I’ve always wanted to try Nikkei ever since they opened their first branch in Rada in 2016 but never got around to it. They currently have 4 restaurants between Nikkei and Nikkei Nama. Nikkei is more focused on Peruvian-Japanese cuisine while Nikkei Nama serves Peruvian-Asian but keeps a number of Nikkei favorites on the menu. We recently got to try the newly opened Nikkei Nama, which takes over the original space in Rada bringing with it a more casual feel.
We started with the Lima Roll (P295/5 pcs) which has white fish, salmon, tuna, avocado, tobiko, cucumber and yuzu mayo aioli. This is a great fresh tasting starter, a no rice and no seaweed sushi roll. Thin cucumber serves as the wrap for equal sized cubes of fish and avocado with a creamy and tart aioli tying it all together.
Soft Shell Crab Roll (P250/5 pcs, P495/10 pcs) has soft shell crab tempura, cucumber, mango, sesame seeds and yuzu mayo aioli. There’s no seaweed again in this sushi roll with mangoes playing the role of wrapper. There’s a nice crunch from the soft shell crab and fresh crisp cucumber while the nuttiness of the sesame seeds are enhanced with the torching.
Chipirones Fritos (P350), deep fried baby squid drizzled with miso mayo, rocoto pepper mayo and finished off with tobiko and togarashi. This is Nikkei Nama’s take on calamares and I give it my two thumbs up. Perfectly fried, fresh tasting squid coated in thin, crisp batter and enhanced with creamy and light spicy flavors. This goes perfect with your alcoholic drink of choice.
Sake Sangria (P295/glass. P795/carafe), lychee syrup, orange juice, apple juice, ginger syrup, cachaca and sake. I hardly drink alcohol but took a taste of this and found it very enjoyable to drink.
Avocado Maguro (P295). A simple salad of sorts that has tuna and avocado cubes, cherry tomatoes, peanuts and poke sauce. One of our favorites of the dinner.
Ceviche Mixto (P395) has white fish, prawns, squid, leche de tigre, onion, cilantro, chili, and cancha. I was happy to see that they also use cancha, the toasted Peruvian corn that we love.
Nikkei Ceviche (P320) has tuna, tamarind leche de tiger, red chili, cilantro, onion, cancha and calamansi. The fish is fresh and the flavors of this ceviche are tarty but with the tamarind flavor providing a surprise.
If you like grilled sticks, you have a choice of Gyu Anticucho (P595/ 2 sticks) and Pollo Anticucho (P220/ 2 sticks). Both are equally good but if I was forced to choose I’d go with the pollo/chicken. Both protein options are marinated in anticucho sauce, drizzled with togarashi, chili miso and teriyaki sauce
Ikayaki (P495) is charcoal grilled squid stuffed with spinach and topped with chalaquita (Peruvian salsa), and panka sauce. The panka sauce is somewhat like a bbq sauce with a smoky, spicy kick which worked so well with the fresh squid. The spinach stuffing is pretty unique but adds a healthy freshness together with the chalaquita. This is hands down our favorite dish and wished it was also served in Nikkei.
(click for full sized pictures)
One of the things that make Nikkei Nama unique are their Nama rice bowls, perfect for a fuss free lunch or dinner. We got to try the Blackened Salmon Bowl (P550), Pollo Saltado Donburi (P320), Unagi Don (P620) and Miso Cod Donburi (P380). All nama bowls are served with miso soup. Our favorites were the blackened salmon and the unagi don, both of which are meatless options also. The servings size is generous and you could share two bowls between 3 people easily.
Banana Kofuku (P220). Bananas coated in panko crumbs then deep fried, served with ginger ice cream and finished with salted caramel and orange drizzle. The refreshing ginger and salted caramel flavors worked well together to enhance the grease free banana fritters.
Tres Leches (P295). Sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk topped with torched mango cubes. I loved the enhanced sweetness with the torching that goes really well with the just right sweetness of the sponge cake. Serving size is generous enough to share with a few dining companions.
We really enjoyed our first taste of Nikkei Nama and will take Lauren there soon after spotting several things from the menu that she would enjoy.
Nikkei NamaG/F Frabelle Business Center
111 Rada Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City, Philippines
Contact No.: (632) 8888-0231
Operating Hours: 11:30am to 11:00 pm daily
Other branch: One Bonifacio High Street Mall
Facebook Page: Nikkei Nama
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