UNIQUE EATS

Houston's First Nikkei Concept Restaurant Is Now Open

Chef Masaru Fukuda’s Pacha Nikkei celebrates the unique combination of Japanese and Peruvian food culture.

By Daniel Renfrow August 12, 2022

The lobster ceviche at Pacha Nikkei looks quite tempting.

Image: Marco Torres

Houston finally has its first dedicated Nikkei restaurant. Pacha Nikkei, the brainchild of acclaimed and internationally trained chef Masaru Fukuda, opened today (August 12) in West Houston. For those unfamiliar with Nikkei cuisine, it’s a unique blend of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine that formed in Peru as a result of the Japanese diaspora. Over the years, it has become an established part of Peru’s eating culture. Fukuda, a veteran of Kata Robata and Latin Bites, previously had a Nikkei experience at Rice Village’s Politan Row Food Hall, which shuttered permanently in 2020 in response to the pandemic. 

Pacha Nikkei, located south of the Beltway 8 intersection, features a ceviche bar with seating for 10, a full-service bar and lounge area with seating for up to 32, and an interior dining area with seating for 64. The food menu has sharable items reflective of Peru’s diverse history centered on indigenous and Japanese flavors. While the menu is heavy on seafood dishes such as ceviche clasico, lobster ceviche, and pulpo a la parrilla, it also has nods to meat lovers as well as lovers of Nikkei sushi rolls, which come spiced with Peruvian flavors. 

The bar at Pacha Nikkei is also a thoughtful marriage of Japanese and Peruvian tastes. The drink menu will feature a large selection of Japanese whiskeys, sakes, and beers as well as Peruvian piscos, pisco infusions, and beers. For cocktails, there are options like the Pisco’nic, made from an in-house pisco blend, Japanese yuzu liqueur, and tonic; as well as the Wagyu Old Fashion crafted from wagyu fast wash bourbon, shiitake, and a nori reduction with umeshu and plum; in addition to the El Tunche, featuring pandan-infused Haku vodka, Midori, coco, and banana. 

The interior of Pacha Nikkei functions as a perfect companion to the restaurant’s thoughtful cultural blend, with a design that is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian tastes. Included in the interior’s clean and modern design are huge murals depicting four generations of Fukuda’s family as well as other Japanese who immigrated to Peru in the late 1800s. The relaxed and sophisticated space showcases natural wood finishes, cool tones of blue, and contemporary fixtures. 

Pacha Nikkei, located at 10001 Westheimer, is open Monday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

 

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