Fresh, healthy, nutritious and rich in history. Nikkei cuisine has everything needed to delight even the most demanding taste buds, and it is not surprising that it has become increasingly popular in recent years, even though many people have still never heard of it.
This new dining option is one of the new features that Zafiro Hotels is offering in its Tastes & Sushi Asian restaurants in its luxury Zafiro Palace hotels in Mallorca. An idea introduced by the Executive Chef at the new Zafiro Palace Andratx Hotel, René Brack. Originally from Germany, René spent some of his childhood in Ecuador and Peru, and the Creole flavours and aromas have influenced his cooking ever since. Who better than René to tell us more about Nikkei cuisine, its origins and its key ingredients?
- Origins of Nikkei cuisine
- Ingredients and typical dishes in Nikkei cuisine
- Nikkei restaurant in Mallorca
- Zafiro Palace Andratx
Origins of Nikkei cuisine
Essentially Nikkei cuisine is a combination of the tasty and most daring Peruvian Creole cuisine with the ingredients and techniques of Japanese cuisine. When the first Japanese immigrants came to Peru to work in its cotton and sugar plantations around the end of the 19th century, they found a country rich in rice, fish and vegetables. They also found exuberant ingredients and dressings such as hot chilli or yellow pepper, flavours that are somewhat similar to wasabi, for example. "They were looking for similar ingredients so they could prepare their traditional dishes such as sushi. Meanwhile the Peruvians were also learning their cooking techniques and this is how the combination came about”, explains René.
Proud of the Creole influences in his family DNA, the chef, currently living in Mallorca, says that his parents were extremely passionate about cooking. "I grew up in a Peru which was fascinated by cuisine. In Peru children want to become cooks when they grow up. They deeply love and admire cooking. As a child, I used to pass by the Nobu Restaurant in Lima in its early years and I was so impressed by everything I saw” recalls the chef.
Ingredients and typical dishes in Nikkei cuisine
But what exactly is Nikkei cuisine? If we think about Peruvian cuisine, we are most likely to think about ceviche, a dish made with raw fish marinated in lemon juice. Precisely this famous dish represents the essence of Nikkei cuisine: the fresh, superior quality fish, ginger and soy sauce are some of its main ingredients.
Peruvian cuisine is a great example of how the combination of cultures can create something extraordinarily rich. In addition to the Japanese, Peru was also influenced by many immigrants from China, specifically from the area of Canton, which gave rise to what is now known as “chifa” cuisine. This term comes from the Cantonese combination of "chi" and "fan" which mean "eat" and "rice". Its sweet and sour sauces, stir-fried ingredients or stuffed and fried wantons are also part of the combination of styles. A cuisine consisting of simple dishes that can also easily be made at home. In fact, in our blog you can see the chaufa rice recipe or the classic ceviche recipe with a step-by-step guide and video tutorial that you will love.
Nikkei restaurant in Mallorca
All of these influences come together in the Nikkei dishes that are popular today, such as the tiradito or ceviche, both of them on the menu at the Tastes & Sushi Restaurant at Zafiro Palace hotels: the new Zafiro Palace Andratx, Zafiro Palace Alcudia and Zafiro Palace Palmanova. Also Nikkei sushi with Peruvian and Creole influences, such as the dragon roll with yellow chilli pepper or dishes with chifa influences such as chaufa rice. "These are really tasty dishes ideal at any time of the year, but especially in summer when fresh dishes are nicer. Accompanied by a beer, they are a genuine pleasure for the palate” says the chef who openly declares his love for this cuisine.
For fish dishes, the freshness and quality of the fish is a fundamental factor in their success. The Zafiro Palace Andratx hotel in Camp de Mar has the advantage of being close to Port d'Andratx, which is also the case for our hotels in Port d'Alcudia. "The fish could not be fresher, and practically comes direct from the sea to the table. On the island we have top quality products such as Mallorcan red prawns. In general, all the fish we have here works very well with typical Nikkei dishes”, says René.
Zafiro Palace Andratx
The restaurants at the new 5-star Zafiro Palace Andratx Hotel elevate the cuisine of a large all-inclusive resort to a higher level, offering superior quality dishes in its four à la carte restaurants and its main buffet restaurant. "Like the rest of my colleagues, I miss being in the kitchen. We really want to get started and offer our menus and delicious dishes to showcase the great cuisine at Zafiro Hotels and create rich and unforgettable experience for our guests”, René concludes.
Do you want to be one of the first to try fresh, delicious and healthy Nikkei cuisine? Don’t miss out on this delicious cuisine and take full advantage of the exclusive discounts if you book your hotel direct on our website. You can also sign up completely free of charge to our Zafiro Rewards programme to get even more exclusive benefits such as a welcome gift on arrival and late check-out (subject to availability).