For the ones that dont know much about the Peruvian culinary tradition, we have loads of cultural influences. One of the best outcomes of it, is the Japanese influence. What brings us Nikkei, a combination of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine that has become new trend amongst Europe.
I mean, Sushi mixes perfectly with ceviche if you think about it. Combining Japanese dishes with Peruvian flavors and techniques has a remarkable effect. The minimalism and delicacy of Japanese food meets the rough freshness and spiciness of Peru. a deadly combination for every foodie around!
Both are so similar, yet so different. But what is Nikkei? or what does the word mean? Nikkei people are Japanese emigrants and their descendants who have created communities throughout the world. And Nikkei food, for me, is the evolution of Japanese food where these communities live.
I was in Peru this May, and I was dying to eat some Nikkei again after 14 years living in Europe. I had to Taste the trend. Sadly I couldnt go visit Micha, my childhood friend and owner of the number 13 of the 50 best restaurants in the world, but I got to take a little time to visit Osaka and get delighted with all the flavours this cuisine has to offer.
I went there with my family. And we started with some delicious Nikkei Cocktails made with japanese and peruvian fruits. Each of them tastier than the other. I got the Pisco Punch Osaka as i loved the one I tried at the Super Foods Event from last december.
We started with 2 Tiraditos. Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish, cut in the shape of sashimi, and of aspect similar to crudo, and carpaccio, in a spicy sauce.
Carpassion: Salmon, passion fruit honey, watercress and crunchy dough and Osaka Tataki, a grilled seared tuna, oriental citrus sauce, togarashi and negi.
After the tiraditos, we ordered a nigiri platter. A dream of Foie Gras, Shrimps and truffles. It was mouth-watering.
- Hotate Truffle: Fan shells, white truffle butter and lemon
- Tuna Foie: Tuna, foie gras, teriyaki sauce and Maldon salt.
- Evil Ebi: Prawn, BBQ Osk and chalaquita.
We followed the Nigiris with Nikkei Makis that included Antiku, Prawns tempura, negi and seared loin with Nikkei anticucho sauce. And Spicy Crunchy, a maki made out Prawns batayaki, crab pulp, crunchy quinoa and togarashi.
And before we decided on the main dishes, we had to try at least one Peruvian Izakaya. This was a great name for it as it means Japanese Tapas. We went for the beautiful Mariscos al Fuego, or Seafood on Fire! it just melted in your mouth and left you yearning for more! An amazingly made mix of seafood sautéed in butter, togarashi and lemon.
The main dishes arrived! As a huge fan of Yuzu, I ordered the Niku Kabayaki, a Wagyu slices, kabayaki and yuzu butter. I loved the fact that you could grill your own meat and the sides. OH MY! an onion marmalade and fried peruvian cassava.
The rest of the family ordered these amazing dishes:
- Salmon Tentsuyu, a salmon confit in lime oil, negi and avocado tempura.
- Pato Mochero, Crispy duck leg over wok rice, cecina and shiitake with honey of tumbo
- Shiromi a la Brasa, White fish marinated in shoyu with crispy garlic sauce, almonds and Peruvian peppers.
- OSK Wok, Wok rice with vegetables and shrimps.
We had a great night, everything was highly pleasant to the taste. For me, this culinary fusion is the best I have ever tried. And IMHO, everyone should try this beautiful love child between Peru and Japan.
I tested the trend, And I got even more hungry for it as I was before this meal. Damn, I will even try to make some Nikkei recipes for the blog!! If you are in Lima and you want to try some Nikkei besides Osaka
- My friend Micha's Maido
- Costanera 700 a restaurant I had the honor to work with years ago
- Mesa18 from the Legend Toshiro Konishi
Rarely I travel to NeuKöln. It is quite bike ride from work and even on a taxi it takes me about 35 minutes. But my friend and foodie fellow René (one of the responsibles for Berlin Cooking Club) told me that there is a great place in that district called: Industry Standard and that we should pay it a visit.
Once I got there I was impressed of their scandinavian interior designed, decorated with great chalk drawings on the walls. The "artistic vibe" since you get there is just so Berlin!
