Japanese

“East Meets West” is a special chef collaboration dinner featuring Chef Elek Kovacs of The Osprey Tavern and Chef Huy Tin of Seito Baldwin Park.

The Osprey Tavern is an upscale-casual New American restaurant that features seasonal cuisine and Seito Baldwin Park is a Japanese restaurant that serves contemporary Asian offerings using a combination of traditional and innovative cooking techniques. Although both of these restaurants have distinct styles of cuisine, the collaboration brings together a brilliant 8-course tasting menu paired with fine wines, sake and spirits.

The 8-course menu consisted of key ingredients for each dish that both chefs used in preparing their dishes. All of the dishes were great, but I’ll share some notes on what stood out to me. The first plate was the perfect introduction to the event, a savory egg dish topped with ikura and paddlefish caviar. Following that was a beautiful plate of mackerel accompanied with pineapple salad and peanut-sesame. This was very reminiscent of fresh ingredients you would find in an Asian dish. The pork and seared scallop dish was paired with Amabuki Ginno Kurenai Junmai, a Japanese sake with a beautiful rosé color. Another notable dish was the pan-roasted duck sitting on a crisp puff pastry. For the finale, Pastry Chef Kristy Carlucci created a melt-in-your-mouth toasted marshmallow meringue dessert.

Was it worth the hype? Absolutely. Both Chef Elek Kovacs and Chef Huy Tin are remarkably talented and I enjoyed everything that was presented that evening. The amount of effort and preparation that went into this event was impressive and is worth the occasional indulgence. From the cordial staff, beautifully prepared courses and even down to the hand-sewn table runners (Sue Chin has a talent for design and decorating!). I was thrilled to join Orlando restauranteurs Jason and Sue Chin at this much anticipated and sold-out event. Jason and Sue own both of the restaurant concepts and have been a driving force in elevating Orlando’s culinary scene.

The Osprey Tavern [Website]
Address: 4899 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
Phone: (407) 960-7700

Seito Baldwin Park [Website]
Address: 4898 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
Phone: (407) 898-8801

 

Chef’s Table at The Osprey Tavern
Egg(²)
Seito (left): Chawanmushi, bottarga, ikura / Osprey (right): White chocolate custard, champagne gelée, paddlefish caviar
Seito (left) / Osprey (right)
Mackerel + Celery
Seito (left): Shima aji, celery pineapple salad, peanut-sesame / Osprey (right): Norwegian mackerel croquette, celeriac, horseradish
Pork + Shellfish
Seito (left): Pork, romanesco, Asian pear, XO / Osprey (right): Seared scallop, giardiniere, prosciutto foam
Duck + Mushroom
Seito (left): Duck thigh roulade, shiitake and oyster mushroom stir fry, chestnuts / Osprey (right): Pan roasted duck breast, duxelles vol-au-vent, royal trumpets
Seito (left) / Osprey (right)
Melon + Tea
Melon + Tea: Pompano tartare with lemongrass, kaffir lime, ginger, honeybush tea, cantaloupe granita
Beef(²)
Beef(²): Creekstone prime bourbon ribeye, five spiced braised oxtail, broccolini, soubise
Beef(²)
Baked Alaska
Baked Alaska: Cherry, Jasmine Rice, Black Sesame, Almond

Urban Hibachi in Lake Nona (located near PDQ) will be officially open this Saturday, June 2, at 11 a.m.  The restaurant will be offering a grand opening discount of 25% off all day.

Keep scrolling for more pictures from the Urban Hibachi in Lake Nona pre-opening media event this past Wednesday.

Steak Hibachi

Salmon Carpaccio

Urban Hibachi owner (middle) takes photo with friends and family.

Miso Soup and Ginger Salad

Spicy Maguro Sunshine

Salmon Hibachi

Urban Poke Bowl

Volcano Roll

Bainstorm Roll

We got our dessert togo and it was still delicious!  Green tea tiramisu was my favorite!

Fried cheesecake xangos.  This dessert is typically served with vanilla ice cream but since we got ours togo, we got an extra serving of fried cheesecake in place of vanilla ice cream.

Be sure to check out Urban Hibachi – Lake Nona soon for some beautiful and delicious food!

