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Jade Island

Back in March I took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and ended up at Steiny’s bar. I had a good time that night and I’ve decided to repeat the experience. But tonight there’s a different destination once we get to Staten Island. After I put up that post, The Duncester sent me a video of Anthony Bourdain and David Johansen eating and drinking at Staten Island’s only tiki bar, Jade Island, which has been in business since 1972. After I watched that video, I knew I had to go check that place out and tonight’s the night, to quote Neil Young!

Here we are at the Staten Island Ferry. It still amazes me that this ferry ride is free and there's beer to be had on board.

There's a big crowd waiting, which is good, it means the ferry should be here at any minute.

It's 7:32PM, do you know where your ferry is?

Well I know where my ferry is, it's just landed at the dock.

All aboard!

The first stop was the snack bar for a much needed beer and bag of popcorn.

My view from the snack bar. I was able to squeeze in one more beer before we got to Staten Island.

By the time we docked in Staten Island, darkness had fallen on the city.

Welcome to Staten Island!

Jade Island isn't within walking distance, so it's off to the taxi stand for a ride.

Here's the captain of the taxi stand, John. He smiled when I told him I was going to Jade Island and said I was in for a real treat. Then he motioned for a taxi.

And here we are in the taxi.

Checking his GPS or updating his facebook status? You make the call!

And we're off. The driver said it wouldn't take long to get there.

He wasn't lying, here we are already!

Jade Island is open, let's go check it out.

Here's the lobby in all its tiki glory.

A golden Buddha sits on a table next to the menu.

There's a waterfall and flowers behind the Buddha giving the place a real island-like feel.

And most importantly, here's the bar. The tiki lamps hanging overhead bathe the bar in a magenta hue.

A menu is placed in front of me...

And before I think about food, I need a drink. You can't drink beer in a tiki bar, so I decided to go with a Zombie.

Bartender Johnny serves up the Zombie with a smile. He's a nice guy and a great bartender.

The view from my perch at the bar.

Staten Island native, John was seated next to me at the bar. He told me he's a regular at Jade Island as I realized everyone I had met so far tonight is named, "John." I started to feel like a hooker, albeit a Happy Hooker as the potent Zombie was kicking in already. Johnny pours a mighty stiff drink!

There's a large dining room situated behind the bar.

Bamboo booths line the walls which feature Hawaiian back-lit images.

Tiki lamps hang from the ceiling, adding to the island feel in here.

When I returned to the bar, my appetizer had arrived. I got the boneless spare ribs and it came with hot Chinese mustard and sweet and sour dipping sauce. I couldn't believe how big the portion is for an appetizer. This could've been the whole meal!

Despite the huge size of the portion, I sailed through it rather quickly. Great spare ribs! Time for another Zombie!

Frank and Kathleen sat next to me at the bar. They too are regulars here and said Jade Island is one of the best places on Staten Island.

And here's the main course...

The Jade Island Love Nest. It's got shrimp, lobster, pork, mushrooms and a variety of vegetables in a sauce housed in an edible birds nest. Very delicious, but needless to say, after that appetizer I took a good portion of it home with me!

And before I called for a cab back to the ferry, Johnny gave me a special drink on the house. I'm not sure what it was, but it was quite potent and I had a nice nap on the ferry ride back to Manhattan. If you're ever in Staten Island, you need to check out Jade Island for a great meal and potent drinks. Just make sure you've got aspirin for the next morning! Thanks to the Duncester for tipping me off about this place!

Staten Island Ferry
4 South St. (@Whitehall St.)

Jade Island
2845 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island

Further Reading: Humu Kon Tiki, Tiki Central and Lost City.

Thank God the tiki bar is open.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


A New Novel From Mykola Mick Dementiuk!

TWM reader, commenter and author, Mykola Mick Dementiuk had a new novel entitled, "The Facialist" out and he sent me an advance copy over the weekend. I haven't read it yet, but I guarantee it's a good read about the days when New York was down and dirty and filled with excitement! You can check out the book and buy it here and here. Thanks for the book Mick, I'm going to read it this week!


Bonus Cartoon From Jaws!

Jaws the Cabbie sent in this Zombie cartoon to go along with what I had to drink at Jade Island. Ha ha ha! Nice work, Jaws, thanks!

References (1)

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Reader Comments (30)

Wow, all that food looks delicious! I can't believe you had a zombie - hahaha!

Well, I'll add this to my list of places to go if I ever venture back to SI...if. ever.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

Wow, your Love Nest meal looks delicious! And with the drink no wonder you passed out on the ferry going back home, Zzzz...Haha!

Thanks for the book plug. The Facialist is about 1950s-60s in the East Village, of course so many places now are unrecognizable but walk those streets...if you dare ;)

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

great post, the food there looks fantastic! i love tiki bars and this place looks like a cool one. how many zombies did you have? oh and i loved the bourdain/johannson video, kudos to duncester for finding it! aloha! lol!!

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

"....mmmmm....zombies...(glllaaaglglaaaglglaaagl)" - Zombie Homer Simpson (check your e-mail Marty...)

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Always wondered about Jade Island and those tiki drinks, I also saw Bourdain with Johansen there on that episode. That guy sitting at the bar "John" is a dead ringer for the guy with the website "1000 bars and beyond" and I know he's from the area. Probably was him,, check out the sixth picture as you scroll down here,,,http://thousandbars.blogspot.com

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Goggla: The food there is great, but if you go, watch out for those Zombies, I had a killer of a hangover the next day!

