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Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Pictures and a review of the Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant and dinner show located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Waterfall In Garden
Large Wood Fired Oven
Wood Burning
We visited the Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant & Lounge for a friend's birthday celebration. Our group of about ten people arrived around 8:30pm to eat before the 10pm "Polynesian Islander Revue" show

Visitors could either take advantage of the complimentary valet parking or self park at a cost of $5. It was far more convenient to let the valet park the car and tip him than navigate the busy parking lot.

We only waited a few minutes before being seated at a large table in the rear of the upper dining area. Taller people should be cautious walking around Mai-Kai since it feels like there are low hanging architectural design elements.

The waitress first brought us a colorful drink menu with a variety of rum based fruit juice cocktails. I chose an imported beer for $8 and she had a pineapple drink for about $12.

Carved Wood Statue
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Flames & Torches
The drink prices were similar to what you would expect at an upscale nightclub or bar in the South Florida area, but higher than most "normal" restaurants. After being served our drinks, the waitress invited us to explore Mai-Kai's "lush tropical garden" located just outside the rear of the restaurant. The garden included small man-made waterfalls, palm trees, flowering plants and a collection of Polynesian wood statues. If you'd prefer to skip the show, there were a few two to four person tables outside adjacent to the garden.
Polynesian Statue
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Performers On Stage
The waitress served the food just after 9pm. She used a tiny flashlight to illuminate the dishes and explain the different dipping sauces that some meals included. Some people in the group seemed content with their food while others seemed displeased with their particular choice. I remember that one person chose a sushi dish, ate about half of it, and said that it wasn't that good. We hadn't been very hungry, so we shared the fried crab rangoon dumplings appetizer and a goat cheese salad, which were both decent.
Polynesian Islander Revue
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Grass Skirts & Drums
The "Polynesian Islander Revue" dinner show is the real attraction at the Mai-Kai Restaurant. It began promptly at 10pm with a row of drummers and an announcer welcoming us to the show. The announcer explained the origin and meaning of each dance before the performers took the stage. At times it was difficult to understand the announcer, but that didn't really detract from enjoying the on-stage performances.


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Sparking Ice Volcano
I think I heard the MC say that the dances originated from Polynesian areas of the world such as Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia and perhaps others. The male and female dancers wore colorful costumes while three drummers sang and beat their drums in unison. The highlight of the show was the fire dance with a performer quickly spinning a large enflamed baton.
Spinning Fire Baton
Fire Dance
Near the end of the show, the announcer wished a happy birthday and anniversary to the various groups in the restaurant that night. The final dance of the night followed the celebration announcements.
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Sushi Platter
Goat Cheese Salad
Overall, visiting Mai-Kai was a pleasant experience and one that we might consider repeating with out of town visitors in the future. I'd recommend arriving about half an hour before the show, ordering drinks with perhaps an appetizer, and just enjoy the excellent performances. I've read in other reviews that smaller parties or those arriving just before the show may be able to sit at smaller tables closer to the main stage. If you have sensitive eyes, I'd suggest stepping out into the garden right after the fire baton twirling performance until the kerosene fumes diminish. My eyes felt slightly irritated for a few minutes following the conclusion of that part. The two of us spent a total of about $74.00 for two $8 beers, 1 pineapple rum drink, a $6.95 goat cheese salad, a $7.50 platter of crab rangoons, $11 per person for the dinner show, and a mandatory 15% gratuity.
Fried Rice Bowl
Beef & Vegetables
Fruit & Ice Volcano
For more of my related photo galleries, click on the following links: Butterfly World, Ski Rixen - Quiet Waters Park, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, New Times Beerfest, South Florida International Auto Show, Florida Renaissance Festival, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Fairchild Chocolate Festival, Delray Beach Garlic Festival, Everglades Holiday Park, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Fairchild Mango Festival, Seminole Hard Rock Halloween, Fort Lauderdale Home Show, South Beach, Aventura Mall, Fort Lauderdale New Year's Eve, Flamingo Gardens, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Ft. Lauderdale Air & Sea Show, and the Loxahatchee Everglades Airboat Tour.

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