With one eye, Mejdi still brings 1001-night atmosphere to Eindhoven

Tunesian restaurant Wattstraat - Yalla Yalla
Photo credit: Studio040

He did not let the pandemic stop him. And even when he suffered a stroke on top of that, he kept going. With resounding success: this month, Mejdi Dakhlaoui opened his new 1001-night restaurant on Wattstraat in Woensel-West.

At the entrance of the new restaurant Yalla! Yalla! on Wattstraat stands a copper pyramid with hundreds of small holes. Out of these holes a thick, white smoke with a chic fragrance escapes. “It is a kind of incense as people used to use in the palaces in Tunisia”, Mejdi Dakhlaoui says. “It is supposed to bring prosperity and good luck”.

Restaurant Yalla Yalla thus offers more than just a tasty Tunisian menu. The intention is that the guests are completely immersed in Tunisian atmosphere. Those who walk past the smoking pyramid enter the fairytale-like interior of the restaurant. Coloured lamps, mirrors, you imagine yourself in the setting of an Aladdin movie. And the music does the rest.

Whether the pyramid has anything to do with it, we don’t know, but Dakhlaoui has not had any prosperity in recent months, nor has he had any luck. Or luck, depending on how you look at it. He had the guts to start a new restaurant in corona time. But a day before collecting the key, the entrepreneur wasn’t feeling too well. His eyes were hurting. In hospital, it turned out to be a brain infarct that was the cause of the eye pain. In one of his eyes, the vision will never fully return because of this.

Yet he carried on, with the help of his wife Nancy. In January, the restaurant started serving takeaway meals. “They are doing well, because whoever orders here gets his food served in handmade Tunisian pottery. No plastic trays or paper plates”. Daklaoui has it specially made in workshops in his homeland. “The tableware gives a bit of a restaurant feeling in corona time, and people like that. It is sustainable. And I give the people in Tunisia work with it”.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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