A fine dining eatery in Sydney’s CBD has shut its doors after just six months.
The Peruvian Japanese fusion restaurant Lima Nikkei cited operational costs as the cause for closure last Thursday.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the permanent closure of our dear Lima Peruvian Japanese,” the restaurant announced on social media.
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“Our continuously increasing operational costs — ingredients, rent, etc — just didn’t make it feasible for us to remain open.”
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In August last year, the 100-seat venue in Dawes Point launched a menu focussed on Nikkei, a cuisine featuring Peruvian ingredients and Japanese techniques and influences, born from 19th century immigration from Japan to Peru.
For several months before this, Lima Nikkei operated under the name Folklore, and additionally showcased Chifa cuisine —where Chinese and Peruvian food meet.
But the restaurant quickly pivoted away from Chifa after recognising that, “having two such culinary giants in one place wasn’t allowing any of them to shine the way they’re supposed to.”
Now, six months after the rebranding which refined its offering, the restaurant has closed entirely.
The restaurateurs acknowledged cost of living pressures, but noted the importance of supporting local businesses.
“It is hard times for everyone out there, so if you have a favourite venue, try within your means to support them,” Lima Nikkei said.
Lima Nikkei was the sister eatery of Warike, a popular Peruvian restaurant in Surry Hills, which remains open.
Co-owner and chef at both restaurants, Hector Chunga brought inspiration from his time working in restaurants in Japan, and in Peru, where he grew up, to the Lima Nikkei menu.
Lima Nikkei announced its closure last week, citing unbearable operational costs after just six months. Credit: InstagramNikkei is a cuisine that combines Peruvian ingredients with Japanese techniques and influences, originating from Japanese immigration to the South American nation in the 19th century. Credit: Facebook
Within just months, it had garnered adoration from Sydney foodies.
“Oh no! This was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in Sydney,” one netizen said in response to the closure.
“I’m so sorry to hear this. It’s bloody tough at the moment,” another wrote.
“I had the best food and dining experience EVER here!! Going to miss this place a lot, best of luck for your future endeavours,” another wrote.
“Stay strong! Your ideas, food and service are exemplary. Thanks for the memories and delicious food and drinks,” another wrote.
Lima Nikkei thanked staff, customers, neighbours and family for their support throughout a “short but incredible journey.”
“Your unwavering love for our food, warm smiles, and kind words have meant the world to us and kept us going through the most of the difficult times.”
But the end of Lima Nikkei might spell the beginning of a new chapter, as cryptic clues on social media hint at a “renaissance” for the restaurateurs, said to be announced on Tuesday.