Urban Hibachi – Lake Nona
11954 Narcoossee Road, Suite 101
Orlando, Florida 32832

Calligraphy artist writes guest’s name in Japanese.

We were invited to experience the Sakura (cherry blossom) Festival, a month-long celebration of the arrival of spring and the cherry blossoms at Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs.

The restaurant was decorated with Instagram-worthy décor, showcasing the pink blooms of the Sakura. Similar to the festivals in Japan, guests attended a series of ticketed events and enjoyed special menu items inspired by the Japanese cherry blossoms.

The month-long Sakura Festival concluded with a family fun day inspired by the traditional Matsuri (festival) of Japan.  We got to enjoy unlimited sushi, ramen, yakisoba, street food, mochi, cocktails/mocktails, origami artist, calligraphy artist, games and giveaways.  You definitely need to experience this one of a kind event for yourself next year!

Celebrity Disney expert Lou Mongello and I.

A station in partnership with their Disney Springs neighbors, Uniqlo.

Okinawa Breeze – strawberry kiwi limeade (mocktail).

Winter Sakura – cherry calpico soda (the best mocktail in the world!).

Onigiri.

Shrimp tempura, california, spicy tuna, spicy salmon.

The back side of the previous dish.

Eel & avocado sushi.

Okonímiyaki.

Takoyaki.

Tonkotsu ramen bar.  It was delicious!

Tonkotsu ramen.

Dango – kinako (roasted soy flour), mitarashi (sweet soy glaze), kurogoma (black sesame).

Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinag preparing mochi.

Mochi.

Origami artist.

Ramune ring toss.

Ramune ring toss prizes.

Connect 4 with candy prizes.

Yakitori.

Yakisoba.  It was sooo good!

Be sure to check out the 2nd Annual Sakura Festival at Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs next year!  You will love it!

(Source credit: Morimoto Asia)

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs
1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
patinagroup.com/morimoto-asia/sakura
(407) 939-6686

Recognized as the region’s premier food and wine pairing event, the 26th Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala at Walt Disney World Resort featured unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by 23 of Central Florida’s top chefs, along with thoughtfully paired fine wines.  The evening also included a sparking wine reception, live music and a silent auction filled with unique items and trips. 

This year they served over 460,000 individuals and raised a record-breaking $300,000+ towards the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida.  95 cents of every dollar raised is invested back into the community to fund critical programs.

Chef’s Gala – what a tasteful way to make a difference in the world!

All beverages were generously donated.

All silent auction items were generously donated.

Live performance by an amazing band

Flying Fish – Disney’s BoardWalk: Chef LT Majoras
Cool Water Lobster and Slow Poached Shrimp, Spring Melon, Hearts of Palm, Shaved Serrano and Cava Vinaigrette

SLATE: Chef Jacob Woolf
Smoked Brisket, Jalapeño Creamed Corn, Charred Scallion Vinaigrette and Annatto Oil

Artist Point – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Chef Michael Gonsalves
Sweet Maiz Soup – Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Spring Radish, Ramp Mole, Greens

Urban Tide – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Chef Jared Gross
Plantain-Crusted Atlantic Cod, Roasted Red Beet and Crème Fraiche Mash, Kumquat Mostarda

Todd English’s bluezoo – Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort: Chef Jason Wiggin
Crispy Puffed Rice Shrimp, Wasabi Pommes Puree, Sweet Thai Chili

Shutters – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Chef Mark Donovan
Caribbean Goat Curry with Fragrant Island Rice and Cilantro-Lime Crema

Hemisphere – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Jeffrey Powell
Chilled California-Style White Fish Ceviche with House Fried Corn Chips

Ale & Compass Restaurant – Disney’s  Beach Club Resort: Chef David Hutnick
Slow Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Bacon Jam, Vermont Cheddar Grits, Barbecue Gastrique and Herb Salad

The Turf Club Bar and Grill – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Chef Dan Marozzi
Pan Seared Salmon Slider – Seared Ora King Salmon, Horseradish Pickled Cucumber Slaw, on a Dill Gougère

blu on the avenue: Chef Tony Krueger
Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon, Dukkah Drop Biscuit, Bacon, Pickled Serrano, Aged Maple Syrup, Flowers

