Hola! Konnichiwa! Fusion restaurant Nikkei to open in Cape Town

Founded by the same team that brought the much-loved Scala Pasta/Bar and Hacienda, a contemporary coastal Mexican restaurant, to Bree Street, Nikkei promises to pay homage to the culinary masterpiece of fusion that is Japanese and Peruvian cuisine.

One of the founders of the beloved Cape Town hot spots, Paolo Carrara, shared what led to the launch of Nikkei.

“Nikkei is inspired by the founder’s love for Asian and South American cuisine, hence why they opened Hacienda Coastal Mexican in 2022 first, followed by Nikkei in 2023.”


A blend of cultures under one roof 

The interior design of this new restaurant merges the aesthetics and feel of both Japanese and Peruvian cultures, accented by a deep green colour palette paired with splashes of gold and wood panelling.

Working alongside SQ design, the restaurant dining backdrop exudes a calm, cool and sophisticated space.

A cultural fusion from start to finish 

The mix of the culinary flavours and traditions of both Peruvian and Japanese cuisine dates back to the 19th century. The arrival of a Peruvian ship at Yokohama’s port awoke a unique pairing of Japanese meticulous attention to detail and flavour with the vibrancy and spark of Peruvian cuisine.

“We as the founders saw a gap in the market on Bree and wanted to have something more than just another Japanese-inspired restaurant; you wanted something elevated and untapped into, until recently – Nikkei, Japanese/Peruvian fusion cuisine,” share the founders.

Led by the dynamic duo of globally renowned chef Rikku O’Donnchu and executive chef Justin Barker, the food offering promises to be a merger of both these talented chefs’ passions and expertise.

At the helm of the opening of Hacienda, executive chef Justin Barker has a deeply entrenched and vivacious passion for South American cuisine. Justin has also overseen the success of other notable restaurants within this group, such as Iron Steak, Burger & Lobster, Scala and Hacienda.

Having worked and travelled to various countries in Asia, such as Japan, Hong Kong and the like, Rikku O’Donnchu has established himself as a renowned chef, notably working as the executive chef of Michelin Korean fusion restaurant DOSHI in Orlando Florida.

chef Rikku O’Donnchu

Pairing Justin’s passion for the Western Hemisphere continent’s cuisine with Rikku’s enthusiasm for Asian culture and cuisine in both its discipline and refinement, the menu at Nikkei will merge the best of the best from both cuisines to create a tantalising and enthralling menu.

Executive chef Justin Barker

Food and drinks

Nikkei’s menu aims to cater to a diverse range of palates – from Japanese Peruvian new signature-style sushi rolls to charcoal-grilled prawns and more.

The menu offers small bites in its Piqueos section, followed by Crudo y Marinados, raw or marinated delicacies, small-plate-sharing Petiscos Nikkei and a dedicated robatayaki section.

Robatayaki refers to a miniature charcoal grill brought tableside, allowing diners to truly immerse themselves in an interactive dining experience of Japanese and Peruvian fusion.

The well-stocked bar will be home to a range of Japanese whiskies along with a crafted list of sake and pisco cocktails, created by an award-winning mixologist.

A notable cocktail that will be available at Nikkei is the iconic Pisco Sours, a sour and sweet journey of delights. In an ode to this iconic cocktail, Nikkei will host a pisco hour from Monday to Saturday, 4.30pm to 6pm, with half price on all pisco-based cocktails.

The restaurant will open on 12 December and is located on 87 Bree Street, the former location of Gate 69.

The restaurant is open from Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 10.30pm.


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