Waikiki Dreaming ~ Staten Island, NY

Oahu is a favourite holiday destination of mine. From the beaches of Waikiki, to the rugged coastline of its North Shore, I’m (always) longing to return to this Hawaiian island.

My favourite memories of it are pretty simple: magical sunsets, the intoxicating smell of frangipanis – their scent permeates the thick air, colourful streets courtesy of overhanging hibiscus flower bushes, SPAM topped sushi, swaying palm trees, and drinking Mai Tai’s at leisure while relaxing on the hot pink coloured beachfront terrace of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

I haven’t been back to Oahu in a while, and while it may seem strange to some, these memories came flowing back when I dined at Jade Garden in the NY borough of Staten Island.

Staten Island in summer has a tropical feel – it’s green, it’s an island, and its northern coastline is a prime spot for viewing lower Manhattan, and New York pink and gold sunsets. That aside, it’s the Tiki inspired, kitsch interior of a Chinese restaurant located in a non descript strip mall along Richmond Avenue that evokes the “take me back to Hawaii” feeling. Though there’s no beachfront view, they do serve a mean Mai Tai.

A  short drive from Brooklyn over the Verrazano Bridge, or a ferry ride from downtown Manhattan*, this is a spot well worth the trip when you’re in a Waikiki state of mind.

Staten Island overlooks Manhattan’s downtown

Looking towards New Jersey

Sun setting behind Staten Island

*Add on a bus or cab trip from the ferry terminal – about a 15 minute drive by car, 45 minutes by bus. Car toll fare is $12, Ferry is free.


38 thoughts on “Waikiki Dreaming ~ Staten Island, NY

  1. So cool! These are awesome shots Marina – and the next best thing to Hawaii itself (only been once but I am in LOVE!). I am loving this delicious header shot – too yummy looking! I bet this was a fun visit!

    • You know those restaurants that have the holiday feel? This place was akin to Tiki bars in Waikiki… and with that, you can’t help but reminisce 🙂 The food was good – finished it today (portions were generous!) Thanks, glad you enjoyed!

  2. Hi Marina, I’ve never been to Hawaii and never tried a Mai Tai. I think I’m missing out. You’ve also got me thinking chinese food. All this and I haven’t had breakfast yet. I like the places your posts take me to. 🙂

    • Hi Adrian! All the above can be solved with a trip to Oahu 🙂 Easier said than done, but put it on the non-negotiable list as Hawaii is the perfect spot for R&R, good food, wonderful people, wonderful atmosphere, and fun. You do as little or as much as you please – it’s just being there that is soothing. Happy to have transported you! Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks so much K! When you get to NY, definitely take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and spend some time seeing the borough. It has lovely spots like Jade Garden and this waterfront view.

  3. I love the warm glow of your Jade Island pictures. Your food photos are great! That was a really nice sun setting. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Gabriele! I noticed that glow to the food shots too – it must have been because we were sitting next to the back lit photo of Hawaiian palm trees and boats (see image #1). That photo spanned a wall but I only managed to take 1/5 of it with the 35mm.

    • Thanks Karen! I love being transported through daily life 🙂 Re; Hawaii, all i can say is – you won’t regret going. It’s a spot where I know you’ll find so much inspiration – volcanoes, beaches, mountains, plantations.. shopping 🙂

  4. Great shots! This post has me reminiscing about Hawaii also. I’ve been there a few times and loved visiting. Kauai is my favorite island and hope to go back. I haven’t been there since the mid-1990s.

  5. Thanks for taking so many of us mentally back to Hawaii! I bought a candle on the North Shore, which is odd for me because I usually can’t stand scented candles as they send me into migraine overload) but I burned it every single day, just to be taken back to Hawaii. I saved the wrapper that went around the middle of the candle (it’s on a magnet on the fridge) so I can order another one someday.

    • My pleasure -I am so glad Hawaii resonated from this side of the US. I do the same thing as you – keep the wrappers with hard to find products. Scents flood us with memories. I find that with perfume – I bought one from Sephora in Dubai and its smell takes me back. unfortunately, they don’t make the perfume anymore and I hope one day to come across something similar! thanks for sharing your memories!

  6. I believe Anthony Bourdain visited this place. I’ve never been.
    Next time Marina check out Bayou for some creole, or Enoteca Maria which I’ve written about

Please Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s