They were mainly there to help built the sugar industry, and naturally, many enjoyed the temperate climate and easy-on-the-eye locals and decided to put down roots. Asian and Latin culinary influences did the Marinera (the national dance of Peru) for a generation or two, resulting in a fusion cuisine quickly dubbed Nikkei, in honour of the Japanese communities around the globe. Nikkei cuisine came under global attention when chefs like Nobu Matsuhisa and Albert Adria started experimenting with Nikkei cuisine, and the rest, so they say, is history.
Introducing TokyoLima, Hong Kong’s newest addition to the Nikkei movement. A sexy, dark, and hidden-away bar-cum-Izakaya in Central, TokyoLima is the brainchild of culinary gurus Manuel Palacio and Christian Talpo of The Optimist and Pirata fame, and offers late night dining, beautifully-executed cocktails and a menu by Peruvian chef Arturo Melendez that fuses Japanese techniques and Peruvian ingredients. Book ahead and arrive early for drinks in the cocktail bar, home to an extensive sake list as well as a host of innovative concoctions by mixologist Isabella Vannoni (the smoky negroni is a must for purists). Then make your way into the sultry dining room, dressed in aqua-green, bronze and aged-leather, for small to large Nikkei sharing plates. While some dishes during our visit were a bit hit and miss – the Cerviche Nipon had all the personality of a wet rag, and the tuna and avocado sushi had the blandness of store-brought – there are some real winners, from the Hamachi and Magure tuna with shoyu citrus; and brilliant Ki-mo-Chi fried chicken; to the signature La Causa, tempura prawns atop delicate beetroot puree, charred avocado and prawn tartare, with a shot of garlic mayo. Well-versed staff ensure you’re ordering just enough for your group, while the open kitchen concept adds a sense of culinary intrigue, especially if you’re seated front and centre at the sushi counter.
Think of it as an ode to Pacific Rim relations.
Open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday
G/F, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central; 2811 1152;