At ‘Nikkei’-Style Restaurant, Peruvian and Japanese Meld Into Something Brand New — and Delicious

At ‘Nikkei’-Style Restaurant, Peruvian and Japanese Meld Into Something Brand New — and Delicious

Chef Fukuda

IN A CITY as diversely delicious as Houston, fusion food is everywhere. The seemingly endless combinations of global ingredients and preparations have served the city, and its foodie-friendly rep, well. Adding to the mix is Pacha Nikkei, now open on Westheimer near the Beltway, the first (believe it or not) Nikkei concept in Houston.


Nikkei is a cuisine that combines the flavors native to Peru with a style of preparation more akin to Japanese food. Helmed by chef Masaru Fukuda and operator Sebastien Laval (an alumnus of La Table, Le Colonial and Musaafer), Pacha Nikkei touts a ceviche bar, lounge area and dining room, where sharable plates and craft cocktails boasting sake and pisco alike can
be enjoyed.

Fukuda cut his teeth at Latin Bites and Kata Robata, and has been hosting Nikkei pop-ups all over town for the last several years; he most recently operated a Nikkei stall at the now-closed Politan Row food hall. Repeat customers came to love his seafood-heavy dishes like pulpo a la parrilla and Peruvian-spiced-infused sushi rolls.

Perhaps the most interesting section of the menu is the ceviches. Houstonians are certainly familiar with this refreshing dish, often enjoyed out of a martini-esque glass with tortilla chips. Here, however, versions are artfully plated, and deliver a punchy sneak-attack to your taste buds. With guanabana leche de tigre and sweet potato puree, the poached-lobster ceviche may as well be your dessert. And the chunky chirashi ceviche is served over sushi rice.

The entrees are designed to share, too, which is good news, because once the lomo soltado arrives at the table, it would be challenging to keep everyone’s chopsticks out of it. It’s a deceptively simple bowl filled with chunks of perfectly cooked beef tenderloin, potato, red onions and tomato, all sitting in and soaking up a mixture of soy and oyster sauce.

Fukuda mills about the restaurant during mealtime, chatting with diners and very modestly accepting praise. Colorful, sweeping murals depict four generations of Fukuda’s family, alongside other immigrants who came to Peru from Japan in the 1800s, but an otherwise clean and simple design scheme lets the food bring all the flavor.

The surprisingly sweet lobster ceviche

Wagyu Old Fashioned topped with a dehydrated shitake

Food
Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

Keep ReadingShow less

Orleans Seafood (photo by Becca Wright)

FORGET MARCH MADNESS — mudbug madness has arrived. Fans think the little critters taste like baby lobsters, so they can’t gobble up enough. Here’s where to hit for the most badass boils in town.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

Lobster royale at Tonight & Tomorrow

WHETHER YOU’RE IN the mood for intimate dining, a destination to impress, or a sexy spot that electrifies, Houston has you covered. For Valentine’s Day, here’s your perfect 10 — with specials to boot!
Keep ReadingShow less
Food