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs: Chef Yuhi Fujinaga
Foie “PHO”, Kona Kanpachi, Shiso

Latitude and Longitude – Orlando World Center Marriott: Chef Kyle Anderson
Low-Country Perloo Carolina Gold Rice, Chicken Thighs, Andouille Sausage, Florida Rock Shrimp

The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Chef Craig Schleider
Spicy Togarashi – Crusted Ahi Tuna, House-Made Kimchi, Bamboo Rice and Ginger-Soy Glaze

STK Orlando – Disney Springs: Chef Aaron Taylor
Goat’s Milk Ricotta with Crushed Peas, Mint and Charred Spring Onion

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Mandazi

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Isitambu – Zulu-Style Samp, Beans with Oxtail and Quail Egg

Tiffins – Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: Chef Robby Sayles
Blanquette de Veau, Crispy Sweetbreads, Forest Mushroom Ragout and Charred Pearl Onion

Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot®: Chef Kevin Downing
Lamb Loin, Confit Marble Potatoes, Spring Vegetable Vinaigrette and Pinot Noir Syrup

Primo by Melissa Kelly – J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes: Chef Eric Santiago
House-Made Casarecche Pasta, Lake Meadows Duck Confit, Local Mushrooms, Ramp Pesto and Shaved Pecorino

Bull & Bear – Waldorf Astoria Orlando: Chef Richard Brown
Seared Shrimp Scampi with Pinot Grigio Butter, Black Venus Rice Risotto and Parmesan Cheese

Cinderella’s Royal Table – MAGIC KINGDOM Park: Chef Axel Martinez
Blood Orange Braised Beef Short Rib, Melted Leek and Kohlrabi Puree and Sweetie Drop Peppers

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company: Roast Master Chris DeMezzo
Made-to-Order Specialty Coffees

Amorette’s Patisserie – Disney Springs: Pastry Chef Yoly Lazo Colon
Amorette’s Petite Signature Cake – Chocolate Chiffon, Raspberry Pate Fruit, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Biscuit, Dark Chocolate and Cherry Mousse

Gideon’s Bakehouse: Owner Steve Lewis and Chef Nicole Beebe
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie and Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie

Epcot® Bakery Team: Pastry Chef Noah French
Meyer Lemon Tart with Mandarin Orange Jam

Beautiful and breathtaking fireworks are the perfect way to end an amazing night.  Be sure to check out this amazing event next year!

(Source credit: Chef’s Gala)

Chef’s Gala – Epcot Showplace
200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 939-5277
ChefsGala.org

Photos by: Terrence M. Gross

We were invited to the first “Guest Chef Series Dinner” at Morimoto Asia last night during their inaugural Sakura Festival.  Our guest chef was Executive Chef Hitoshi Sugiura and he was exceptional.  Chef Hitoshi flew in all the way from Japan for the event and was joined by Morimoto Asia’s very own Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinag & Chef de Cuisine Chef Hung Huynh.  All three chefs prepared for us an collaborative six-course Pan-Asian dinner, paired with wines from across the globe.  Morimoto Asia plans on hosting a Guest Chef Series Dinner every quarter.

Chef Hitoshi has a history of creating unique menus for restaurants and events while having received acclaimed notoriety including the “Top 8 Chef” at Italy’s 2017 Vegetarian Chance competition. Chef Hitoshi currently leads the team and menu creation as Executive Chef of Patinastella Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

Fresh cherry blossoms that were flown in from Japan for the inaugural Sakura Festival at Morimoto Asia.


First Course (Chef Hitoshi)
Bouquet – daikon, tofu, ginger, sesame seed puree, hazelnuts, maple syrup (almost too beautiful to eat!)

Second Course (Chef Hitoshi)
Spanish Mackeral with Shiso Sauce – Spanish mackerel, broccoli, Japanese mustard, shiso (this was one of my favorites!)


Third Course (Chef Hung)
Wok-fired Maine Lobster – ginger, scallion, jalapeño, zucchini noodle


Fourth Course (Chef Hung)
Roasted Poussin – goji berry koshihikari rice, Chinese sausage, foie gras, chicken jus


Fifth Course (Chef Yuhi)
Mishima Reserve Wagyu Ribeye – slow braised rib cap, porcini dashi, morels (simply elegant and wonderfully rich, another of my favorites!)

