Restaurant Review: Danji

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We check out Danji, a new Korean culinary hotspot in one of Hong Kong’s coolest neighbourhoods.

If you haven’t been down to Wan Chai’s little constallation of alleyways and lanes lately, you might be surprised at the vitality and cosiness that’s making Sun, Moon and Star Streets one of the city’s favourite foodie destinations. One of the newest arrivals is Danji, created by Seoul Recipe founder Jennifer Kim, who taps into her extensive knowledge of Korean cuisine to delivery home-style dishes in a vibrant and welcoming setting.

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It’s a full house when we arrive on a Monday evening and after sipping signature cocktails (you need to try the Korean take on the Mexican classic, the Makgeorita) on garden chairs set out on the laneway, we take a perch at the window counter, a spot that lets you soak in the cool spring air while also watching the action within the main dining room, which is a flood of warm yellow hues offset by simple timber tables.

There’s a little something for everyone on Danji’s extensive menu, from after-work bites, perfect for those looking to sip their way through the bistro’s fascinating selection of boutique Korean spirits (try the Boksoondoga, a premium makgeolli with wonderful Champagne-like bubbles) through to large sharing dishes packed with authentic flavours that are guaranteed to sate hungry appetites.

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We kick off with a few classics – Kim chi pancakes that are light and zesty with just enough heat; and fried chicken that’s crispy outside and juicy inside, and which is served with deep-fried vegetable fritters. We’re also rather tempted by the buckwheat kimchi crepes, which are made with buckwheat tortillas in a contemporary rift on the classic gastropub staple.

Danji brings modern Korean fare to one of Hong Kong's coolest neighbourhoods.

To help soak up a few rounds of Jay Park’s Won soju, we opt instead for the Galbi Jjim, aromatic, soul-warming Korean braised beef short ribs that are deservedly a Danji specialty. In turn we soak up the short rib goodness with herring roe Kim chi fried rice with a rich Unami profile; gloriously gooey Tteokbokki rice cakes in a warm, slightly sweet Korean chilli sauce; and the aptly named Hangover Spicy Soup, a herb-laced cure all that’s as perfect a way to farewell winter as one could imagine.

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Lovers of good beef will be spoiled for choice with the likes of Hanwoo Kimchi fried rice; and 1++ Hanwoo premium striplion, grilled at the table. For those less carnivorically inclined, there’s the popular Impossible Bibimbap, with quinoa and tofu.

Danji brings modern Korean fare to one of Hong Kong's coolest neighbourhoods.

With a great laidback, neighbourhood bistro vibe, a cool laneway setting, and a menu packed with the best Korean flavours, Danji is a great new addition to the vibrant Starstreet Precinct.

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About Author

Nick Walton is a Hong Kong-based photojournalist and Group Managing Editor for Artemis Communications, producers of Alpha Men Asia, Ultimate Encounters, The Art of Business Travel, IKHLAS, Heavens Voyage, and many other titles.

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