By: Brooke Chenoweth
2 Landale Street, Wan Chai
Hidden away in a side alley off Wan Chai’s Landale Street, Djiboutii is a little hard to find, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the area’s most popular nightspots.
Billed as a “Ghetto-Fabulous Urban Sanctuary,” this relatively new venue was packed and pumping by 7.30pm on the Wednesday night we visited, which is always a good sign. We started with drinks, ordered from the signature cocktail menu. Unfortunately, our first choice, the Mi Casa Es Tu Casa was not available as they had run out of their five homemade juices – it’s obviously a popular drink. The Djiboulini was lovely and refreshing, while the DjBluTea, with lavender-infused vodka, cranberry tea and berry liqueurs, was a little too sweet for a pre-dinner drink.
The food is based on Mediterranean and middle-eastern cuisine, with a focus on barbecued meats and traditional small bites. Based on our waitress’s recommendations we ordered a Quinoa salad, which was small but fresh and flavourful. The quarter roast chicken was beautifully marinated in lemon and garlic, and was very tender and tasty. We also shared a Mix-Grill – three different skewers served with tzatziki – and a Djibouti Platter, with dips and Za’atar flatbreads. It was just enough food for two people, and all of it was very nice. We finished up with the only dessert on offer, the homemade chocolate cookies, which were wickedly delicious.
There weren’t many patrons eating on the night we were there; most had come in for after-work drinks, giving the restaurant the definite vibe of being the starting point for a night out. The menu is limited, so it’s perhaps better suited for snacking and drinking, rather than settling in for a substantial dinner. This hip little hangout gets extra points for having a handbag hook under the bar, lovely decor (turquoise tiles, vintage leather stools, and Moroccan-style hanging lights), and a super cool bartender who clearly loves his work.
Must-Try Dish: Djiboutii Platter