|Cobia Crudo, served on a Hawaiin pink salt block|
On the corner E. Colonial Dr. and Maguire Ave, across from the Fashion Square Mall, sits a tiny gem of a restaurant in an unassuming cluster of businesses not big enough to be considered a "strip mall." Kabooki Sushi is small, just a handful of tables as well as seats at the bar (my favorite spot,) but don't let that fool you. The food they are serving up is some of the best in town.
Kabooki sushi is not a "traditional" sushi restaurant. They definitely play with flavors, utilizing kimchi sauce or gold leaf on nigiri, but the attention to detail, including fresh wasabi and imported soy sauce, make it clear from the start that they know what they are doing. The chef clearly wants to highlight their excellent ingredients, not cover them up. The menu includes classics as well as hot dishes in case you are eating with folks who don't go for the raw stuff. That would be a shame though, because the raw stuff is what they do best. The ingredients are super fresh, high quality, and the preparation is on point.
The Cobia Crudo (pictured above) was a perfect example of the magic going on in the kitchen. Fresh, bright fish balanced with sweetness and acidity, lively and complemented by citrus, microgreens, radishes and served on a pink salt block that seemed to both cure and season the fish simultaneously.
The Wagyu tartare (left) was rich and unctuous, made all the more so by the quail egg on top, and perfectly paired with their salty, crunchy, light-as-air homemade crackers.
I could go on and on. The rolls were ample, well-balanced, and offered options for traditionalists or those looking for something new. And the sushi was top notch. My husband and I happily shared the Nigiri Moriawase (pictured below with a roll). The sushi rice was solid, the fish buttery and flavorful, melting in your mouth and highlighted by their individual garnishes. Desserts are pretty good too and while the drink menu isn't large (mostly sake and sake-based cocktails) there are solid sake choices and the cocktails are delicious.
In a city where most sushi is lackluster at best, Kabooki Sushi manages to serve food that would stand up in any city in the US. Service is warm and friendly, in fact the owner/chef is usually around chatting with guests while preparing dishes in the open kitchen. I've been back several times and will continue to return.
|Assorted nigiri sushi|
3122 E. Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32803
Labels: Orlando, Restaurants, Sushi