All Things RVA: Kabana Rooftop
Kabana Rooftop opened its doors, or should I say rooftop, to the city of Richmond, VA. As always, it is exciting to have a new place in the city.
To get to Kabana Rooftop you venture up 20 floors to the top of the Hampton Inn & Suites tower in downtown Richmond. The digital elevator floor request was new to us, but fit in with the overall vibe of the place. When we arrived we walked into the bar area where you can see the majority of the restaurant as it is very open concept. We got a feel for the rooftop and views overlooking the city through the glass walls. The atmosphere is great even if you are not seated right on the patio. The restaurant has beautiful views of downtown and of the James River.
The host greeted us and we were seated at a table inside but along the glass wall facing downtown. The feeling of Kabana Rooftop is a bit of Miami nightclub mixed with hotel bar. It is definitely far from the more eclectic, rustic, brick walls and wood bars that Richmond is famous for. As someone who loves low-lighting, old timey drinks, and the speakeasy vibes of Richmond, I felt like this wasn't quite "my scene". But, our service was good and the view is lovely.
Our first drinks were good, nothing to write home about. I was hoping for some exciting options to put me in the summer rooftop mood, but ended up getting a mojito that was pretty standard. Michael got an old fashioned.
For our starter I got the Vegetable Hand Roll and Michael got the Black Cat Shrimp. Again, these were okay. I wouldn't order the hand roll again as it was difficult to eat and didn't have a lot of flavor. The Black Cat Shrimp was shrimp rolled up in what I think was pre-cut wonton dough. The chili sauce that was on the side for dipping was good.
For our main dishes I got the Spicy Thai Mango Salad with a coconut rice side. I have to say I love that they had a few vegan/vegetarian dishes available. My salad was good, and quite spicy. The mango wasn't as ripe as I'd hope, but I really enjoyed the coconut rice. Michael got the Halibut with kimchi gnocchi, endives, and crispy pork belly. He enjoyed his dish.
For our second round of drinks I got a Batida that consisted of cachaca, passionfruit puree, and creme de coconut. Michael got an Avery Lilikoi Kepolo (beer). To be honest, I wasn't a fan of this combination. It did come in a great Tiki glass with an umbrella as garnish which was really fun!
We didn't stick around for dessert as the options weren't on the main menu and we were feeling quite full. Overall, I have to say that I was a bit underwhelmed by some of the food given the beautiful atmosphere and views. The vibe is a bit different for Richmond, but I think it will give folks more options for going out downtown which is always nice. I think that this place is great for a few drinks with a beautiful view. I am excited to go back once they get into the swing of things and see if there are new menu items to try.
If you're in the downtown Richmond area definitely head up to the 20th floor to try Kabana Rooftop.