After a glance to their menu, you can see the french and mediterranean influence.. those duck hearts seemed to be delish, though as it was not possible to get them gluten free, I had to order some other stuff. But the highlight of the evening was "the crab". You can order a whole crab that will be served to be enjoyed and slurped until only the shell is left. It was just heavenly cooked!
In this restaurant, you do not order one but several small dishes, 3 of them are enough to get you very satisfied and you can enjoy them with delicious natural and biodynamic wines or cocktails.
You need to go to Neuköln because they will keep their promise: We will feed you.
We got invited to a tasting menu dinner with whisky pairings by Diageo - the world's largest producer of spirits. The Mortlach whisky, famous for it's rich and powerful taste, has been off the market for a long while. Now, it is back, and that was to be celebrated at the newly opened hunting lodge at Løvenskiold shooting range outside Oslo.
We were welcomed as we entered by a familiar smile. One of our favorite bartenders, and certainly one of Norway's best, Jesper Høst was making cocktails. As always, an amazingly tasty and sexy looking drink was handed over by the well-dressed man. "The Beast" consists of the following:
During the evening we got to try three different Mortlach whiskys. The Rare Old, a sweet, fruity, floral and dry whisky. The 18-year-old, a bigger and bolder whisky with dark chocolate and burnt orange flavors, and a scent of coffee, nutmeg and tobacco leaf. Finally, the crown jewel, the 25-year-old, an elegant, sophisticated whisky with flavors of sweet fruits and Turkish delight and a scent of exotic spices and incense. All of them available at the wine monopoly, just follow the links. It is worth to notice the price tag on the latter, NOK 6000 for half a liter, and without doubt one the most expensive whisky we have tried.
Global Mortlach ambassador Georgie Bell, and Diageo Whisky ambassador Mikael Lundén were our hosts for the evening. The food was prepared by two chefs from brasserie Mats & Martin in Oslo. An excellent meal with only Mortlach whisky pairings to go with the food. Definitely not something we have tried before, and quite odd, but at the same time it worked out very well.
We love cocktail bars. The drinks look beautiful, the interior is well-designed, and they have an eye for quirky details everywhere. It is like entering a theme park for adults. In Oslo we have the vintage Fuglen, retro Bettola, old classic Morgenstierne and just recently we got the equally beautiful Vérité, Territoriet and Torggata Botaniske added to the list. However, newly opened Himkok takes it a few steps further. It is the Disneyland of cocktail bars. This place has so much going on.
The location is Storgata 27. No, not in the front. Around the corner. Behind the dumpster. Yes, that door without a sign that you would never have guessed. Below the awnings that read "Pels Pels" from the old fur shop that used to be here. Maybe they will make their presence more obvious once everything inside is ready. We were there to get a sneak peak at the soft opening.
As you enter the hallway you are met by cages on the walls, with jars of pickled fruits and vegetables lined up in the shelfs. Enter the cocktail lounge on the right and the first thing you see is a huge distillery machine behind a glass wall. The guys from Behind Bars Consulting, who helped make this place, and Matt, who's in charge of the distillation, reckon this is the only bar in Scandinavia who has one.
Matt will distill aquavit, gin & vodka. The details in this lounge are beautiful, from the lamps in the ceiling to the hydroponic turbines in the far end used to growing herbs for cocktails.
The outside areas in the first floor is not ready yet, but the plan is to have a cider bar serving a wide selection of fermented apple beverages. On the other side they want to serve food of some kind, maybe a rotisserie with poultry, and serve beer. If they get their will you will also be able to take away to enjoy in the park.
Upstairs is a huge area. The music will be louder and the drinks served faster. Cocktails and beer on tap. There's a retro photo booth to take funny pictures with your friends, and lo and behold! Around the corner is a barber salon. The guys from Dapper at Grünerløkka have brought their concept to Himkok, and taken the name from the old sign outside. PelsPels Barber Salon will cut your hair and trim your beard while you sip your favorite cocktail.
In our opinion this is one of the most well made bars in Scandinavia. We look forward to many visits and tasty cocktails here, and to see how all their plans are set to life.
Restaurant Manager Ola Larsson welcomes us in the door. It's a Saturday night and we booked a table just thirty minutes ago. Brasserie Paleo is half empty on this cold, dark January evening. Ola asks if we want something to drink before we eat and points towards the bar. "A glass of wine or perhaps a cocktail?" You had us at cocktail...
