When it's 10 pm on a Saturday night and you have an insatiable craving for black and white movies and cocktails, you make your way to Nikai, one flight of stairs up from Momofuku. It's the type of place where you can show up in a hoodie and jeans or your favourite cocktail dress and no one would bat an eye.
It's a small bar and lounge overlooking University and what we admire immediately is their success in creating a very laid-back atmosphere that's easy to lose yourself in. Its Asian-inspired decor features white oak jenga-esque walls, low leather chairs and sofas, and coffee tables, which are all custom made and contribute to the vibe.
Their cocktail list is full of Asian fusions. We ordered the Hemingway Daiquiri ($13) and The Last Word ($13). The daiquiri was made with white rum, grapefruit, and maraschino liqueur and The Last Word was mixed with gin, maraschino liqueur, lime, and green chartreuse. The Hemingway was rather sweet and The Last Word was heavy on the gin, but both were delicious.
Left to right: Hemingway Daiquiri ($13) and The Last Word ($13)
For dessert, we initially ordered only the Peach Pie ($10) served with peach ice cream and spiced sugar but eventually, our curiousity got the better of us and we added the Crack Pie ($5/slice) to our order as well.
Upon inspection, the Peach Pie looked like a spring roll, paired artfully with an egg. As enticing as we're sure that description sounds, the actual dessert was a lot better. The crunchy pie crust led way to the warm, peach-filled interior, and was complimented perfectly by the ice cream and sugar.
Peach Pie ($10)
The Crack Pie is one of Momofuku's signature dishes, made from an oatmeal cookie crust and a sweet, butterscotch-y filling, which is baked and cooled to create the richest, most densely-packed, sweet and salty pie. We've never tried crack, but why would you even consider that when this exists? There are stories of people eating it straight off the ground, which isn't surprising when it's $48 for the whole pie and tastes like it was handmade by an angel.
Crack Pie ($5/slice)
The perfect and most obvious accompaniment to drinks and dessert is a black and white movie. That night, Nikai was featuring the the 1933 version of King Kong. The awe-inspring special effects were almost as good as the Crack Pie.
Nikai is one of those places you have a hard time leaving and we nursed our drinks for as long as was socially acceptable (we just really wanted to finish the movie). Its chill atmosphere and unfairly addictive desserts definitely warrant multiple visits.