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.