. It’s a life-changing experience. Govinda squeezes gallons and gallons of fresh juices every morning, and do so without pasteurization and destroying the flavors and enzymes in the juices. The shelf-life is so much shorter, but the flavor and quality is unbeatable, and we all deserve to have the best tasting cocktails with the best ingredients!
Ginger ‘N Maryann