Nikkei of Peru - Port Washington, NY & Oyster Bay, NY
When I first heard of Nikkei of Peru, I was expecting some type of Spanish cuisine. The Nikkei are actually Peruvian citizens with origins from Japan, which makes Nikkei of Peru a Japanese restaurant.
Nikkei of Peru opened January 2016 in Port Washington, NY and was a smashing success from day one. Port Washington already has its fair share of sushi restaurants, but Nikkei was able to stand out from all the rest. In 2017, Nikkei of Peru decided to expand to Oyster Bay and opened a secondary location.
The menu at Nikkei of Peru is the brainchild of its 3 owners - Barry Wohl, Jong (a sushi chef from Nobu 57) and Lina (Jong’s wife and a server from Nobu Next Door). Together they have created new and innovative dishes for the people of Long Island.
The Oyster Bay restaurant is small with no frills, located right in the middle of town. The atmosphere is casual and ideal for a low-key date night or lunch. Diners come for the food, not the ambiance!
We started our meal with a Peruvian specialty called Cokio. Cokio is Peruvian Corn with Truffle Essence. I am a sucker for anything truffle flavored and this corn was no exception. The salty flavor was so enjoyable that I couldn’t stop going back for more!
Before coming to Nikkei, my husband did his research and discovered that the restaurant served one of our favorite dishes from Nobu - Monkfish Pâté. I have to admit that the first time I tried this dish, I had no idea what I was eating, but decided to trust my husband and give it a try. The dish at Nobu is creamy, smooth and has just the right amount of fattiness. The version at Nikkei is good, but unfortunately does not live up to the Nobu version. If you are going to order this dish, try it at Nikkei first, because once you have it at Nobu, there is really no way to top it.
After the Monkfish, we decided to go a little more mainstream and ordered Gyoza. Every sushi restaurant offers gyoza, but usually your options are chicken, shrimp or vegetable. Nikkei offers a beef version called Beef Wantanes. The Beef Wantanes were beautifully pan fried and enhanced by sesame miso, which brought in a wonderful nutty flavor.
Finishing up the small plates, we ordered the The Tacu Tacu Bites. Tacu Tacu Bites are Nikkei’s version of Crunchy Spicy Tuna. In addition to the spicy tuna, you could also choose to get the Tacu Tacu Bites with Salmon or Yellowtail to change it up. The crunchy rice and spicy tuna were the perfect opposites in texture and created a wonderful bite.
Last but certainly not least are the Special Rolls. Nikkei of Peru offers adventurous rolls like the Port Washington Roll (pictured below), or more basic rolls for those who like to play it safe. No matter your preference, you can be sure the fish will be fresh and well prepared.
For a relatively new restaurant, Nikkei of Peru has gotten the formula for success down pat. Two locations in two years is no easy task, but the owners have done so seamlessly. With food this good, I wouldn't be surprised if more locations open up within the next couple of years.