G/F Uptown Ritz, 36th Street corner 8th Avenue, Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City
Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) Almost all cultures have their version of grilling traditions—think outdoor barbecue in the U.S., churrasco in Brazil, or KBBQ over in Korea. For the Japanese, there's robatayaki (also called) robata)—the method of cooking where fresh seafood, meats, and other ingredients are grilled over charcoal, whose heat not only cooks these ingredients but also bequeaths into them its telltale smoky aroma. Now if there's any establishment that knows their Japanese food, it's Japanese-Peruvian spot Nikkei—and they're venturing into the robata world with their newest restaurant, Nikkei Robata.
Get your fill of charcoal-kissed, top-quality meats and seafood at Peruvian Japanese restaurant Nikkei Robata:
Nikkei Robata goes for a warm and rustic look with elements like wood and bricks in neutral shades—but also incorporates vibrancy with colorful murals on the walls. It juggles the telltale zen feel the Land of the Rising Sun is known for, with the lively character of Peruvian tradition—and it's the perfect sleek yet laid-back foil to their food, which similarly melds the best of Japanese and Peruvian worlds (as with their other restaurants), albeit emphasizing their robata specialties.
Yup, it's all about the magic of the grill here, with Nikkei Robata giving the robatayaki treatment to high-quality meats and seafood—rendering exteriors subtly charred and their interiors succulent and juicy. You can go classic Japanese with free-range chicken yakitori in cuts like the Thigh (P250/two sticks) and Wing (P280); they've also got a selection of kushiyaki that include the Kurobuta Pork Belly (P420/two sticks) with Esguerra Kurobuta in a honey-miso-hoisin tare sauce, Ebi (P350/stick) a.k.a. fresh prawns, and Ika (P280/two sticks) a.k.a. squid.
The Peruvian side of Nikkei Robata comes well-represented, too, with anticucho selections that include the Gyu (P695/two sticks) or U.S. wagyu, and Pollo (P265/two sticks) or free-range chicken, both in a Peruvian-style sauce plus togarashi and leeks for added zing. Don't miss the bigger plates, either, as Nikkei Robata pair stars proteins with sides and elements with distinct Nikkei flair—think Robata Steak (P995) with truffled mashed potatoes and chalaquita for brightness; Black Cod with Spicy Shiso Ponzu (P680) with red onion, chili, cilantro, shiso, red wine vinegar, sesame oil, and lemon; Hamachi Kama (P795) a.k.a. hamachi collar with a cilantro salad; and Iberico Pork Ribs (P550) plus chili corn and okra.
Don't just stop at the grilled meats, though. Also on the menu are other Nikkei signatures—from sushi to sashimi to ceviche bowls and more—that you can nosh on alongside grilled dishes. The Nikkei Ceviche (P480) is a no-fail with its fresh and flavorful combo of tuna, red chili, cilantro, red onion, calamari, and glazed sweet potato in a vibrant tamarind leche de tigre, while the Lomo Saltado (P595) makes for a heartier, comfort-inducing option as it's got sauteed beef tenderloin along with veggies, fries, and a poached egg. For a casual bite, definitely order a platter or two of their sushi rolls; the Miso Salmon Roll (P250/five pieces, P500/10 pieces) and Ceviche Roll (P300/five pieces, P595/10 pieces) are no-fails.
And in between bites you can sip on one of their special libations. Open the meal on a bright and fruity note with the Yuzu Gin Fizz (P495) with Bulldog gin, yuzu, Aperol, and raspberry jam, or go for the Fantasy Negroni (P295) featuring Plantation dark rum, campari, and sweet vermouth for a memorable nightcap.
Nikkei Robata is at G/F Uptown Ritz, 36th Street corner 8th Avenue, Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City. For more information, check out Nikkei Robata's Facebook page.