Within recent years, London has seen a new wave of restaurants fusing together Japanese and Peruvian ingredients, otherwise known as Nikkei cuisine. After delving into the origins of this culinary phenomenon, it was discovered that Peru has one of the largest ethnic Japanese populations in South America and it was here they took influence from the indigenous Peruvians and mixed the flavours and cooking techniques with their own. Combining together beautifully presented fresh fish with the spicy, citrus flavours of Peruvian cuisine, this is the ultimate fusion so I was delighted when Mommi opened on Clapham High Street.
There are a growing number of restaurants in London serving such a fusion but there are few that are affordable like Mommi. On entering, it is visually impressive with its glowing central bar feature and warm, yellow hues. The restaurant is laden with art throughout where a stunning mural sits on the main feature wall and a montage of portraits adorn the walls at the back, which adds to the allure and gives the space such individuality.
Arriving on a Sunday, it seemed most appropriate to opt for the bottomless brunch, which involved unlimited champagne with our food. The vibrant brunch menu boasted such unusual combinations from almond, feta, kale, mushroom and Rocoto pepper frittatas to purple potato pancakes with blueberries, avocado, toasted almonds and crispy quinoa. After much deliberation and promise of sharing, the Peruvian breakfast sandwich arrived. Similar to a classic English breakfast with a Latin American twist, the chorizo, bacon, sweet potato, Anticucho salsa and coriander crème fraiche went down a treat.
As we sipped on champagne and shoulder danced to the Sunday mid-morning power ballads, it only seemed appropriate to move swiftly onto lunch. This time, we chose more Japanese centered dishes, opting for tuna and salmon. Both were served on fine stoneware crockery, which really accentuated the variety of colours in each dish. The spicy South American flavours of the Aji Amarillo crème fraiche complemented the fresh taste of the coriander and Nori seasoning on the tuna. The salmon was light and exceptionally fresh but it was the contrasting colours and flavours of the salmon mixed with the vibrant avocado and orange capsules of the Ikura that were particularly memorable.
The only let down was the dessert where the menu promised crispy, golden churros with our chocolate mousse, however the restaurant had just announced their gluten free ways and so to our dismay, churros had been eliminated off the menu for good. This however was soon forgotten as our glasses were topped up with more champagne.
Nikkei cuisine in the food world is truly natural selection at its finest and to eat in such style without spending a fortune is a bonus. Personally I couldn’t think of a better place to be on a Sunday.