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August 27, 2015

NIKKEI: Japanese-Peruvian Chic Restaurant in Legaspi Village (First Look)

August 27, 2015

NIKKEI: Japanese-Peruvian Chic Restaurant in Legaspi Village (First Look)





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NIKKEI is a homegrown restaurant by Chef Christian Cejas, specializing in Japanese-Peruvian cuisine known as "Nikkei". The cuisine was popularized by Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu Restaurant fame.

The restaurant is owned by Dodjie & Monica Violago of Banoi's, Carlo Lorenzana of Shi Lin & Refinery, and Chris Daez of Fully Booked, together with Ramon Quiros and Jon Tajonera.

Here's a first look at what to expect and what to order at Nikkei...

NIKKEI
Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati (Beside Wildflour)
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11.00am to 2.30pm Lunch, 3.00-5.00pm Desserts, 6.00-11.00pm Dinner
FacebookNikkei PH
Instagram@NikkeiPH
Email: phnikkei@gmail.com
Phone Number: +632 880-0231
Mobile Number:  +63927 2730114 





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Nikkei Menu: Appetizers, Causa, Sushi, Sashimi, Sushi Rolls | Tiraditos, Nikkei Cuisine, Ceviches, Desserts | Drinks Menu: Coffee, Hot Teas, Specialty Drinks, Iced Teas, Loose Leaf | Craft Cocktails, Craft Beer, Spirits, Sake, Japanese Whiskey

The restaurant's wooden charm glows with the warmth of Edison bulbs, with a backdrop of lively chatter at night.

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The service is warm and friendly. Make sure to have a reservation, especially if you plan to visit at night.

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Causa Appetizers. Peruvian soft mashed potato bites topped with fish or seafood.

  • Ebi (P110). Guacamole, prawns, rocoto, sauce, togarashi
  • Tako (P105). Guacamole, octopus confit, panka-miso sauce, chives
  • Fish (P110). Guacamole, white fish marinated in soy sauce, cilantro emulsion
  • Salmon (P120). Guacamole, salmon tartar, chalaquita, sesame oil, togarashi

Order the causa, which are very soft mashed potato bites with your choice of seafood toppings. I like the salmon and the octopus confit. 

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Spicy Sake Martini (P195). Vodka, lemon juice, sake, wasabi paste.

Start with a refreshing vodka-lime-sake combination with wasabi to prepare your appetite. 

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Strawberry Basil Lemonade (P160). Freshly squeezed lemonade mixed with strawberry sauce, with a splash of soda and basil chiffon.

Rache liked the freshly squeezed lemonade with strawberry and basil flavors.

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Chef Christian is an Argentinian Chef who was convinced to come to Manila by Chef Juan of La Cabrera.

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★ Salmon Ginger (P160). Salmon, lime juice, shoga sauce, negui.

I like the thinly sliced salmon with spicy ginger and tangy lime flavor. 

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Nikkei Octopus (P160). Choice of white fish, salmon, octopus or tuna, Nikkei sauce, red chili, cilantro.

You can also get the thinly sliced octopus in a salty brown sauce.

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★ Yellow Pepper (P360). White fish, red onions, yellow pepper sauce, chili, cilantro, sesame seeds, sesame oil, sweet potato strings.

My favorite in the ceviche offerings. White fish in yellow pepper and sesame sauce with sweet potato strings for a nice crunch. 

 

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Grill Ebi (5 pcs. - P140). Prawns, cream cheese, onion leeks, mango, yellow pepper sauce, togarashi.

The sushi rolls are just OK. I prefer the grilled prawn roll over the fried ones (Ebi Furai).

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Ebi Furai (5 pcs. - P140). Fried prawns, avocado, white fish, ceviche sauce togarashi.

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Panko (5pcs. - P140). Salmon, avocado, kampyo, truffled cream cheese, shiitake, onion leeks, salad sauce.

This is a fried sushi roll with salmon, avocado, cheese, a bit of shiitake, and some sauce. 

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★ Parmesan Scallops (P180). Scallops, Japanese butter, Parmesan cheese, onions leeks.

A bite-sized succulent scallop on a sauce of Japanese butter and Parmesan cheese. Yum!
 Ceviche
★ Classic Ceviche (P280). White fish, red onions, rocoto, cilantro, canchita, glazed sweet potatoes marinated in Leche de Tigre.

A classic white fish ceviche in red onions and addicting Leche de Tigre sauce.

Nikkei-17.jpgThe food is best paired with wine, sake, or cocktail drinks.  

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Mr. Osaki (P160). Fresh squeezed lemonade layered with organic passion berry black iced tea.
★ Nikkei Mojito (P165). No alcohol unless requested. Muddled fresh mint, organic green tea, lime juice and soda iced tea.

Nikkei Mojito is just smooth with a nice balance of green tea, lime juice, and soda ice tea. Don't order Mr. Osaki, which just tastes like diluted ice tea.

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★ Gekkeikan Nigori 300ml (Bottle - P450)Sweet with a creamy medium-body. Hints of honey and tropical fruit with a long finish.

The ceviche goes well with sake and go with Cyrene's favorite of Nigori sake with cloudy color and fruity sweet notes.  

Main Course

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Kobe (P795). Kobe beef, wasabi mashed potatoes, cranberry teriyaki.

The Kobe beef was good but a bit expensive for this bite-sized portion.

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Miso Kurobuta (P550). From our charcoal oven, Kurobuta short ribs marinated in miso sauce, wasabi coleslaw.

The Kurobuta short ribs were just OK. It has a good fat-to-meat ratio and creamy miso sauce.

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★ Lomo Saltado (P420). Peruvian saute tenderloin and vegetables, french fries, poached egg.

I would recommend this traditional Peruvian favorite of marinated tenderloin meat. 

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We love the poached egg drama with the french fries on the side. Rice options please? 

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Congrats to Nikkei for the yummy seafood ceviche and tiraditos menu!

Desserts

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★ Tres Leches (P198). Sponge cake soaked in custard cream.

This is the best among the desserts we tasted. Sponge cake soaked in light custard cream.

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Guergueros (P220). Our version of Peruvian churros, condensed milk, sesame ice cream.

These are like fat churros with condensed milk and ice cream.

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Ice Cream Tasting (P280). Our signature home-made ice cream Ginger, Wasabi, and Sesame on steamed bun French toast.

The ice cream was too sweet and melts easily. But at least they make their own ice cream.

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I would go with the Causa, Parmesan Scallops, and Ginger Salmon to start off your meal. It's also best to order Sake or a refreshing Spicy Sake Martini to pair with the ceviche starters. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, order the Strawberry Basil Lemonade or the Nikkei Mojito.

Order a Yellow Pepper or Classic for the ceviche, and Lomo Saltado for your meat main course. Finish off with the Tres Leches for a nice sweet ending.

The sushi rolls are just OK; don't order the fried ones. The Kobe and Miso Kurobuta can still be improved and hopefully they can add rice options to their menu.

Budget about P700/head with drinks.

Since they are on soft opening, it's best to order the dishes as early as you can.

NIKKEI
Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati (Beside Wildflour)
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11.00am to 2.30pm Lunch, 3.00-5.00pm Desserts, 6.00-11.00pm Dinner
Facebook: Nikkei PH
Instagram: @NikkeiPH
Email: phnikkei@gmail.com
Phone Number: +632 880-0231
Mobile Number:  +63927 2730114 

Live an Awesome Life,

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Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: Thank you to Monica for the invitation and Chris Daez for hosting us. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. They don't have a restroom. So make sure to go to the nearby toilet before entering the resto.




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