Nikkei: a Japanese-Peruvian Restaurant from the guys behind La Cabrera

Nikkei Ceviche. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.

Stumbled upon this new restaurant after church service at Union Church just today. Beside Wildflour on Rada St. in Legazpi Village is a new Peruvian-Japanese concept restaurant Nikkei.

nikkei 11We got a seat by the bar because the restaurant was full. It can only accommodate maybe 5 groups of 4 (thereabouts) and the bar seats around 8. We ended up sitting by the bar. Just as well, we got a good view of the chef.

His name is Juan Barcos. He is Argentinian, not Peruvian. But highly recommends a trip to Peru. He is also a chef at La Cabrera at 6750 beside Shang Makati.

Nikkei. Japanese Peruvian restaurant on Rada St., Legazpi Vill. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.com.Due to the Peruvian theme, ceviche was in order. They have several kinds: the classic ceviche, smoked chili, yellow pepper, green ceviche, salmon thai and tuna. I tried the classic, which was ok. But was more impressed by this one: the yellow pepper. So tasty! It goes well with their sake, which I also loved (light, smooth, slightly sweet – perfect even for lunch!).

nikkei 5The rolls below were given to us complimentary. I have no idea who sent it over. I’m wishing it was some cute single guy LOL but I think it was from one of the partners. As they are just on their 8th day of operations since opening, the partners were themselves bussing out orders. Which was necessary because the servers are very obviously just now getting the hang of serving. I’d estimate for maybe another month, expect around a 15-minute wait for your orders to get to your table.

I think this was the Panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs) Sushi Roll: salmon, avocado, kampyo (shavings from a gourd) and truffled cream cheese. I loved the touch of creaminess and the fact that it did not feel oily in spite of the crusty cover.

nikkei 2 I was also curious about and therefore tried the Causa Appetizers. Ordered the salmon, which comes with guacamole and salmon tartar; and the tako causa, which has octopus confit and guac as well. Be forewarned, though, that these are practically the size of an amuse bouche. They are puny! LOL. Although very tasty. That yellow tower is potato. nikkei 6 nikkei 7 Strongly suggest to order any of the sushi rolls while you wait as these are much bigger. Also thoroughly enjoyed the Ceviche Roll. This is a meal in itself and incredibly fresh, too. nikkei 8

If you have time, by all means, have a main dish. Their pork is Kurobuta – oh so soft and full of fat. And the beef is Kobe. You can ask for a separate bowl of rice.

Also worth a mention is the salmon belly, cooked tempura-style. It is fatty but the batter is not oily at all. It is just a beautiful dish. We had to get another order – it was just so good.

nikkei 9 nikkei 10 For dessert, we did see the waiters bus out a Tres Leches that looked incredible but we did not try this. Because Wildflour is just next door and within that proximity, you just HAVE to order their chocolate cake!

The dishes are a bit on the pricey side. You might feel short-changed esp with the Kobe beef which is P795 for a few small slices. But I think it’s because the ingredients are first rate and the each dish (the ones that we tried anyway) was delicious.

Nikkei Salcedo VillageI would come here for lunch if I had time but I think it’s a better place to unwind with friends after a long day at work! Ceviche and Japanese whisky – what better way to relax after a long day?

nikkei 12Nikkei
Rada St., Legazpi Village, Makati
No reservations
+63927 2730114 / 02 880 0231
Open for lunch and dinner daily (From 3-6 pm only dessert and drinks)
What to order: Yellow Pepper Ceviche, Panko sushi roll, Ceviche roll, Salmon Belly
Wheelchair accessible
Major credit cards accepted

Robuchon Saint Germain, Paris

It was summer when I visited Paris so most restaurants were closed. But not Robuchon Saint Germain. Open at 10:45 p.m. Jackpot!!

It was comforting to find a familiar hall, similar to the Robuchon Atelier in Hong Kong. The black hall, the red hues.

robuchon collage 1The bar also allowed me to simply enjoy my meal even as I sat by my lonesome.

robuchon 1And the slider … that slider that has been copied the world over … that familiar bite of a damn good burger and foie gras.

robuchon 3robuchon 2Since I was in Paris, I had to order quail. For some reason, quail reminds me of that French chef in the movie Babette’s Feast. It was exquisitely rolled in cabbage, topped with bacon for an extra touch of savory …

robuchon 4 quail… but inside: foie gras!

Hope to come back with a bigger group and make use of this space …  robuchon 7Also to thank this Maitre D who made what would have otherwise a terrible last night in Paris at least a pleasant one.  robuchon 8 robuchon 10 I love the concept of the Atelier because:
1. It’s set up like a bar so you can go by your lonesome without feeling too lonely, with the food – or the great food-tenders – as your company.
2. It’s beautifully crafted food without the stiffness of being in a ‘haute’ environment. The guys in the kitchen really treat their work like art. And very seriously.
3. You can come in jeans. And even with your luggage.
4. It is budget-friendly. It’s no McDonalds but you won’t be busting P15K (350USD) either.
5. Service is always excellent: friendly, attentive, not condescending, willing to assist, not in-your-face.

Best of all, they are consistent hte world over. No wonder Robuchon has 28 Michelin stars he can be proud of.

Robuchon Saint Germain.
5, rue Montalembert, Paris
+33(0)1 42 22 5656
atelier-robuchon.com