Monday, November 19, 2018

Nikkei Nama

New Resto Alert !

A visit to this new restaurant brought me back to my food experience in Nikkei Podium  a few months back . Excerpt from my blog post below ...

'Nikkei is derived from the word 'Nikkeijin" which means  people of Japanese descent born and raised outside Japan. It is a word commonly used in Japan to refer to people of  Japanese ancestry who are living abroad as citizens of another country

Nikkei in food though means  the confluence of two diverse cuisines resulting in a new cuisine called Japanese-Peruvian.

My first exposure to this remarkable marriage  of Latin and Asian, was  in Nobu Manila at the City of Dreams months ago.

Fascinated by the  potentially rich back story of the  cuisine, I googled its history.

It turned out Japanese started immigrating to Peru as early as the late  19th century lured by rumors that Peru is a country full of gold, with mild climate, fertile lands, in short a paradise. Employment in Japan then was very difficult due to  poor economy of  Japan consequently resulting in the surplus of farmers. So, many Japanese took their chance and flew to the opposite side of the world  in Peru , where the regular wages where much higher than  in Japan.

That was the beginning  of the Japanese immigration. To date, Peru has the second largest  ethnic Japanese population in South America second only to Brazil.

Obviously the presence of  Japanese in Peruvian life  had quite an impact  socio-culturally .   You have intermarriages and naturally a sharing of   each individual's practices and traditions including culinary customs

What is remarkable  was the common veins these two cultures have.  There is the love for raw fish ie sashimi for the Japanese and ceviche for the Peruvians.

Last  Thursday , I was afforded an opportunity to  delve deeper into this fascinating  amalgamation of two cuisines via  an invitation to a foodie meet up at Nikkei via Zomato PH'


Lightness and Freshness...

Yes Nikkei Nama means   light and healthier ,  The new resto also takes on a playful  and fresh tenor inspired by its predecessor and  progenitor (if you will) ,  Nikkei and taking into consideration the well-travelled palate of BGC's   restaurant habitues.

What PigOutSundays loved :

Reminiscent of  sushi but using soft  mashed potatoes instead of rice, this delicate  bites with guacamole-salmon tartar-chalaquita*-sesame oil-togarashi** were a delight.

Chalaquita is the Peruvian name of a traditional salsa - wiki
Togarashi is a small hot red Japanese chili available both fresh and dry uses as part of a traditional  spice mix with seaweed, orange zest, ginger, sesame seed and chili powder. Sometimes called "ichimi" - my

Guacamole, octopus confit,  panka-miso sauce chives

Guacamole, white fish marinated in soy sauce, cilantro emulsion , leeks

Guacamole prawns, rocoto mayo, togarashi
Another delightful bite that is a must try. Do not be deceived by its size. It may not look much but it fills you up really quick. Talk about carbo loading...

Charcoal-oven-cooked Iberico ribs marinated in  miso paste, hoisin and oyster sauce, chili corn and okra.  Just add rice and you are all set. Definitely not for sharing haha

Feast on the refreshing combo of tuna, avocado, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, lettuce and poke sauce

Hands down my favorite among all  dishes served. I loved how fresh and light the cubes of tuna were.

Steamed bao,   pork charsiu,  red onion, cilantro, fried onion,  cilantro-miso-aioli
Think  fatter sister of the pork bun we know from Ippudo. Equally delicious if more "voluptuous" , it was understandingly more expensive but nonethless quite addicting. I think I can finish two of this in one sitting haha


Nikkei Nama relies on the freshness of their ingredients.

My first hand experience of their beautiful tuna tartare donbori , their causas, etc echoes my  previous review of its sister/mother restaurant...

  • Dining at Nikkei Nama was like having a preview of Japanese-Peruvian and Chinese-Peruvian cuisine as well.
  • When you go to Nikkei though, set aside your quantity-over-quality mindset. Servings here are almost degustation-like in  portions. After all , every ingredient you taste in your dish was carefully selected. So the idea is to linger over each item appreciating how it was all put together  using all 5 senses

Nikkei Nama is located at the second level of One Bonifacio Street Mall along 28th and 5th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City Taguig

Nikkei Nama Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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