The Original Nikkei Nama Bar in Rada, Makati

The Original Nikkei Nama Bar in Rada, Makati

šŸ£Looking back to my first ever Nikkei Experience
The first time that I went to Nikkei was quite memorable and considerably a personal milestone. It was 2017. I was still with my first job working in SGV, and well let's just say that I didn't have much. However, despite such situation, I managed to allot a budget for it, and eventually have a dinner there with my high school barkada. I can recall spending almost a thousand, and back then it was already such an achievement.

Revamped interior of Nikkei Nama Bar, Rada, Makati

A reunion with the original Nikkei restaurant
Fast forward to 2023, I received an invitation to see Nikkei once again, and I couldn’t let the opportunity of re-living my experience there. Hence, in this blog post, I’ll be sharing with you what changed in this Nikkei branch, along with the new interesting dishes I was able to sample that night.

Trivia: This Nikkei in Rada is the very first branch of the now multi-branch restaurant

New Interior of Nikkei, Rada Branch in Makati

šŸŽŽAn improved interior - infusion of more wooden elements
Just so I can test my memory, I didn’t look at any reference photos prior to reaching the restaurant. Nonetheless, when I stepped in, there was this familiar feeling, like seeing a childhood friend. In my faint memory, I sensed that much of the previous structure was maintained, but I was guessing that there are now more wood elements incorporated in the interior. 

Zen and wooden interior of Nikkei Nama Bar (Rada)Chefs in Action - Nikkei Nama Bar (Rada)

To validate, I quickly checked my old blog post on Nikkei from my phone, and scrolled down to the photo of the interior that I took during my 2017 visit. Much to my surprise, my observation on having more wooden elements was correct. Smiling at myself, I felt proud, looking slightly like a fool.

If you are curious as to how it looked like back then, check out my old blog post on Nikkei here: Nikkei's Japanese Peruvian Cuisine in Rada, Makati circa 2017

the experience was reminiscent of my first time

šŸ¶Consistency across time
We will be jumping shortly on the dishes that I sampled that night, but I just want to say on a high-level that I was very happy that Nikkei was consistent across time, because the experience was reminiscent of my first time dining here in the restaurant.

Nikkei's Sake Sangria
Havana Club 3 years, sake, lychee syrup, orange juice, apple juice, ginger syrup

The night started off with a refreshment. It was the Sake Sangria, which was an instant new favorite. I just loved how well-blended the sake was with the fruity concoction. It was just so magnificently suave. 

Unagi Asparagus Roll of Nikkei Restaurant
Unagi kabayaki, asparagus, sesame seeds, teriyaki sauce, tobiko mayo

For the appetizer, we had the Unagi Asparagus Roll, which really set off our palates with its amazing flavors and textures. The unagi was cooked in this sweet-savory teriyaki sauce which melted tenderly in the mouth. Each bite also gave us an interesting crunch from the fresh asparagus, and I just loved how playfully layered this roll was texture-wise and flavor-wise. 

Classic Ceviche - Nikkei Nama Bar
Classic Ceviche - White fish, red chili, cilantro, red onion, corn, glazed sweet potatoes

Yuzu Prawns - Nikkei Nama Bar, Rada Makati
Prawns, yuzu mayo, rocoto mayo, tobiko, negi, lime, togarashi, kizame yuzu

One of the new additions to Nikkei is this Yuzu Prawn dish which was a smashing hit for three of us (i.e. me and two of my siblings). It was a wonderful fusion of citrus flavor and creamy mayo goodness bringing a momentous "oooooooh" in every bite of the prawns. A must-try

Nikkei's Chirashi Bara - Rada, Makati
Variety of chopped sashimi cuts on sushi rice. Nikkei furikake, Japanese seasoning, and nuts. Served with miso soup

The Chirashi Bara is a classic dish, and something that you may want to order if you wish to sample a collection of fresh sashimi - octopus, salmon, tuna, white fish, shrimp and tamago

Pescado Frito of Nikkei Nama Bar, Rada
Fried Alaskan Pollock, saltado vegetables, egg, fried onion, gohan, cilantro miso aioli

Pescado Frito is another new dish in Nikkei, and it's a loaded meal good for those who want an extra serving of carbs (it's not very obvious in the photo, but there is bed of rice underneath the toppings). It was not a personal favorite because I'm not a fan of fried fish as a Japanese dish. It is worthy to mention, however, that it was still a good dish with how delicately the Alaskan Pollock was fried, and how layered the textures were with all the other ingredients.

Seared Tuna with Huancaina Risotto by Nikkei

The adage "save the best for last" is true for this case because this Seared Tuna with Huancaina Risotto was truly heavenly. The tuna was seared to perfection, and the risotto was chef's kiss. Each spoonful of the risotto was packed with potent yet balanced spices that gave our buds a good jolt. 

Interestingly, you'd only find this dish specifically in this branch which makes it further special. Hence, you shouldn't miss this one! 

Tres Leches of Nikkei Nama BarRenz in Nikkei with his two siblings (2023)

More than a trip down the memory lane 
Nikkei was able to reconnect me back to a fragment of my past, which was something that I found magical. The quality was still how I remembered it to be, and that just says a lot about consistency. However, it was so much more than a trip down the memory lane because this experience just gave birth to a new memory that I'd be able to cherish. Thank you Nikkei for not just delighting us gastronomically, but also giving us a new story to reminisce. 

Thanks for reading! 

Nikkei Nama Bar
Location: Frabell Business Center III, Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati
Service Charge: 10% before VAT


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