Lee Tung Avenue has become one of our favorite after dark hang-outs lately thanks to its ostensible likeness to our former home in London’s Covent Garden (forgetting about the omnipresent national flags for now). As one strolls along the main pavement it’s difficult to miss an artsy restaurant-bar as conspicuous as DJAPA, showcasing its colorful steel chairs, anime art filled walls and a huge bar collection stacking up to the seventh rack on the wall. Funky décor aside, DJAPA features a similarly unconventional kitchen, possibly being the only one in Hong Kong taking inspiration from both Japanese and Brazilian cuisines. The bar, located on the ground floor and backed with a story of F&B celebrities and enticing cocktail recipes to woo young customers, probably warrants a separate review. This brief review will be focused on its restaurant on the first floor.
Salmon mikan with mandarin and yuzu sauce, $78
Shareable and refreshing. An excellent appetizer to kick off a meal.
Hokkaido Scallop with apples and a hint of peppercorn, $98
Cooked scallops with apples? Perfectly solid, but not life-changing.
Robata tasting 5 skewers—beef skewers x 3, chicken thigh x 1, chorizo x 1, $328
There are a lot of options on the menu, and many of them taste great, but if you haven’t ordered anything off their robata menu, you have officially failed the exam (unless you have special dietary requirements). The beef skewers–from chuckroll to striploin to tenderloin–are melt-in-your-mouth delicacies that leave you feeling oh so satisfied and happy. Chicken thigh and chorizo are tasty too, but not a must-order. Overall a memorable plate of food.
Grilled Octopus (Mixed Quinoa, Chilli) $88
After skewers, this is the best thing on the table for the night. The quinoa was lightly spiced with an earthy nuttiness. The only problem was that we could barely spot octopus.
Coconut Rice (Coriander, garlic) $48
A bowl of hot rice with traces of coconut and garlic. I’d say pretty good despite its simplicity.
Cinnamon Maça (Apple, Sugar) $48
Pretty much cooked, sugared apple. There may be better desserts around, but this isn’t too bad. At least it won’t leave you feeling weighed down.
Service: Genuine hospitality and professional waiting staff who are keen to engage and offer suggestions. We were, however, the only guests on a Friday night from 6 till 7 in the evening, so it is difficult to gauge the quality of service once the place gets more popular and busy.
Price: A tad expensive for the food, portion size and basic seating. Then again, DJAPA is certainly as much of a mini gallery as it is a restaurant/bar, so you’re paying more for an experience than for food. Expect roughly HK$400-$750 per head for a decently sized dinner without drinks.