Travis Heights restaurant Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen is switching menu gears. The 1303 South Congress Avenue restaurant is morphing its Japanese focus into Nikkei, a Japanese-Peruvian style.
Nikkei is the style of cooking that uses Peruvian ingredients — think aji, potatoes, and chilies — with Japanese techniques. For Lucky Robot, this means dishes like the kurobuta tacu yaki, which consists of a grilled Peruvian onigiri with pork belly and pickled vegetables; or the lomo itame with koji beef, aji, amarillo dashi, and dashi potatoes.
This is all happening under the helm of recently promoted sous chef Julio-Cesar Florez, who is Peruvian, to chef de cuisine, who is working with executive chef Jay Huang.
Florez has a knack for spreading Peruvian influences to his kitchens. He currently runs Llama’s Peruvian Food Trailer in downtown Austin. Before he joined Lucky Robot in 2017, he was the chef de cuisine of now-closed downtown bar Isla (which changed from a Caribbean focus to a Peruvian one), and he did the same with also-now-closed downtown tapas restaurant Malaga.
Lucky Robot opened in 2012, taking over what had been Zen Japanese Food Fast.
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