Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian foods that began in Lima, is going to become major international news this year. While this type of cuisine will likely get considerable more attention this year in Lima as Maido’s Mitsuharu Tsumura completes his book on Nikkei cuisine and Hajime Kasuga’s star continues to rise, two major Nikkei restaurants will open in 2013 outside of Peru.
In early March in Barcelona Ferran and Albert Adriá are opening a 30-seat Nikkei restaurant called Pakta beside their project Tickets, in the theater district. Peruvian chef Franco Kisic, formerly of Tickets and with the project from the beginning, is now returning to Peru to take over his twin brother Ivan’s project in Lima, after his tragic death late last year. Kisic will continue advising Pakta and will oversee the bar menu. Two chefs, Japan’s Kyoko Li and Peru’s Jorge Muñoz, will head the kitchen and have already compiled 100 or so potential recipes. The debut menu will feature 35 dishes.
Ricardo Zarate, who heads the highly successful Los Angeles Peruvian restaurants Mo-Chica and Picca, is working on a 164 seat Peruvian Izakaya, named Paiche, to open in Marina del Rey sometime this Spring. Grub Street Los Angeles was recently given a peak into Zarate’s sketchbook of potential dishes: “…milk-fed baby lamb with aji amarillo and miso honey glaze, wild mushroom quinoa salad with huacatay sponge cake, and Wagyu black truffle tiradito…”. He goes on to say the spot will be heavy on seafood with a Japanese flair. The namesake Amazonian fish, paiche, which Zarate is quite fond of, is expected to appear often on the menu.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.