• Location: Nikkei Rockwell, 71 Rockwell Dr, Makati, Metro Manila
  • Contact Number: 0916 636 9817 / +632 541 6689
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday, and Sunday— 11:30 am to 10:00 pm; Friday and Saturday— 11:30 am to 11:00 pm

When it comes to culinary fusion, Japanese-Peruvian cuisine known as Nikkei is probably leading the pack as its popularity and market demand has skyrocketed over the years. But what is Nikkei cuisine and why is everyone talking about it?

Nikkei Rockwell

In the last century, Peru’s culinary tradition has been an assortment of the various cultural influences which has swept over the South American country. One such cultural influence was Japan. And with the Japanese diaspora continues to grow in Latin America, they began cooking traditional Japanese food with the Peruvian ingredients that were available to them, including seafood; creating dishes that combine the simplicity and precision of Japanese culinary techniques with the abundance of Andean tubers and spices that the land has to offer. Over time, this hybrid cuisine has perfected its distinct flavor rooted in Peruvian standards.

Since its inception, this gastronomic sensation is currently making rounds all over the world and here in Manila’s growing culinary scene—where everyone is always looking for something different but tasteful. Manila’s very first Japanese-Peruvian sushi bar Nikkei first opened in Legaspi Village in 2015 and currently has two other branches in BGC and Rockwell.

Nikkei Rockwell launches their new tasting menu and a course meal menu with wine pairings. We were able to sample four of their newest steak dishes as well as the rich-flavored French wines selected for the perfect pairing.

Roast Beef Carpaccio Salad paired with Joseph Drouhin Laforet Bourgogne 2016, from Burgundy, France.

Starting out with this classic gourmet appetizer, Nikkei’s resident chef used the freshest ingredients as well as a high-grade beef fillet. Cooked medium rare with a generous amount of truffle oil, this dish creates an explosive taste when paired with Joseph Drouhin Laforet Bourgogne white wine.

Chuck Eye Log Brochette paired with Tresors de Loire Saumur Champigny 2014 from Loire Valley, France

True to its Peruvian culinary style, the herbs and spices such as coriander, paprika, cayenne, and saffron create an exciting flavor. Drizzle it with lemon before taking a bite to add a little bit of sour and complete the whole experience with Tresors de Loire Saumur Champigny’s strong taste.

Spicy Minute Steak paired with Ferraton Pere et Fils La Matiniere Crozes – Hermitage 2014 from Rhone Valley, France

This huge chunk of meat has been tenderized to perfection as it melts in your mouth with every bite. The spiciness of its sauce was evenly formulated to elevate a regular steak from something that is utterly and ridiculously delicious. Pairing it with Ferraton Pere et Fils La Matiniere Crozes, another red wine with a very dark and intense flavor, this dish is something you don’t want to miss when you visit Nikkei Rockwell.

Broiled Wagyu Tartar Canapé paired with Chateau Simard Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2011 from Bordeaux, France

Chef Samata of Nikkei has delicately infused select Peruvian ingredients with truffle oil that brings out the incredible flavor of the wagyu beef, and it’s so mouth-watering that you shouldn’t miss it every time you visit Nikkei. To compliment this dish’s unique taste, pair it with Chateau Simard Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe from Bordeaux, France.

Chef Hiroki Samata

Nikkei cuisine continues to be part of a contemporary culinary movement, but it remains overlooked and misunderstood by many. At Nikkei restaurant in Rockwell Makati, resident master chef Hiroki Samata hopes that more Filipino diners will get to try Japanese-Peruvian cuisine as it is truly spectacular and can rival any western cuisine any time of the day.

“Here at Nikkei, we focus on introducing the chuck roast cut of the wagyu beef as it is often overlooked but provides an equally amazing taste for any steak dish, similar to what tenderloins and sirloins can offer. It’s different from the usual steak part, but I believe this allows Nikkei to stand out when it comes to Japanese-Peruvian cuisine,” says chef Samata who spent years and years perfecting his craft.

Having worked at Federal Meat Academy (FMA) for over ten years as an instructor, Master Chef Hiroki Samata has extensive experience and skills in cutting meat on the bone for beef and pork, slicing dressed meat. He also used to be a chef and a master butcher in Japan before moving to Manila to head the kitchen of Nikkei.

Most restaurants who offer a wide range of wine selections, cheese would always be a staple pairing—wine and cheese are pretty much inseparable. At Nikkei, however, this whole mindset is shattered and shifted to something else. The excellent flavors of any dish from Japanese-Peruvian cuisine is intensely amplified through its premium French wines, specially curated for any palate, whether you’re a connoisseur or just starting to discover the addictive wine drinking culture.

“Nikkei is a non-traditional and a progressive brand, and we always like to go outside of the box, so we decided to play a little bit by combining Japanese-Peruvian cuisine with traditional French wines,” says Monica Modomo, marketing manager for Nikkei.

With an intimate bar lounge for those who enjoy a chill night filled with thoughtful conversations over good wine and steak, Nikkei Rockwell is the perfect prime time and after hour dining spot.

Seph is a self-confessed extroverted introvert. He loves food but he’s always on a diet. He likes getting drunk but complains the next day and vows not to drink ever again, but he’d repeat the same thing over and over. Professionally, he does public relations work for brands like Sperry, Keds, and Skechers. In his own perfect world, he would have wanted to be a travel photographer – to take photos and to meet new people.

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