While there are a couple restaurants serving South American cuisine here and there around Metro Manila that predominantly serves your typical peri-peri chickens and tacos. Nikkei offers something niche to the palette of Manila’s food connoisseurs. They serve fashionable, innovative and diverse menu selections. Nikkei started off as a neighborhood restaurant in Rada St. Legaspi Village it, later on, added 2 more branches under its wing one that is in Rockwell and Podium Ortigas.
They embrace the ‘Open Kitchen’ concept for full transparency and as a stage to view the fish preparation, cutting and clattering in the kitchen as part of the whole dining experience.
To start, we need to first understand what ‘Nikkei‘ means.
Their whole concept of Peruvian-Japanese- This fusion is called Nikkei which means “Japanese out of Japan” a seafood –oriented, bolstered with a unique roster of flavors. This name has been stretched to include the pioneering cuisine which resulted in extraordinary clean tasting dishes when you combine customary Peruvian ingredients and Japanese cuisine.
Some people misguidedly think of Nikkei as a single dish. However, it’s a scrumptious confluence of Japanese and Peruvian food. Picture sushi meets ceviche and beyond. What makes this cuisine so unique and the reason why it is one of the hottest culinary sensations throughout Europe is the combining of not only ingredients but preparation techniques.
Although fusion in the overall premise of Peruvian cuisine – fish is staple in their cooking, why not add some Japanese preparation techniques and flavors while keeping the integrity of some Peruvian flavor traditions? That is one of the many things Nikkei has been doing.
Catering to the Manila Market
We’ve met with Chef Juan Barcos who has an extensive background in Nikkei-inspired cuisine. The conceptualization, R&D, and execution of Nikkei’s dishes are thoughtful and disciplined as he shared how they put much time and passion to every menu items.
The restaurant’s motif was contemporary and raw with the mixture of wood, concrete walls, and steel finishes. The place was vibrantly lit with different incandescent lamps and large glass windows and doors in the daytime.
Most of the menu items are meant to be served tapas-like and can be paired with sake. A single bite is enough to tell a story. Nikkei’s cuisine is a natural fusion that extends beyond just putting both ceviche and sushi on a menu. Playful in texture and elements in every plate giving us diners an extraordinary experience.
POMELITO (225php)| Wild caught tuna that is thinly sliced. Light citrus flavor complimented by caramelized sunflower seeds to add texture. A good first impression dish, which blew us away immediately. This dish was light, fresh and dynamic to the taste.
SEARED TUNA W/ SEA URCHIN RISOTTO (680php)| Tuna steak, with enoki and shitake mushroom risotto, cilantro, togarashi, katsuobushi. Delectably umami, and was a warm, tasty pairing to the expertly-seared fish.
TUNA LATKE (320php)|Potato pancake, seared tuna, huancaina sauce, cilantro and lemon.
Ceviche (320hp)| White fish, red onions, rocoto, cilantro, canchita, glazed with sweet potatoes.
EBI FURAI (295php)| Fried prawns, avocado, white fish, Ceviche sauce, togarashi.
FIDEO SALTADO (595php)| Peruvian “chow-mien”, shrimp, snapper, squid, vegetables, egg yolk. A unique and exciting take on the classic “chow-mien”.
PICARONES (380php)| Sweet potato-cinnamon fried dough, maple syrup, and their in-house/homemade icecream.
Japanese Brunch is available at all branches: One Rockwell, Legaspi Village, and Podium Mall
SEA BASS KATSU SET(495php)| Sea Bass. Gohan and Fried Egg. Side of miso soup.
NIKKEI BENEDICT (480php)| Poached egg, steamed bun, t u tuna, prawns, potato strings, hollandaise sauce. Side of miso soup.
Check out their menu selections here.
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Our Take Away with the Nikkei Experience
Although this type of cuisine is pretty popular in South America and Europe. Correct us if we’re wrong, but there aren’t any restaurants in Manila offering Nikkei Cusine. Nikkei has been one of our most fascinating discoveries. In Nikkei, a Peruvian-Japanese Hybrid Does Fusion Justice
Have you tried Japanse Peruvian before? Tell us what you think about the comments below.
- Rada Branch: GF Frabelle Business Center (beside Wildflour), Unit GO3, 111 Rada St., Legaspi Village
- Rockwell Branch: 71 Rockwell Drive
- Podium Branch: Ground Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
- Socials: Facebook / Instagram
- Average Cost: 1,600php
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