Houston’s First Nikkei Restaurant Blends 2 Great Global Cuisines

A new restaurant dedicated to Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine opens in Houston this weekend. Pasha Nikkei begins dinner service this Friday, August 12.

Located in the Westchase District at 10001 Westheimer Rd., Pacha Nikkei is a full-service version of the concept that chef-owner Masaru Fukuda first pioneered at the short-lived Politan Row food hall in Rice Village.

Fukuda, who is of Japanese-Peruvian ancestry, has worked at some of Houston’s top restaurants, including Latin Bites, Kata Robata and MAD. To help create the restaurant, Fukuda enlisted consultant Sebastian Laval (MAD, Le Colonial) and general manager Kellyn Ferman (Kata Robata).

Although other restaurants incorporate Nikkei dishes into their menus, Fukuda claims to operate the only dedicated Nikkei restaurant in Houston. A truly fusion cuisineNikkei blends Peruvian ingredients with Japanese techniques.

The restaurant’s interior pays homage to the chef’s legacy through murals that depict his family’s emigration from Japan to Peru in the late 1800s. Other design details include natural wood finishes and blue accents. Overall, the restaurant will seat 10 people in its dedicated ceviche bar, 32 in a bar and lounge, and 64 in its main dining room.

Fukuda’s menu focuses heavily on seafood with dishes such as lobster ceviche, ceviche clasico, and pan-fried octopus. Meat lovers can opt for a classic lomo saltado. Look for Nikkei sushi rolls such as the Pasha roll which captures the flavor of ceviche by combining shrimp tempura, mango and avocado with tuna and micro shiso on top.

Drinks on offer will include pisco, infused pisco, sake and Japanese whiskey. Cocktails include Pisco’nic (a blend of homemade pisco, Japanese yuzu liqueur and tonic), Wagyu Old Fashioned (fat-washed wagyu bourbon with a reduction of shitake and nori), and El Tunche (Haku vodka infused with Pandan, Midori, Coconut and Banana).

Diners who find themselves nodding along to the restaurant soundtrack should thank the chef. Fukuda tapped into his time as a DJ to curate the restaurant’s playlist.

Pacha Nikkei opens for dinner Monday through Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

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