Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, is coming to Canberra by way of new eatery, Inka.
Set to open in the City early next year, Inka will bring together Japanese techniques and Peruvian flavours, as well as some serious hospitality talent.
Hospitality consultants Kiehyon Yoo and Sunny Matharu have teamed up with the former owner of Canberra favourite Raku, Adam Elchakak, to bring Inka to life.
According to Yoo, Nikkei cuisine is a “transformative food experience”, bringing together two traditional cultures and their vastly different cuisines for an equal combination.
The trio has also snagged renowned chef Michael Muir to head up the kitchen. Muir trained under Neil Perry and has just returned from a stint as executive chef at Michelin restaurant Zuma in London and Istanbul.
“While Covid-19 restrictions have been a huge burden on the hospitality industry, the return of Australian chefs who have made a name for themselves internationally is the silver lining,” Matharu says.
Muir explains the menu will be focused around tropical seafood, using Japanese techniques to cut and flavour raw fish.
“Traditionally inexpensive Peruvian dishes are dressed up with Japanese skill, citrus and spice,” he says.
The bar is set to complement the menu, with cocktails, a global wine list and the service to match.
“The Nikkei concept will promote an enticing scope of cocktail styles and flavours from both Japan and South America – combining finesse and balance with the wild and tropical,” Matharu says.
The restaurant space will also be reflective of the menu, combining Peruvian colours, textures and craft with Japanese-inspired architecture – the work of Peruvian interior designer Patricia Barbis.
“The restaurant also features a ‘Cuchimilco’ wall. These are clay statues from an ancient coastal culture from Peru that represent fertility and protection,” Barbis says.
Inka is set to open in Canberra on Bunda Street in January.
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