The bottom line: Sushi with a side of da club, seriously.
Last night myself, Maria, and a group of friends went to Nikko to celebrate Maria’s birthday day. I have been to Nikko sometime ago and I thought I knew what to expect. Or so I thought. Let me back track a little bit. I arrived at Nikko and opted not to do valet parking because there is a parking deck adjacent to the building. And I am not that lazy. I pull into the parking deck and see a sign that parking for the restaurant is on the 4th floor. So off I go. Round and round. You know how that deal goes. I get to the 4th floor of this awkward deck and park. Coincidentally one of my friends just happened to park at the same time. We walked around a bit and with some difficulty found the elevators in the maze that is this parking deck. Another couple happened to be wondering around aimlessly looking for the elevator as well. No this is not Nikko’s fault but they could at least have better signage for us sushi hungry people. Many jokes were made about never getting out of the parking deck.
When we finally got to the first floor we heard extremely loud music and wondering if we were at the right place. You see it was Friday night at 8pm and while I love to get my groove on, even I have to work my way up to it. And I can tell you right now that Friday at 8pm fully sober is not the time. The restaurant itself is quite modern and upscale. They have a spacious bar, several seating areas, and lots of space. Booths line two of the walls. There was quite a mishmash of people at the restaurant, a family celebrating a birthday, lots of young professionals, other birthdays, couples, and what seem like groups of friends. A DJ was spinning his music in a corner by the entrance.
Once we sat down we had no choice but to yell at each other because the music was that loud. I asked one of the waiters if they could turn down the music and they were kind enough to do so. For a bit. We ordered our food and would occasionally dance in our chairs (what else to do when you can’t really talk?) I ordered the sashimi deluxe platter.
This dish comes with 15 pieces of sashimi, the option of soup or salad, and rice. The salad was made with mixed greens and a ginger dressing. There was a funny after taste to the dressing that I couldn’t figure out. The soup was above the average miso soup. The broth was light, there were tiny pieces of tofu and seaweed added as well.
The one thing I wish the waiter had done was to explain what each piece was. I could tell that I had salmon, tuna steak, and octopus but could not identified the rest. It was all extremely fresh. I also have to mention that although it took a while to get our order (they had several big parties in attendance) the service was very good and the waiters were accommodating when I asked for substitutions.
Of honorary mention is the crunchy roll that my friend ordered. Although she kindly offered to let me try it I was stuffed (hard to believe I know).My friend did seem to enjoy it. The crunchy roll is made with panko crust and served with ponzu sauce. More of the make-me-feel-guilty type of roll but delicious looking none the less.
As we sat there enjoying dinner in da club, I mean restaurant, we noticed that the table next to us was also celebrating a birthday. We couldn’t have missed it really as a staff member came up and put a feather boa on the birthday girl and started serenading her with the dancing queen song. We, of course, made sure that Maria got that kind of special attention as well. Although there is photographic evidence of a slightly uncomfortable Maria I think I will keep this one to myself.
Overall, what do I think of Nikko? The service is good, it’s a convenient location for a night out in the Southend, and they do have a varied bar. I don’t think I will be coming here for dinners that require conversation. Perhaps I will come here when I want to avoid conversation (I jest!). In all seriousness, while the sushi was delicious there are still some other spots around town that offered fresh delicious sushi at what I think are better prices.