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: It was quite a feast! And thanks again for sending the book, I'm going to read it this week. I encourage everyone to check it out.

@Bobbly D: I had three zombies, but who's counting! Aloha and book 'em, Danno!

@Jaws: Nice Homer Zombie quote! I'll check the email soon!

@Al: I didn't know that David Johansen was from Staten Island till I watched that video. It does look like that guy, but I don't think it's him, he's got a full beard and John has a goatee.

September 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Why is that fat bastard Buddha laughing at that poor child?
Prophets, messiahs, and deities suck.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

Marty, great post today, I saw that Anthony Bourdain and David Johansen episode as well. Love that kind of Asian food & Zombies. Reminds me of the Sugar Reef. One of the best caribbean restaurants on the Lower East Side in the late 80's. They served their very potent Zombies in Skull glasses that you got to keep.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdannythefreelancer

@csp: I think it's because he just ate his baby brouther, a cruel Buddha to be sure!

@dannythefreelancer: I wish I could've gone to Sugar Reef, too cool you got to keep the glasses!

September 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow, that "Love Nest" looks amazing - I guess it could easily feed two, huh? Awesome : )
It's been a while since I looked at your blog, but I've missed it!

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella

What a great night out! Cool joint!
Love the decor and especially the food!
"Here's Johnnies!"
(and John Hiatt as well, always one of my favorite lyricists)

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@Isabella: You're right about the Love Nest, it fed me for two nights! Great to see you here, glad you stopped by!

@"Boris:" It was a fun night out in Staten Island! I didn't even think about the "John" Hiatt name, truly a "Here's Johnnies" night!

September 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

you know I love them Tiki bars:)
I had a tiki show a few years back on woody and played that John Hiatt:)
we have good taste.
i'm not eating the love nest.. it wierded me out..(plus i am allergic to it)
but the spareribs looked awesome..
totally awesome stop!

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Just catching up after the "Great GoDaddy Apocalypse of '12".

I SIMPLY must make it a priority to go to Jade Island ... it looks simply sensational!

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

@Gidget: You should bring the tiki show back! You could do a remote at Jade Island! And the spareribs were great!

@roadsidewonders: That GoDaddy thing really sucked monkey lungs on toast! Glad that's over! Let me know when you go to Jade Island and I'll buy you a Zombie! And if you want a drink I'll get you one of those too!

September 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty I'd only do a tiki show with you!
so come visit!
I'll make less hangover inducing zombies for you!

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gidget: Sounds cool, down the road we will make that happen! Let me find my grass skirt. We can drink and play the Zombies!

September 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Sounds like fun! Keep meaning to try out a Tiki Bar near me on Fourth Avenue. Will send a pic. You may have inspired me to check it out!

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

@onemorefoldedsunset: Cool, can't wait to see the photo and hear about this place!

September 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Glad you are still posting Mart. That nest thing looks pretty tasty. Looks like a fun time to be had out there on that island. I've lived in Manhattan for over a decade now--still haven't set foot there. The Jade Island looks fun, nice job exposing us to yet another cool NYC place.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimate beef

"Checking his GPS or updating his facebook status? You make the call!"

That cracked me the fuck up.

And Jade Island looks like a lot of fun!

But I am NOT a fan of Staten Island. At all.

September 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@legitimate beef: You should check out the ferry ride to Staten Island, it's free and you can drink on it!

@meleah: Glad you got a chuckle out of that! Even if you're not a fan of Staten Island, it's worth the trip to go to Jade Island.

September 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great article. I had a great time checking out the pix. I am originally from SI, lived there from 1960-1994. I was a Jade Island regular from the time I was 18 (we could drink at 18 legally back then, lol) wayyyy back in 1978 till I left in '94. I went on a LOT of dates there back in the day and remember those days and nights fondly. The food was awesome back then and the drinks were great. I can't remember how many times I got toasted on Mai Tai's and the other drinks. I'll never forget the basket of noodles and dipping sauce you got before dinner either. And the decor looks identical to the late 70's. I doubt they've changed it (smile). Thanks for bringing me some great memories. I live upstate NY now and there are no Tiki bars anywhere near. It's a bummer, lol. But I will surely visit Jade Island again the next time I'm downstate seeing friends. Thanks again.

September 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrankie S.

@Frankie S. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the night out at Jade Island, sounds like you had some good times there in the past. Next time I go I'm getting a Mai Tai in your honor!

September 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Another Tiki Bar...I LOVE it!

Thank you so very much for sharing this with us Marty. I also enjoyed the No Reservations link. David J is also in one of my favorite movies, "Let it Ride" and he is hilarious.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@Tiki Bar Susie: I thought you'd like this one! And I love the movie, "Let It Ride!" I need to watch that again soon, thanks for the reminder!

September 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Amazing. Can't wait to go see this place. You find all the coolest stuff!

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Chittle

@Shawn: The Duncester gets credit for finding it, I just went after he told me about it.

September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Ooh, I love tiki bars! We had a famous one here for a while called the Kahiki. It's been gone for a few years now, but another one just opened up called Grass Skirt. We'll have to go there when you come to visit Cowtown! TO: UMBRELLA DRINKS!

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: Looking forward to drinking in the Grass Skirt...TO UMBRELLA DRINKS!

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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