Whilst strolling through Surry Hills, we made an impromptu lunch visit. All the stars aligned and our baby fell asleep on a walk, meaning we could have a lovely long lunch. We had long been wanting to visit, but hadn’t previously had the opportunity or time. We enjoyed it so much that we later returned for the tasting menu with friends.
Nikkei is a restaurant whose menu is Japanese 🇯🇵 Peruvian 🇵🇪 fusion. We have been to both countries and enjoy their cuisines, so we were keen to see the blend of these two.
Whilst at the restaurant for ala carte, we began with a cocktail and some oysters, flavoured with aji rocoto, parsley, lime. These were superb.
For the more substantials, we had the sweet corn and pan de yuca (cheese bread), ceviche and wagyu maki (to be explored later as they were also part of the tasting menu).
We returned with friends for the tasting menu, and the whole experience was excellent. Whilst some of the menu are items we’d tried before, there were plenty of new courses too. We think $88 pp is extremely reasonable for the amount of food served. The food comes out efficiently and we love that it’s not one of those dining experiences where you sit for hours waiting for your next course.
Beginning with crispy little empanada bites (2 each) – choclo corn, edamame, parmesan cheese, smoked mayo, it sets high expectations as these were amazing.
Followed by some lovely light hokkaido scallops (2 each) Flavoured with huacatay butter, acevichado salsa and mini arare cracker.
A Peruvian classic which we ate a lot of whilst in Peru is next – the ceviche de pulpo. Small beautifully cooked pieces of octopus, sesame leche de tigre and pieces of the Peruvian snack; cancha corn.
The causa sushi was interesting – the scampi + smoked ikura salmon roe and yellowfin tuna gunkan sushi saw really nice seafood sitting atop a mashed potato ‘sushi’. This was the only thing we weren’t quite sure of. Our dining party were all of the opinion we’d prefer rice, but understand it’s part of their fusion.
My favourite from both the ala carte and tasting menu was the wagyu maki – rib eye (MBS8+) wagyu beef sushi, yakiniku + anticucho sauces, presented beautifully.
The largest dish was the chuleta de cerdo which is tokachi-style kurobuta pork rib eye, cooked perfectly, served with a crispy sweet potato and sitting in a sweet sticky sauce.
This was accompanied by ensalada de verano
or mixed leaf salad with yuzu kosho, panko crumb.
The last dish was dessert. It was a wonderful matcha alfajor, the shortbread encasing a sweet and creamy dulce de leche gelato and roasted coconut. The perfect way to end the meal.
It was quite a lot of food, and all seemed to work well as a whole tasting menu. Each dish came out efficiently with staff explaining each in depth. It blended the great elements of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines.
We also really loved the drinks, especially their take on a Pisco sour – made with lime. The ‘lucuma’ their take on a espresso martini is also a must order.
In summation, we highly recommend a visit to Nikkei!
Note – on Fri/Sat, the set menu is the only option.