A Perfect Marriage Between East And West

Irfan Aziz explores the selection of flavours that Nikkei has to offer

Dhaka’s burgeoning food scene will never cease to amaze. Just when you think that you have seen it all, it will throw something new and even more unique in your direction, leaving all of your senses in awe. Case in point: Nikkei. Named after the cuisine itself, Nikkei is the first restaurant in Dhaka to bring to you the tantalising marriage between Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. Our taste buds are always on the lookout for the next out-of-body experience and that is exactly what Nikkei seeks to bring to us. It certainly sounds promising so ICE Today just had to check out if Nikkei lives up to the hype!

The Story
Most people are under the impression that Nikkei is simply a fusion between Japanese and Peruvian cuisine but it is much deeper than that. There was an influx of Japanese immigrants to Peru in the late 19th century and they had a huge cultural influence there. The chief manifestation of this influence was the prevalence of Japanese cuisine in the streets of Peru. But it didn’t stop there. Overtime, the Japanese learned to combine their traditional dishes with the indigenous flavours of Peru to create magic and that is how Nikkei came into existence. It also happens to be the fastest growing cuisine in the world in terms of popularity in recent years, so this was as good a time as any to let Dhaka’s palette delve into the action. Located north of Gulshan 2, Nikkei is the newest and in many ways the shiniest stone added to the crown worn by the tri-state area’s food scene.

The Highlights
Aside from the food which is obviously the centerpiece, Nikkei also boasts one of the best examples of modern interior decor in Dhaka. Subtle, contemporary and extremely chic, you will feel as if you are dining in a premier establishment in downtown Manhattan. It is both a testament to how far Dhaka’s food scene has come and also how dedicated the restaurateurs are to ensure that the customers enjoy the most lavish experiences. Moving on to the food, where do we begin? Nikkei cuisine will stimulate all of your senses at once. Be it through the aesthetics of the dishes, the noises your mouth makes while eating them, their sizzling flavours, their divine smell or how they feel inside your mouth. See, we weren’t joking about the stimulating all our senses at once part. The first dish we were treated to was the Salsa De Palta and Tortilla Chips which is comprised of crunchy tortillas and a rich, creamy and succulent dip that complement each other perfectly. Next came The Eastern Hot Pot that packs more flavours than one can handle. A satisfying experience where you can personalise every detail of your food to your liking. Lastly we tried what was arguably the highlight of our visit: The Miraflores Fish.The dynamics between the fine-drawn nuances of the tender fish and the creamy texture of the puree will cause a festival inside your mouth. Aside from the aforementioned dishes, the menu also has a plethora of other Nikkei cuisine items to choose from. In addition to that they also have sashimi and BBQ specials like grilled beef short ribs. Nikkei does indeed offer something different than what our palettes are usually used to, and that too with a variety of palpable items that you simply cannot explore at one go!

The Verdict
Offering a unique experience is something most restaurants claim but not many can live up to. However, Nikkei absolutely nails it when it comes to that. Not only is it offering a larger than life fine dining experience, it is also offering amazing ambience and modernity at a very convenient price point. Be it a family dinner, a date or charming foreign business associates, Nikkei certainly ticks all the boxes for every occasion and is indeed an ideal setup. Truly a place worthy of being on the top of your wishlist!

Visit Nikkei at Rangs Arcade, 153/A, 4th floor (same building as Gourmet Bazar) Gulshan-2, Dhaka