Dessert – Sakura and Peach Bavarian with Sakura Gelato

Our talented pastry chef


Cheers to our wonderful host, Sommelier – Eric Bandauski.

Guest Chef Hitoshi Sugura. Many thanks for making the long journey to celebrate with us.  Well done chef!

The ceiling fixture colors were modified to reflect the spirit of the Sakura Festival.

Be sure to grab your tickets to the inaugural Sakura Festival at Morimoto Asia – they will be hosting a series of events until Sunday, April 15!

(Source credit: Morimoto Asia)

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs
1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
https://www.patinagroup.com/morimoto-asia/sakura
(407) 939-6686

My former co-worker and good friend, Dallas Perdue, tending the bar while being filmed by the Travel Channel.

My friend from college and owner of DOMU, Sonny Nguyen

*Will be featured on the Food Paradise episode*
Pigs In A Blanket Bao – Chashu ends, persian cucumber, pickled cabbage, scallion, spicy kewpie mayo

Domu Wings – coated with kimchi butter sauce.  These are my favorite wings in the whole world!  Must try!

*Will be featured on the Food Paradise episode* Richie Rich – Miso-shoyu pork bone broth, chashu, ajitama brûlée, kikurage, scallion, fried garlic, black garlic oil, domudama

Uni Mazemen – Uni butter sauce, ikura, micro greens, crispy quinoa, chives, fresh uni

Chuka – Roasted corn, menma, torched tomato, cucumber, shiitake mushrooms, ontama, sesame vinaigrette

Check out DOMU soon for delicious ramen, wings & bao and be sure to keep an eye out for the Food Paradise episode airing in the next couple of weeks!

DOMU
3201 Corrine Dr. STE 100 Orlando, Florida
(407) 960-1228
http://domufl.com

At Yuki Hana they provide guests with a beautiful, modern dining experience and the freshest, most flavorful Japanese dishes around.  From innovative sushi featuring fresh fish from the world’s finest markets to flavorful fusion dishes prepared with locally sourced veggies and herbs, every plate on their menu is fun, flavorful, and a new adventure.  No matter the occasion, they are always more than happy to welcome you in and treat you to an unforgettable evening of bites and sips.  Visit them and experience the finest in Japanese cuisine all under one roof.

Every season Yuki Hana hosts a special dinner showcasing their chef’s creativity and talent.  We were invited to their Chef’s Multi-Course Tasting Event and as always, we were impressed with how creative and well thought-out each dish was.  Not only did the food look good but it also tasted delicious as well.  Each dish that came out was like an exciting surprise, we were all blown out of the water with their innovation, presentation and quality.  Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi exceeded our expectations with every dish that they delivered that night.  They are like food scientists, they know their stuff, they are creative, and they just keep getting better and better.  You can tell that each dish was hand made with hard work, love and intention.


Begin – Butterfly Pea Crystal, Citrus Sake


Appetizer – Amuse-Bouche, Squash Dumpling

1st Course – Cape Cod Oyster, Wasabi Foam, Cocktail Pearl, Lemon Confit

2nd Course – Shima Aji, Wasabi Asparagus, Kombu Chip, Crispy Garlic, Ume Ponzu

3rd Course – Nigiri Tasting
Mussel (mussel puree, garlic chip)

Hamachi Tartare (tobiko, cured egg snow)

Tuna (tare, avocado)


Kohada (charred negi vin)

Break – Frozen White Chocolate Lychee Gusher

4th Course – Seared Shiromi, Cabbage Menage, Bacon Seaweed, Dashi Aioli (My favorite!)

5th Course – Roasted Beef, Oxtail Croquette, Pickled Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Sphere, Roasted Leek, Honey Soy (my second favorite!)

Dessert – Persimmon 5.0, Gelato, Compressed, Gel, Meringue, Soup (it was delicious!)

Special thanks to owner Ping Jiang and her talented staff for their hospitality and amazing food!  Be sure to check out Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi soon, you won’t regret it!

