The team behind Sydney venues Tokyo Bird, Sando, Osaka Trading Co. and Bancho will launch Nikkei Bar & Restaurant this month, dishing up Japanese-Peruvian cuisine from the Surry Hills space vacated by Bodega in August.
Taking it’s name from the term used to describe the Japanese diaspora, Nikkei’s offering will be modern and shared style, with cocktails equally influenced by Peru and Japan as well as a wine list featuring 40 drops.
In Peru specifically, explains owner Jason Ang, Nikkei is also used to refer “to the food of Japanese immigrants, which has developed over more than a century using Japanese cooking techniques and flavours with local Peruvian produce”.
Osaka Trading Co.’s former head chef Lucas Cerullo David will lead the kitchen. Justin Kim will join David, bringing with him more than seven years’ experience in Japanese cuisine.
The menu is set to be seafood-focused — think Peru’s national dish, ceviche, and tiradito (sashimi-style fish in a spicy sauce that’s typical of Nikkei cuisine) — with native Peruvian produce such as corn, potatoes and tomatoes also celebrated.
“The team are excited to source Peruvian ingredients like aji amarillo and aji rocoto chillies, huacatay Peruvian black mint, Andean Sunrise potatoes and seafood that’s common between Peru, Japan and Australia,” says David.
Venue manager Marco Oshiro Giron (Osaka Trading Co., Tokyo Bird, Lucky Suzie, Black Bar & Grill), group sommelier Phil McElroy (The Source Restaurant at MONA, Firdoor and Sokyo), Reuvin Lim (Tayim, Tequila Mockingbird, Sake Double Bay, Cho Cho San) and bartender Xander Ramirez (Tayim, Lucky Suzie, Bently Bar & Restaurant) round out the experienced team.
“We’re looking forward to adding some Latin American spice to the delicate Japanese style Sydneysiders love,” says Giron.
Most of the Australian, South American, Spanish and French wines that make up the 40+ wine list have a coastal influence, while the eight-drink cocktail list features uniquely Peruvian flavours including pisco, anisado, chicha morada (an Andean purple corn drink), oregano tea and quinoa milk.
Giron’s Japanese-Peruvian heritage partly inspired the concept for Nikkei, which came to fruition when Ang and his team, including wife Tina Wing Kee and brother Christopher Ang, were offered the Commonwealth Street space around the corner from Tokyo Bird’s Belmore Lane location. “We hope to be able to do justice to the amazing legacy that [Bodega owners] Joe (Valore), Ben (Milgate) and Elvis (Abrahanowicz) left in Commonwealth Street,” says Ang.
The 55-seat venue will be open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner from 5pm to 10pm and Friday for Lunch from 12pm to 3pm.
Image: Bruno Stefani