RUKA is a Peruvian-Japanese (Nikkei) fusion restaurant in Boston, located in the lobby of the grand Godfrey Hotel. It is known for its complementary flavors in food and drink. Their dinner menu is divided into five sections: Sushi, Chilled, Grilled Antichucos, Izakaya, and Hot + Wok. The restaurant itself has visuals of Peru and Japan spread over the walls, yet is still modern. They are known for having some amazing mixed drinks, but as a minor, their version of a Shirley Temple is a perfect way to start the evening.
Let’s start with what they are best known for: sushi. The King Tupac roll is made with hamachi, spicy salmon, avocado, grilled onions, miso glaze, and spicy coconut. The spicy salmon with the tangy hamachi is a rainbow for your palette. Avocado is ubiquitous throughout the sushi world, and always a great addition to a roll. With the spicy coconut and miso glaze, there was really no need for soy sauce. It is some of the most creative and exciting sushi with a great name to go along with it.
Kale salad: Many teens would turn their head away in disgust at these words, but it is definitely worth the try! The kale salad, located on the Chilled section of the menu is decorated with red quinoa, grilled corn, marinated manchego cheese, and cilantro crema. RUKA did a great job of making sure the salad was not boring or flavorless. The dish leans more on the Peruvian side because of the corn, cilantro crema, and manchego, but it still goes great with sushi.
The blackened octopus on the Grilled Antichucos section did not live up to its name, though it was still very good. Instead of having a charred, salty flavor, the octopus was dry and lacking in that rich flavor. The harissa mayo and sesame barbeque were tasty, but the flavors did not match. However, the ginger slaw was sweet and cold and went perfectly with the heat of the rest of the meal. While the dish could have been better, octopus is a difficult ingredient to prepare for everyone’s enjoyment. Some love the taste of the octopus but hate the texture, some hate the taste and love the texture, and some love both. It is impossible to cater to everybody’s taste buds. If you are looking for a really good plate of grilled octopus, Toro’s Pulpo a la Plancha tapa is a delicious alternative.
At RUKA, both the food and the environment have a very sophisticated feel. This restaurant could be great for people looking for different and experimental flavors and taste combinations. Some of the meals, such as miso mac and cheese and Japanese fried chicken, are a little more “in your comfort zone” while still maintaining the creativity of the crazier dishes. The food is a bit expensive for the portion, but the amount of flavor packed in makes it worth it.