Nikkei Restaurant Balagan opens in Wynwood

In keeping with one of Miami’s most important trends, not to mention its climate, Balagan will bring upscale and creative Nikkei cuisine to Wynwood in June. Nikkei cuisine, born from the diaspora of Japanese immigrants in Peru, combines traditional Japanese flavors, ingredients and techniques with those found in the South American country.

Balagan is a Hebrew word with Yiddish-Slavic-Persian origins meaning “throbbing and savage chaos” – often used to describe the hectic moments of preparation before sunset on the Sabbath – from which community and serenity are born.

At Balagan, restaurateur Ilan Sitt, founder and CEO of Sherpa Consultancy (Wayku, Paperfish, Jattö and Piegari Ristorante, coming to Miami at the end of 2022), and chef Henry Hané (B Bistro + Bakery and Jattö) do not explore theology, however. Instead, they pursue a serious food and drink doctrine. The restaurant presents a study of artisanal appetizers, ceviches and tiraditos.

Starters range from a spicy tuna tostada with rocoto aioli to a corvina plantain ceviche with dashi leche, sweet plantain and plantain chips.

Along with artfully plated Nikkei, there will be plenty of sushi – maki, nigiri and aburi – with micro-herbs and caviar pearls carefully put together with tweezers. You can spy on some of the pre-activity activity on the restaurant’s Instagram.

Sitt, which has also debuted in some of the top fifty bars in the world, including Presidente in Buenos Aires, Argentina – number 21 in 2021 – also promises a strong cocktail program. The 100-seat restaurant will feature sake drinks such as “Rose Cloud” with sparkling sake Rose Clouds, hibiscus and yuzu; “Ginza Yesper” with shochu, sake, kombu-infused sake vermouth and lemon oil; and “Shiso Exotic” with sake, aloe vera, cucumber, shiso and yuzu.

“I’m very excited for the opening of Balagan, because it’s a cuisine close to my heart, being a 305 boy born in Peru,” said Hané, who oversees the menu prepared by Executive Chef Juan Manuel Alva. “We look forward to welcoming everyone and trying our version of the nationally recognized Nikkei cuisine.”

And because we’re in culinary chaos – or fusion, as it might be called elsewhere – we have to admit that our levels of anticipation are also high.

Balagan. 295 NW 27th St., Miami, 786-391-4394, Sunday to Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Opening June 2022.

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