I’ve never heard of a Japanese-Peruvian fusion before. Well, who does? The fusion sounds a little strange to the ears. You’d think that mixing these 2 cuisines into one is a disaster. I myself do not know what to expect since I’m not familiar with Peruvian cuisine. But who knows, it could be a surprising combination. And however strange it may sound, it doesn’t stop adventurous eaters like me from trying it.
Nikkei, the only Japanese-Peruvian restaurant in the metro that I know of, sits silently along Rada Street in Makati.
As I walked in, I was greeted with its beautiful wooden interior design with light bulbs glowing in every corner. It was a welcoming sight though the place was a little packed and noisy.
The menu was simple and straight forward. Everything on it was mostly Japanese and they all sound delicious I wanted to try them all!
PS: their serving sizes were pretty small to share.
Green Ceviche (P375). Ceviches are the Peruvian version of kilawin, seafood marinated in vinegar. Now that gives you an idea how it tastes like. Of all the ceviches the restaurant offers, I didn’t know exactly why I picked this one among others knowing that it’s drowning in Wasabi Cream. For someone who never liked wasabi, I MUST BE OUT OF MY MIND! So, before taking my first bite I made sure there’s water on the table.
To my surprise, there was no lingering, burning aftertaste! Would you believe that? And it tasted exactly like kilawin, with a twist – the corn and the sweet potato rings added to its flavor. I couldn’t get enough of it that I wanted to order another one. But well, I did not. First, it was expensive. Second, there were other interesting dishes awaiting my judgement. Haha!
Panko (350). It was a crusted sushi roll that contained no rice. So, technically… It wasn’t sushi. Lol. It was more like tonkatsu but with salmon and cucumber, rolled into a sushi. I liked the crunchy texture of it. The salmon tasted fresh and sweet despite being fried. It was good and filling but there was nothing special about it.
Miso Kurobuta (P680). Japanese are known to be creative in their food presentation that sometimes I just buy them because of how cute they look. Hihi. Anyway, this beautifully plated miso-marinated short ribs cooked in a charcoal oven certainly proves it right (the angle didn’t give much justice though haha!). The meat was soft, seasoned with sweet sauce and pepper that gave a tangy sensation on the tongue.
The coleslaw on the side was also a good one. But right when I took my last bite, my boyfriend told me it has a wasabi in it. I was like whuuut. For a second there I thought wow he’s good. Only to find out it was on the menu! *rolls eyes*
Ha! I never thought I would have too much wasabi in one night! (So much for being a wasabi-hater). Honestly though, there was no hint of it. My taste buds failed me!
Kocha Tiradito (P175). I loved this melt-in-your-mouth salmon chunks that were sliced thin, dressed bold, embellished with crispy tea (whatever that was), and smothered in a finger lickin’ good kind of salad sauce. I literally cried tears of joy the moment I tasted it. JOKE. The serving was really small but enough to give me sweet dreams about it. So good!
Tres Leches (P250). This sponge cake soaked in custard cream, topped with thin layers of mangoes and caramelized sugar glaze was pure genius! I loved how the cream oozes out of it in every bite. This one’s not to miss! Okay?
The serving was good for three. But since I have a big appetite for sweets, it was good enough for two.
Yes. Nikkei definitely serves real good food! Thanks beh for introducing it to me. My stomach was more than satisfied! Yum yum in my tum tum!
I know Nikkei is still unknown to many diners. So for now, my mission is to spread the word to my friends about this Japanese-Peruvian restaurant. Hello, Makati friends! You gotta try this one! 😉
LOCATION: Unit GO3, Frabelle Business Center, 111 Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City