Brah brah was in town for a hot minute during the holidays and requested some fusion food because we definitely had our fill of Chinese food with the OGs (that’s what I call my grandparents and they actually respond). So I racked my brain for a place and came up with Nikkei, a semi-recently opened Peruvian-Japanese joint. I’ve been meaning to try this place but was hesitant to bring mom to because she is a purist when it comes to food. We dragged her along anyway. Heh.
Nikkei’s description and food somewhat reminded me of Nobu. Not that I’ve ever been to Nobu because gosh I can’t afford that but I do want to go so hit me up if you wanna treat me out. #sorrynotsorry The interior was fashioned with simple but lovely wood ceilings and beautiful furniture that it’s easy to forget you have to order food as well. The bar was metal plated too which is practical is the sense that it’s easier to clean spills and also aesthetically pleasing. However, there is no bathroom in the restaurant and one must go to the building’s lobby for that.
The menu focused on seafood but also had a selection of meat dishes for le carnivores. Everything seemed to be small bites which is great for sharing and tasting a bunch of different things. Perfect for the 3 of us since we were all feeling the holiday bulge. Even with my knowledge of my high uric acid and borderline high cholesterol, I was still aiming to start with the Kobe beef nigiri topped with uni (a best seller by the way) but it out of stock. Health = 1; Tumtums = 0. So we started with an ebi causa appetizer. It was essentially a perfectly cylindrical mound of mashed potato topped with ebi and guacamole among other things. A little piece of heaven and calories to consume. I didn’t really taste the guac because I think the actual sauce overpowered it a little but those potatoes were so soft and delicious. Still yum!
Ceviche love runs through our blood at least between my brother and I so we ordered a classic ceviche and a green ceviche. Because sharing is caring especially if you’re both matakaw. Classic ceviche was just that but with the sauce in a separate little glass so you can control the amount of flavor you want to go with the fish. It also came with glazed sweet potatoes and canchita, a Peruvian style of toasted corn. Momma dJ really enjoyed the corn and picked it all away before we even noticed it was gone but she went and let us have all the fish. She’s been weaning off raw and close to raw food so it was a fair trade.
The green ceviche featured even more canchita! Fish, octopus, and prawns were covered in wasabi cream and topped with sweet potato strings. Surprisingly, the cream wasn’t spicy at all and it enhanced the flavor of the seafood. I wasn’t actually sure if I even got a bite of octopus. Must’ve been sliced really thinly.
Next up were tiraditos, a Peruvian way of slicing sashimi. The tiraditos slices were so thin, thinner than traditional sashimi, that you could basically see through the fish. The Nikkei tiraditos had a choice for fish and we picked white fish because it seemed that it would go best with the sauce. This was topped with Nikkei sauce (that’s not very descriptive I guess), red chili, and thinly sliced cilantro. The Nikkei sauce had some kind of ponzu-like, tangy taste but the consistency was a little thicker than actual ponzu. I was able to get a slice and then the rest disappeared into the stomach of Brah brah. Now I had my eye set on the Peruanito tiraditos. Essentially white fish topped with lime juice, cilantro sauce, and a small slice of glazed sweet potato, this sounded delicious just by reading it. To be honest, it tasted very similar to the Nikkei tiraditos but the sweet potato gave it more contrast. Do not forget to eat it with the sweet potato for a some crunch and a sweet kick. I’m really starting to enjoy this recurring theme of sweet potatoes. Recommending the tiraditos as something new (for me at least) and innovative to try!
For the Nikkei cuisine section, we ordered the miso kurobuta and the lomo saltado. The kurobuta was soft and tender charcoal roasted pork laid on top of miso sauce. I didn’t pay attention to the veggies at all. Oops. There was some fat in the meat but fat always helps give a dish flavor. Just don’t overdo it. Smoky, porky, and miso-y but I didn’t really taste the miso all that much. Too much miso could also make it taste salty. Eep.
The lomo saltado was sautéed tenderloin tips with sliced cherry tomatoes, red onions, and bell peppers. On the side were some thick cut french fries topped with a perfectly poached egg! Next time someone asks me how I like my eggs I’ll be like “Poached atop a bed of fries please!” It’ll be genius. The beef was so so tender although I think the tomato taste was quite strong. The tomatoes, red onions, and bell peppers were also very delicious apart from the beef. The fries were regular fries, spectacular and I didn’t really eat the egg because cholesterol.
For dessert we had churros! These weren’t the typical Spanish style churros that I was used to eating around Manila, these Guargueros were shaped into a tiny ball and served with sesame ice cream on the side! Drizzled with condensed milk instead of chocolate (I prefer the chocolate heh), one has to use utensils to consume the churros for sure. I think that the condensed milk brings out a strong cinnamon taste (not a fan of cinnamon sorry +____+) and my brother said it tasted really good mixed with the sesame ice cream. Definitely can’t go wrong with sesame ice cream though!
Overall, a great experience especially since everything was so new to us. Fusion food can sometimes go awry but Nikkei hits the nail on the head with their innovative approach to a rising fusion food movement I’m seeing in the Philippines.
Unit GO3 Frabelle Business Center
111 Rada St, Legazpi VIllage
Makati, Metro Manila
+632 880 0231
Monday to Sunday 1100H – 2100H