Tricia and I have been together for 3 years already, since then we’ve been to countless museums and adventures, we’ve also eaten our way through a lot of great (mostly Japanese) restaurants all throughout Manila. Yesterday wasn’t going to be any different, we decided to try out Nikkei in Makati City, a restaurant Tricia has been raving about for the past few days because of its Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. As for me, I was excited to try out something new and well I’ve been craving Japanese food lately.
The night was still young and the traffic in Makati hadn’t reached its peak when we arrived in Nikkei. With its subdued atmosphere, and the few Japanese and expat diners here and there, Tricia and I were seated immediately. We wasted no time on the menu, having never been adequately introduced to Nikkei, I wasn’t exactly sure what to order, I didn’t read any blogs prior to this adventure but nevertheless I just decided to wing it. We ended up ordering the following: 10 pieces of panko, maguro sushi, salmon belly, and the lomo saltado.
The first dish that came out was the panko, crusted on all sides this was sushi that I had never seen before and I had no apprehensions whatsoever about eating it. The crust of panko on the sides was amazing but it was the cream cheese and the ceviche sauce that made the meal absolutely heaven! If Tricia hadn’t stopped me, there would have been none left for her to savor and enjoy.
After the first wave of panko sushi came my salmon belly. Since I didn’t read the menu description thoroughly, I was expecting a rice dish with salmon on top of it, but nope it was salmon in tempura form. Salmon in this form wasn’t something I wasn’t used to, once again I dove in deep and wow! The salmon was soft, creamy, and the moment you bite into the batter and taste the meat, it falls apart, melting like rich chocolate. Absolutely divine and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
While I was busy enjoying my meal, our maguro maki arrived. Based on experience, maki is served with a generous helping of rice and nori and a sliver of fish at the center. In Nikkei’s case, they decided to serve you one big fat slice of maguro and have everything else come in small servings. What I got was a mouthful of rich tuna and the rice and nori were just an afterthought to the entire dish.
So I’ve survived three waves of Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, but there was one more thing on the menu: the lomo saltado. The lomo saltado looked to me like a Peruvian beef stew, sauteed tenderloin strips mixed in with vegetables and a red sauce that tasted like our menudo, with a side of fries and a poached egg nestling lazily atop it. The tenderloin strips were divine, soft and chewy, it had the perfect flavor. The fries were alright but I didn’t really enjoy it as much, let’s just say I’m not a fan of fries and eggs.
So after 3 years we celebrated another wonderful year of love and laughter with food surrounded and filled with the things we love the most. Nikkei was a wonderful place to spend it and even though the restaurant was a bit on the pricey side, the quality of the food and the service demand that sort of price. In the end, I would most definitely revisit this restaurant just to try out some of the other Japanese-Peruvian meals in it.
Unit G03, Frabelle Business Center
111 Rada Street, Legaspi Village
Open daily from 11am to 11pm
Contact number: +632 880 0231
Price Range: ~Php. 1600 for two people.