Two young Argentines surprise with a renewed concept of Peruvian-Japanese fusion

Two young Argentines surprise with a renewed concept of Peruvian-Japanese fusion

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Nikkei cuisine, that mix between Peru and Japan, has great references in Argentina and is increasingly gaining more followers due to the quality and variety offered by the competition. Neko Restaurant was added to this range of options, a brand new opening in Belgrano that seeks to refresh the scene with a proposal that its creators describe as modern and disruptive.

Behind the project are Lucas Ferrari (27) and Antonella Baldi (28), a couple of entrepreneurs who turned their passion for good food into a business. From his culinary experiences inside and outside the country, this new space emerged that artfully mixes flavors and aromas of the Peruvian-Japanese fusion with world cuisines. “To describe our cuisine we have to go to the definition of ‘Nikkei’, which are emigrants of Japanese origin. In Peru there was a strong migration of these and a unique gastronomy was formed. But Nikkei is not only the fusion of Peruvian gastronomy and Japanese, it is also the mixture with other cultures and we are looking for that: adding other flavors to this already existing fusion. That is why we incorporate ingredients from Korean, Filipino, Thai, Argentine cuisine and more,” says Ferrari.

The Ferrari-Baldi duo began their journey in the field in 2019. They opened their first location in Villa Crespo: Neko Sushi, with an exclusive fusion sushi menu, today transformed into an omakase experience. After learning all the stages of the business (from selecting raw materials to dealing with the administrative part) and perfecting the processes, they embarked on a new concept that they materialized in Neko Restaurant at the end of 2023. In the medium term they plan to add a grill in Devoto Japanese robotayaki style, with exotic cuts. Their vision is that each brand location has its identity.

A feline in the kitchen

Taking into account that “neko” means cat in Japanese, this place is based on the symbolic journey of a feline lover of cooking who, eager for innovative recipes, traveled through Japan, Thailand and Vietnam until landing in Peru and, from that amalgam of flavors, created a cuisine with its own identity. The restaurant sports a modern structure, by the Art Wall Architecture group, the same studio that designed Trescha, a Michelin star-winning restaurant.

The living room features glass walls and elements of Japanese culture. A large bar, long armchairs, navy blue chairs and soft lights complete the atmosphere of the establishment, which has a notable romantic nuance.

What to try

With Lucas at the helm, the kitchen team proposes creative recipes. Recommended are the lomo saltado gyozas (with black garlic lactonesaise, roasted vegetables, cassava chips and lomo saltado stock), the fresh oysters (with citrus ponzu, Thai Creole sauce and furikake), the Kimchi ceviche (rocoto tiger milk and gochujang, Patagonian trout, white fish and kimchi, the Asian cabbage ferment) and the yellow chili tiradito (with anticucheros prawns, white fish and fish chicharrón).

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Of the fusion sushi pieces, you must try the variety of nigiris (wagy meat with chalaca and potato threads, trout with terinikkei and sesame sauce, white fish with spicy mayo, teriyaki and green sauce, octopus with huancaína sauce and Nikkei chimichurri, among others), continue with the selection of rolls, such as the Satoshi (white fish, squid, avocado, spicy mayo, terinikkei sauce and furikake) or opt for the handrolls such as the Trufado (trout, truffle oil, lime and flake salt).

For dessert, the suggestion is to go for the 70% chocolate marquise, with lucuma ice cream, salted caramel and sunflower candy with togarashi, or order the profiterole with white chocolate diplomata, matcha and cocoa ground, in an attractive presentation.

For lunch, they offer a special dish and for dinner, a good alternative is the Nekonomic menu that includes four small dishes and a bottle of wine of your choice at a convenient price, ideal for sharing between 2 or 3 people.

The cava is made up of reds, whites, rosés and oranges predominantly from young and organic projects, difficult to find in mass sales channels. But the madame of the drinks menu are its clarified and versioned cocktails, in which tropical, citrus and spicy flavors predominate. The Haku is interesting, inspired by the classic Old Fashion (whiskey infused with sesame oil and syrup). salted caramel).

A well-executed avant-garde Nikkei cuisine experience, in a fresh and modern space.

Address: La Pampa 1391, Belgrano.

Source: Ambito

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