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Embracing the Fusion: Nikkei Cuisine Lands in Cape Town!

15 January 2024

In the late 19th century, the cultural exchange between Japan and Peru ignited with the arrival of a Peruvian ship at Yokohama's port. This vessel, shuttling laborers between Callao and Macau, laid the groundwork for a blossoming fusion. Japanese culinary finesse married Peru's vibrant ingredients, swiftly becoming a local mainstay.

Leap to 2020, this distinctive cuisine transcended its roots, permeating mainstream and fine dining spheres. Championed by modernist chefs, it emerged as a vanguard in the culinary landscape, spawning trendy establishments across the Middle East, London, and the US.

The culmination arrives at the tail end of 2023, as Cape Town welcomes its inaugural Japanese-Peruvian culinary haven—Nikkei Japanese Peruvian opened on the 12 December 2023. Nestled at 87 Bree Street (formerly Gate 69), this venture emerges under the stewardship of esteemed establishments like Hacienda, Scala, Iron Steak, and Burger & Lobster. The acclaimed and globally recognized chef Rikku O’Donnchu, alongside the company's executive chef, Justin Barker, helm the menu.

What was the inspiration for Nikkei?

Nikkei is inspired by the founders love for Asian and South American cuisine, hence why they opened Hacienda Coastal Mexican in 2022 first, followed Nikkei in 2024.

Justin, the Group Exec Chef, has his own ambitions to head to South America and eat at his most inspiring restaurants. He is extremely passionate about South American cuisine and was at the helm of the opening of Hacienda Coastal Mexican.

RIKŪ having recent experience in Korea, Japan and even more recently, the US and Hong Kong, has always had a passion and sentimental/Inspiring connection to Asian culture & cuisine, not only because of his family connection, but because of the culinary, discipline and dedication to their craft.

RIKŪ was the executive chef of Michelin Korean fusion restaurant DOSHI in Orlando Florida
As the founders we saw a gap in the market on Bree Street and wanted to have something more than just another Japanese inspired restaurant - you wanted something elevated and untapped!  

What's on the menu?

Nikkei's menu caters to diverse tastes, thoughtfully categorized for easy exploration. Begin with "Piqueos," delightful small bites perfectly paired with your initial libations. "Crudo y Marinados" showcases raw or marinated delicacies, featuring the pinnacle of Nikkei cuisine—the celebrated Ceviche. "Petiscos Nikkei" beckons communal dining, inviting patrons to share a variety of sumptuous plates.

The heart of Nikkei's kitchen resides in the acclaimed Josper Oven, revered for its charcoal gastronomy—a cornerstone utilized in crafting most menu items, barring those from the robatayaki section. Robatayaki, a miniature charcoal grill brought tableside, delivers an authentic Japanese/Peruvian grilling experience. And, sushi aficionados can revel in exclusive Japanese Peruvian new style signature rolls and revered Japanese classics.

Rikku and Justin eagerly pioneer Nikkei cuisine in South Africa, contributing to the global fascination with this exhilarating culinary fusion. Nestled in Cape Town's vibrant Bree Street, Nikkei promises to captivate the palates of discerning food enthusiasts.

The bar at Nikkei boasts an enticing array of Japanese whiskies, some crowned as the world's finest—a paradise for whisky aficionados. Noteworthy among the offerings is a meticulously crafted list of Sake and Pisco cocktails, curated by an award-winning mixologist. The iconic Pisco Sours, a cherished Peruvian libation, now finds its home in Cape Town.

The restaurant's unique interior, a creation by long-time design partners SQ design, is a testament to the harmonious blend of Japanese and Peruvian cultures. A rich Deep Green palette, complemented by hints of gold and simplistic wood panelling, defines a space that exudes warmth and comfort—a visual ode to cultural equilibrium.

Nikkei Japanese Peruvian stands as a testament to the artful fusion of Japanese precision and Peruvian vibrancy, adding a captivating chapter to Cape Town's culinary tapestry.



Cape Town Central, Western Cape Cocktails, Japanese, Peruvian

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