Impressions and pictures from a “summer” & latin night of FNL events in the unique environment of Nikkei, in Kolonaki.
The idea started from the desire to get to know better Mezcal, this special artisanal distillate of agave, but also to take advantage of the presence in the kitchen of chef Spyros Mavroeidis days before he left Nikkei. So, for one night, Nikkei renounced its …Nikkei cuisine by expanding it with Mexican and Latin flavors and aromas to make the precious Mezcal Del Maguey feel more at home. This is truly a legendary “elixir”, the handcrafted spirits created by families of the Zapotec & Mixtec tribes of Oaxaca who in 1995 introduced artisanal Mezcal to the world!
The welcoming couldn’t have been anything but a delightful Smoky Paloma with Mezcal Del Maguey Vida & Three Cents Pink Grapefruit Soda, this extra smoky dimension added extra interest and depth to the classic, refreshing cocktail. It wasn’t long before we made our way to the tables and the parade of dishes and drinks began.
We started with Nikkei’s signature ceviche, the aquachille, with croaker, shrimp, cancha corn, cucumber, avocado, crispy quinoa and the tuna tostada. They are joined by Mezcal Del Maguey Chichicapa, an exuberant spirit from the village of San Baltazar Chichicapa with aromas of roasted agave and corn and notes of dried fruit and chocolate.
Next stage & stop, after a few refreshing sips of Doubia to enliven our senses, Mexico with an array of delectable tacos & fajitas! From the inspired combination of chorizo and octopus to the classic carne asada and the aromatic al pastor with iberico marinated kimchi, pineapple & chipotle, it’s safe to say this stage was one of the tasty highlights of the evening. They were joined by another cocktail with the -more generic but cheesy- Del Maguey Vida with lime juice and Three Cents Ginger Beer.
Moving on to the main courses: pork iberico pata negra marinated with kimchi, padron peppers & corn puree and rib-eye with pico de gallo & padron peppers. Accompanying the meats is an iconic Mezcal, Del Maguey Wild Tepextate made from a special variety of agave (Wild Tepextate). More ethereal, fruity and herbal than the previous one but still excellent with our dishes.
At the closing, a delightful and exuberant chocolate and namelaca coffee dessert was paired with a fantastic coffee from Taf, the recently awarded -in the Single Origin Espresso category- silver medal winner at the “2022 Australian International Coffee Awards”, the To-La Reserve- Ethiopia. And of course, another straight Mezcal, Del Maguey Tobala, a complex floral and fruity spirit with notes of cinnamon and a long aftertaste.
It was now past midnight. Another evening was coming to an end, new acquaintances had been made, old acquaintances had met again, appointments were made for the next FNL events. We are entering a period of high activity. A cigar dinner at Napul’e on November 7 is already sold out, another event in Thessaloniki is booked for the 14th of the month at the much talked about Moldee and has a very strong concept, while on November 19 the Great Red Wines are coming again at the Petreza Tower and these days we are announcing all the details for their regular dinner at Tudor Hall on Monday November 21. So … keep an eye on FNL, there’s some very interesting stuff coming up!
*Photos by Panos Smirniotis