Wanchai is notable for its night life and in recent years has taken a definitive upswing in terms of the classiness of its establishments. While we once lamented the lack of bars that wouldn't immediately incur social scrutiny upon entry, or that had bar snacks outside the realms of mixed nuts that threaten us with salmonella, there is now a distinct appeal to having a drink in Wanchai.
Since the birth of 22 Ships, Stone Nullah Tavern, Ham & Sherry, The Pawn and loads more, Wanchai has been upping its game. Djiboutii is set to fit in perfectly in this fertile land of stylish new bars.
Hovering covertly in the back alleys of Landale Street, Djiboutii is a cocktail bar that serves high-quality, fresh and health-conscious food. That is what the label on the box says, and in this case it delivers, bringing us some of the better bar food and intriguing cocktails we have had this year.
The food and the drink are equally as good as the other, which is a great thing whether you're a foodie, a drinkie or a foonkie (sorry). A new exec chef has just been planted, which may provide the answer as to why the food is quite so good.
Being presented with stone-baked organic za’taar flatbread, spiced hand-cut fries with homemade garlicnaise (these are ridiculously good and feature in the photo below) and juicy rotisserie chicken that one can observe doing the turn from the bar area is almost unheard of in a Hong Kong bar. Even some of the better bars getting around that have stellar happy hour deals don't keep up with these fresh, light flavours. Well done, Djiboutii, well done.
Now that we're done with our praise about the food, the decor is also worth mentioning, as are the drinks, which can hold their own. African themed, it is nice to depart from the steel/concrete/bench vibes with antique clocks as chairs (or whatever) that have become rather prolific in the increasingly gentrified Hong Kong scene.
Homemade fresh fruit juices form the basis of a lot of the cocktails (what they're calling 'Juicology' – cute), and our favourites were a twist on the pisco sour made with a hint of osmanthus and the Djiboulini, which is made up of Prosecco, pear purée, hibiscus water, rosehip rhubarb cordial and pepper.
A cuisine influenced and inspired by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures, tea-infused signature cocktails made with world-renowned craft spirits, very punchy surroundings and delightful staff – Djiboutii is going to become a stalwart for Kongers.
2 Landale Street, Wanchai, 9449 0777