A little slice of island life has arrived in Almaty. This latest outpost of the global Trader Vic’s chain sticks to the tried-and-tested formula of kitschy Polynesian décor and tropical cocktails. The surf memorabilia, bamboo and Maori statues look particularly exotic during winter when the huge glass windows provide great views over snowy Medeu, and it’s a great spot to stop and refuel after a bracing mountain walk. The menu offers decent American classics such as hot dogs, nachos and nine different burgers plus sushi, and is reasonably-priced to boot. But the raison d’être is its cool collection of killer cocktails, particularly those beginning with ‘m’; from mai-tais and margaritas to martinis and mojitos, all for a meagre 1,000 KZT apiece. Wine is available by the glass for a similar price, though it takes a backseat to drinks with umbrellas and other adornments. Trader Vic’s spreads the tiki love at weekends with regular themed parties featuring DJ sets, live music from reggae to Latin bands, dancing, limbo contests and more, usually kicking off at around 9pm and sometimes with an entry charge. Good, clean fun.