The bartender this evening is Australian Pete Shaw. We order the "Paleo Garden" and "Key Lime Pie," simply because they sound wonderful, in addition to some bar snack. Pete tells us about the drinks and his passion for mixology. Later on Ola stops by the bar to explain the restaurant concept. Personally, he tries to live by the paleo lifestyle, but he is not among the most extreme. Nor should the restaurant be, and although they work towards complete paleo alternatives it will never be at the expense of a good taste experience.
The Weekly Paleo Menu
We are quite familiar with the paleo lifestyle and what you can and cannot eat. Some of you may remember our paleo recipes back in January. In Brasserie Paleo it is difficult to see much of the paleo way at all in their main menu. There is even bread and sugary desserts. Fortunately there is at least a "Weekly Paleo" menu written on the wall, that seems to be more true to the concept. We had to try this for the full experience. The dishes were not really designed to be shared, but we like this way to experience a meal so we decided to do it anyway.
À La Carte
Since we are not religious about the paleo concept either, we had to try some of the options à la carte. Green stars on the menu marks the more healthy options. We chose two green starred items, but had to check out the bread serving and a dessert as well. Boy, did we not regret that.
All in all we really enjoyed Brasserie Paleo. The people who run the place seems dedicated in the way they talk about their concept. What we missed the most was nature wine. Alcohol is not really compatible with a strict paleo lifestyle, but a definite improvement would have been wine that at least does not contain added sugar or other substances. Also, some healthier desserts could have been worked out. At least replace sugar with honey or stevia. We'll return some day to see how things evolve.
We were at the Norwegian Aeropress Championship 2015 yesterday. The event was subtitled "Back to the Aeropress - a pun on the movies "Back to the Future" - and took place at Barista School in Oslo. We were rooting for Team Kaya, but in the end Øystein "Kaffelab" Berntsen won the whole shebang. Congratulations to him! The event inspired us to make a modification of the classic cocktail Espresso Martini. Since we don't have an espresso machine we used our aeropress in stead. Here's how you can make it yourself!
6 cl aeropressed coffee
2 cl Tia Maria
2 cl Absolut Vodka
1 cl vanilla infused sugar syrup
4 big ice cubes
Cinnamon for dusting
Back to the Aeropress!
Make a concentrated aeropress brew with 20 g finely grind coffee of high quality, and water to the 2nd mark. Water should be 90 degrees C. Remember to rinse the paper filter first. 1 minute steep time, 10-15 seconds press time. I'm sure the aeropress champion does not approve of this, and by all means feel free to tweak the pressing method to your liking. If you have an espresso machine, and no aeropress, you can just make a double espresso in stead.
Make a vanilla infused sugar syrup by boiling 4 tbsp water with 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla seeds or vanilla extract.
In your shaker add all the liquids. You can check if the sweetness is how you like it. Then add the ice cubes and start shaking as if you wanted the shaker to be a time traveling device. Hopefully you end up in the present with a rich, foamy Tia Maria Aeropress Martini. Finish it off with some cinnamon dust on top.
After the "Disaronno wears Versace" party at Vérité a few weeks back we got inspired to copy the Disaronno Sour recipe. As well as create our own version of a Disaronno Christmas Clementine & Cinnamon cocktail. Disaronno works perfectly in a Christmas cocktail due to the almondy marzipan flavor.
Shake it up:
Start by making sugar syrup. 1 dl water and 1 dl sugar to boil. Let it reduce some in the pot. Place four ice cubes in a container and pour the syrup over to cool down. Do not try to put a lid on this and shake! I did, and all you achieve is to sugar spray your kitchen. Just stir gently till the ice cubes dissolve.
Put three ice cubes in a glass and three in a shaker. All ingredients in as well. Shake. Pour. Serve.
Disaronno Christmas Clementine
Shaking bells rock:
The procedure here is similar to the Sour recipe, except that you add cinnamon in the syrup.
Decorate with cinnamon sticks and clementine peel.
You can get the "Disaronno wears Versace" limited edition bottle at Vinmonopolet (product nr. 4322802)
and the pretty regular bottle as well (product nr. 676102).
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...