Exotic Eats

Nikkei restaurant shakes up Uptown Dallas with spicy dishes and patio action

Nikkei shakes up Uptown Dallas with spicy dishes and patio action

Lomo saltado
Nikkei will serve dishes that cross the line between Peruvian and Asian. Photo courtesy of Sodexo

A new restaurant is coming to Uptown with not one chef but two, and a unique culinary angle. Called Nikkei, it will open in February at 2404 Cedar Springs Rd., in the former Medici space.

Nikkei is the second restaurant concept from Milkshake Concepts, who are on an opening spree. In the past 15 months, they've opened Stirr, the hot new restaurant in Deep Ellum, and Citizen, a quirky bar in Uptown.

Named after the cuisine itself, Nikkei (nik-ay) will serve exotic yet approachable Japanese-Peruvian fare. Chefs Nick Harrison and Ross Demers are both classically trained and possess years of fine dining experience. Harrison trained at Le Cordon Blue in Paris and has held positions at haute restaurants in the United States and South America, including serving as a chef consultant for various dining establishments in Peru.

Demers studied at the California School of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles and has more than 10 years of experience at restaurants such as On the Lamb, Oak, and Mi Piaci. Both bring unrivaled fine-dining experience and their own unique flair to express the culinary mastery that is Nikkei.

Milkshake co-owner Imran Sheikh says that they are confident they've assembled the perfect culinary and management team, describing the concept as having "incredibly flavored proteins, seafood, and vegetables, and sushi."

The menu ranges from starters and crudo plates to main items. Dishes include salmon ceviche with passionfruit; Texas wagyu tartare with a soft-boiled quail egg; and pancetta-wrapped miso black cod, served with purple potato puree and salsa huancaina.

"Nikkei is one of my favorite cuisines," Sheikh says. "The restaurants in Lima that serve it are so, so good."

Sushi includes the Lima Tokyo roll, with ahi tuna, yuzu tobiko, aji amarillo, and blood orange ponzu. Dessert includes gelato and a dish called the chocolate matcha hot plate: dark chocolate molten cake with ice cream, served on a hot plate with sizzling green tea extract.

Cocktails include The Prinz, made with Japanese whisky, yuzu, lemon juice, house made orgeat, vanilla bitters, and egg white; and the El Raba, with pisco, ginger syrup, and sparkling sake.

Can we talk about the design? It's vibrant and striking, with 19th-century Japanese artwork and a copper bar. There's an intimate first floor space and a rooftop patio with stunning views. You can anticipate "layers of entertainment" on the weekend as the space transforms from restaurant into late-night destination.

According to a release, the term "Nikkei" translates to Japanese emigrants and their descendants who reside in a foreign country. More than 100 years ago, thousands of Japanese workers relocated to Peru, bringing along their unique traditions and culinary influences. Nikkei cuisine resulted as a convergence of flavors and cooking techniques from Japanese and Peruvian fare. Now, Nikkei is rising in popularity and has come to encapsulate not just the people, but the food the Japanese immigrants and their children cooked in Peru through the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Milkshake was founded in 2015 by Imran Sheikh and Asim Sheikh, and joined by partner and group director of operations James Faller, formerly of Restaurants Unlimited and Bar Management Group. Together, they've owned and operated several restaurants and bars.