The above photo of Kon-Tiki comes from the website of Dan in the Desert, a civilian working in the Middle East. I first came across his post about this unusual restaurant in Kuwait City last December. He made only passing reference to it, and I still don’t know a lot about the place, but today I finally got off my duff and got it entered into Critiki.
Kon-Tiki is just a restaurant — alcohol is a big kapu in Kuwait. It is indeed a Polynesian restaurant, and you can just almost see what appears to be a tiki on the wall in this photo. The really striking thing about this restaurant, though, is that it sits directly beneath an authentic Kuwaiti dhow that is in permanent dry-dock. That dramatic curved wall and ceiling is actually the hull of a ship. That ship is called the Al Boom, and it holds a steakhouse. The Kon-Tiki is at the Radisson SAS Hotel, which is in Salwa, a sort of suburb of Kuwait City, and it is right on the Persian Gulf. There is also a simple website for the hotel, which has this small picture, but it doesn’t reveal much more about this unusual Polynesian restaurant.
Many people are unaware that Polynesian restaurants are not uncommon in the Middle East; in fact, Trader Vic’s has nine Middle East locations — there are currently only seven operating in the United States.