We have looked far and wide for Japanese food with a twist here in Manila and we have finally found it. Serving more than just sushi and sashimi, this restaurant wants to differentiate itself by introducing a new type of cuisine-fusion in the country. Check out Nikkei.
Founded by Carlo and Jackie Lorenzana, Nikkei is a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant—a fusion first of its kind in the Philippines. Nikkei is a term that literally means Japanese outside Japan and it was coined back when Japanese people migrated to Peru. They formed a community there and managed to infuse Peruvian style of cooking to typical Japanese food. Peruvian cuisine makes use of different spices and citrus elements. If you can’t imagine how that would taste like, you now have all the reason to try this specialty restaurant.
Nikkei has branches in Legazpi Village, Makati City and The Podium, Ortigas City; but what got our attention is their Rockwell Center, Makati City branch with a second floor, so we chose this branch as our focal point.
The interior is practically the same across all branches—minimalistic with earth and gold-metallic tones. It is also notable that Nikkei Rockwell has a function room that can accommodate 12 to 15 pax – perfect for business meetings because it’s very secluded. Plus, it has a swimming pool and garden view—truly a refreshing change to see during any possibly-draining meeting.
Nikkei believes in quality over quantity. When you dine at Nikkei, your palate will be satisfied as you savor the burst of exquisite flavors, the fast and amiable service, and the alluding ambiance and atmosphere of the place. Here are some of the meals you might want to check out:
Tuna Latke – Php320
Savoring the tenderness of the seared tuna is already good enough, but Nikkei elevated that experience even more by adding a crunch to every bite. These strips of tuna are placed on top of potato pancakes and generously topped with Huancaína sauce, cilantro, and a bit of lemon juice. This makes the Tuna Latke soft and crunchy at the same time, and it is made even more delectable with the sauce.
Causa Appetizers – Php180 – 250 (MUST TRY)
Causas are Peruvian staples that are basically like bite-sized mashed potatoes with toppings. At Nikkei, they have a selection of Japanese favorites, including Tako (octopus) and Wagyu (Grade A5 Beef). One order of your choice of topping consists of three Causas.
Aburi Rolls – Php350 for 5 pcs / Php695 for 10 pcs
Aburi is a style of cooking where only the top part of the fish is grilled. This Aburi Roll is special in many ways because of the freshness of the tuna, the creaminess of the tobiko mayonnaise, and, of course, the slight tar of the grilled top of the sushi. This is one you should definitely try when you eat at Nikkei!
Pomelito Tiraditos – Php225
Tiraditos are another Peruvian specialty. It’s their way of slicing sashimi into very thin strips, focusing on an explosion of flavors to highlight the main ingredient: the fish. It’s a gastronomic experience that makes Nikkei stand out from the rest. We tried the Pomelito, which had pomelo, passion fruit, mango, and caramelized sunflower seeds placed on top of tuna sashimi. The sweetness of everything seamlessly complements the umami of the tuna despite its size.
Green Ceviche – Php375
The Green Ceviche is for all the lovers of everything sour. This seafood fiesta (composed of white fish, octopus, and prawns) are tossed together with spices, wasabi cream, and lemon, making one stunner of a dish! The sweet potato strings serve as accents to the whole dish, but it makes all the difference eating it together with the fish and the cream.
Seared Tuna with Huancaina Risotto – Php680 (MUST TRY)
Among all the dishes, this one is my favorite. No words can explain how good the risotto is. It’s perfectly creamy thanks to the cheese, but it doesn’t stop there. They also add a Peruvian spice to the sticky rice, so it’s not your typical risotto. As with the Tuna Latke, the seared tuna serves as the protein component of this heavy dish.
Seabass Katsu Set – PART OF THE LUNCH SET
If you’re used to eating pork katsu, Nikkei’s version is much healthier and heavier in protein as they use Seabass as the Katsu meat. It’s a better alternative than pork and is equally delicious, if not more. The Seabass Katsu is topped in a bowl of Gohan (Japanese Fried Rice) and a fried egg is added for extra texture. Comes with Miso Soup for lunch sets.
*Lunch sets are available from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
Sesame Ice Cream- Php110
Nikkei doesn’t just create unique Japanese meals; they create specialty desserts, too. They have ginger, wasabi, sesame, and matcha flavors! Sounds crazy, right? We tried the Sesame Ice Cream and it is divine. From the consistency itself, you can already tell it’s homemade – as if it is personally made for you!
Tres Leches – Php295 (MUST TRY)
Tres Leches has instantly became one of my favorite cakes in the metro. Like the Aburi, the top of the cake (made of mango and sugar) is blowtorched to caramelize it and amplify the sweetness. The whole thing may look like a cheesecake, but it’s actually a sponge cake soaked in three different kinds of milk. With every bite, it’s like there is cream oozing out from the sponge cake mashing together with the caramelized mangoes.
*If it’s your birthday or your anniversary, rejoice because Nikkei is treating you with a free Tres Leches! Be sure to bring a valid ID!
(RELATED: Need a place to stay in Rockwell? Try Aruga!)
Liked what you saw? You can enjoy some of them even more because Nikkei Rockwell has multiple promos every week:
Monday – Php99 for 5 pieces of selected sushi rolls
Tuesday – Buy 1 Take 1 on Traditional Nigiri (except for Kobe Nigiri)
Wednesday – 30% off on all Cocktails all day (Must try: Mizuchi )
Thursday – 30% off on all Sake Bottles all day
Saturday – Php88 for 5 pieces of selected maki
*Citibank Cardholders are also entitled to an exclusive discount of 30% off to a selection of items from 11:30am to 3:30pm everyday.
Maximize these promos and make your tummy (and wallet) happy!
71 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell, Makati
0916 636 9817 / +632 541 6689