When Peru meets Japan in a strange and wonderful food fusion, it's called Nikkei apparently, and now Izakaya, the first restaurant of its kind in Cairo, is offering our palates many an impending foodgasm. Think dishes like the lovechild of ceviche and sashimi...
We're all guilty of the strong impulse we get every once in a while to do something completely new and to immerse ourselves in a thrilling experience. Now since it would be financially (and logistically) impossible, we dismiss the idea of buying a one way to ticket to, say, South America. Instead, we just Whatsapp some of our friends and go to a now sickly familiar café to talk about our glorious week. Every week. Now there's an invigorating new experience (that will not leave us broke or facing deep identity crises) just around the corner, and thankfully no need for a plane ticket, another boring party, or all other futile attempts to quieten our souls’ natural longing for something new. Just this past Thursday, Fabio Donato, owner of Gigi Burger Bar, combined forces with his partners Tamer Erian and Teymour Erian to open the doors to Cairo's first Peruvian-Japanese cuisine restaurant. Yes, you read that right.Serving an astonishing fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines (known as Nikkei apparently), Izakaya offers its diners a wonderful chance to indulge the mouth-watering exchange of Japanese cuisine mixed with the rich ingredients of its Peruvian counterpart. Donato tells us that "there is no chance that Cairenes won’t be falling in love with the Nikkei cuisine at Izakaya, which promises a very exclusive fine dining experience." The spaciousness of the restaurant and the novelty of this exquisite fusion of tastes and flavours strikes us as nothing short of incredible, and we're excited. But, y'know, we're always excited about food, just as a general rule.A Japanese chef, two Peruvian chefs with plenty of experience in Dubai’s top restaurants, as well as a creative Greek bartender who will be introducing new cocktails to Egypt, together promise a truly international experience in Cairo’s first Nikkei restaurant. Teymour Erian, General Manager and Izakaya Partner, tells us that the idea of Nikkei cuisine came about almost a year ago when he was living in Dubai and noticed the strong turnout for the cuisine. "Why not bring something new to the table?" he questions, in regards to the food. "Egyptians love sushi and sashimi, and now they can enjoy another great fusion of the tastes they like."For over 100 years, Japanese cuisine has been absorbing Latin American flavours within its dishes, leading people into the rare experience of indulging in a history of food exchange and fusion. Donato, certain that the cuisine and the feel of Izakaya will soon become a Cairene favourite, adds that the most important aspect of Izakaya will be not only satisfying its guests with all kinds of delicious dishes and cocktails, but also maintaining the quality of the experience in the long-run. "Consistency is the focus in the long-run," Donato tells us. "We have many imported ingredients from all over and, lucky for us, we also have access to fresh fish from the Red Sea."
Izakaya, supported by the Peruvian ambassador in Cairo, is expected to challenge the idea of fine dining in Egypt, opening our eyes (and mouths) to a wonderful cultural exchange of food and cuisine history. Look out, Sheikh Zayed, it's food fusion time.
So be sure to grab some of yours friends and check out this rare collision of tastes! Until you head over there yourselves, check out Izakaya Cairo on Facebook.