A massive new rooftop restaurant called Chotto Matte is coming in 2022 in San Francisco’s Union Square, in the building that used to house Macy’s men’s store. According to a September 1 story in SFist, the restaurant—the latest in a chain with origins in London—will be San Francisco’s largest, with prix-fixe menus ranging in price from $75 to $155 per person.
The part of the story that interested me, though, was the description of the menu: “the very best of Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) cuisine.”
This usage of Nikkei—the word is often capitalized, for reasons unknown—was new to me and, it turns out, inaccurate. (More on that in a bit.) New to me but not new-new: it’s actually been around for at least 20 years. I knew a different Nikkei: the Japanese blue-chip stock index founded in 1950, which has a distinct etymology. And neither of these Nikkeis is related etymologically to another Japanese word familiar to many of us: nisei, or “second-generation.”
The menu at Nikkei restaurant at Mandaluyong (metro Manila), Philippines, has Peruvian influences.