As you travel down North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, it’s hard to miss the brightly colored Mai Kai Restaurant. Inside its tiki hut walls, you’ll find a combination of palm trees and good times. Mai Kai transports its guests to another part of the world—one filled with Polynesian symbols like luau performers, exotic gardens, and waterfalls. And don’t let the ambiance downplay the cuisine—Mai Kai crafts some of the best dishes in town. Find more recommendations for Fort Lauderdale attractions when you access our complimentary Vacation Guide!
What Is Mai Kai Restaurant?
As you may have already guessed, Mai Kai is a Polynesian-themed restaurant and tiki bar with a dedicated following. They offer an immersive dinner show that’s similar to the luaus you would experience on the sandy beaches of the Pacific. Their menu boasts carefully crafted 5-star Polynesian entrees. If you’re in search of a gourmet meal and some wholesome entertainment, let Mai Kai remind you that life doesn’t have to be so serious.
You can’t go wrong with any of the flavorful choices at Mai Kai. In case you can’t decide, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite dishes at this Pacific place.
- Teriyaki Chicken
- The teriyaki chicken is one of Mai Kai’s most popular dishes. The entree is smothered in roasted mushrooms, asparagus, grilled pineapple, garlic confit, and sesame seeds.
- Hawaiian Fried Rice
- At this restaurant, Hawaiian fried rice includes all of the normal ingredients such as jasmine rice, egg, chicken, shrimp, green onions, and spam. Yes, we said spam. If you’ve visited the Hawaiian Islands, you know that the canned meat is a local delicacy. If you haven’t, then you need to visit Mai Kai to find out why. The dish is tossed to perfection with pineapple and macadamia nuts.
- Walnut Shrimp
- When at the beach, order the seafood—are we right? Mai Kai’s gluten-free walnut shrimp is one of the best seafood dishes in Fort Lauderdale. It includes giant, crispy shrimp, Yuzu lemon honey aioli sauce, candied walnuts, and Fresno peppers.
- Macadamia-Encrusted Mahi Mahi
- This is a perfectly crafted Polynesian classic. Fresh Atlantic Mahi Mahi is breaded with crushed Hawaiian macadamia nuts and cooked to perfection. It’s topped with pineapple salsa, dressed with passion fruit beurre blanc, and paired with herbed jasmine rice.
Performers take the stage at Mai Kai Tuesday-Sunday (with revolving showtimes). Every year, choreographer Mireille Thornton recreates a fresh performance that transports guests to the South Pacific. Sit in awe of flamethrowers and hula dancers as you enjoy your meal! The performance represents a thoughtfully designed story of Polynesia’s rich history. Bring the kids and let them dance along with the beat of the drum or enjoy a pina colada with your date. When the show’s over, you’ll be itching to throw on your grass skirt and dance in the sand.