Albert DeSue – Executive Chef
Steven Phan – Head Sushi Chef
Edwardo Mena – Sous Chef
Lance Herbas – Sushi Chef
Steven Chang – Sushi Chef

(Cover photo and last photo taken by Quay Hu)

Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi
3635 Aloma Ave Oviedo, Florida 32765
(407) 695-8808
http://sushiyukihana.com

At Yuki Hana they provide guests with a beautiful, modern dining experience and the freshest, most flavorful Japanese dishes around.  From innovative sushi featuring fresh fish from the world’s finest markets to flavorful fusion dishes prepared with locally sourced veggies and herbs, every plate on their menu is fun, flavorful, and a new adventure.  No matter the occasion, they are always more than happy to welcome you in and treat you to an unforgettable evening of bites and sips.  Visit them and experience the finest in Japanese cuisine all under one roof.

We were invited to try their new seasonal menu consisting of a five course meal showcasing their chef’s creativity and talent.  The restaurant was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the staff was amazing!  Everyone was so talented and worked hard to deliver BEAUTIFUL dishes.

Specialty cocktail – Ginger, cucumber, fresh mint

Chef Shane’s First Course
Cobia Bruschetta – House cured cobia, toasted brioche, yuzu shiso relish, roasted tomato espuma, balsamic gel

Edamame granola bar with basil tea


Chef Steven’s Second Course
Shiromi Tartare – Pickled strawberry, cauliflower, apple, dashi gelee, basil oil.  The crisp was made from an apple that was pickled, pureed, dehydrated, and crispy fried.

Chef Shane’s Third Course
Nigiri Tasting – Hand-selected freshest fish and chef’s special toppings
Bottom to top:
Hiramasa scallop tartare
Blue fin otoro black tobiko gold flake
Kanpachi fresh grated wasabi house tare
Seared wagyu with shaved black truffle
House made sweet egg omelet

Dragon fruit sorbet with honey, mint, and citrus

Chef Albert’s Fourth Course
Stripped Bass – Stripped bass roasted in corn husk, miso butter sauce, Asian mung bean, corn salsa, sweet corn emulsion.  This dish had incredibly delicious earthly flavors.

Ping’s Surprise Dessert
Green tea matcha custard with passion fruit boba, mango jelly, cactus pear gel, cactus pear foam, matcha sponge cake, and rice puff

Be sure to check out Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi soon before they transition to their seasonal Fall menu!  They are also participating in Magical Dining Month until October 11!

Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi
3635 Aloma Ave
Oviedo, Florida 32765
(407) 695-8808
@YukiHanaFusion

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Seito Sushi Sand Lake hosted its first-ever craft beer dinner in collaboration with Red Cypress Brewery and Tasty Chomps got to attend!

Located in Orlando’s Restaurant Row, Seito Sushi has been serving a variety of classic Japanese fare and Asian inspired dishes over the past ten years. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with hand-selected pieces of art, creating a modern atmosphere that is also reflected in the cuisine at Seito Sushi.

Seito Sushi Sand Lake Executive Chef Seng Inthisack and Red Cypress Head Brewer Garrett Ward developed a six-course pairing menu for the evening. Red Cypress is a Winter Springs-based brewery with a focus on brewing consistent beers, while staying true to the Florida brand.

Everything about the dinner was spectacular and unique. The house cured and smoked fish from the first-course instantly set the mood for a great dinner. Paired with Red Cypress’ Fruit de la Terre Saison, which is made with Florida orange peel as a local ingredient. The beer pairings for each dish created the perfect balance as the entrees progressed to heavier plates.

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First-Course: Smoke & Pickles – House cured and smoked fish with housemade Japanese pickles. Cape Canaveral Hog Snapper, Flounder, Faroe Island Salmon – paired with Fruit De La Terre, Saison
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First-Course: Smoke & Pickles – House cured and smoked fish with housemade Japanese pickles. Cape Canaveral Hog Snapper, Flounder, Faroe Island Salmon – paired with Fruit De La Terre, Saison
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Second-Course: Singaporean Style Florida Stone Crab with tomato-chili sauce and fried shallots – paired with Spook Hill Pale Ale, Pale Ale
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Third-Course: Florida Spanish Mackerel Misozuke – paired with Deep Roots, Amber Ale
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Fourth-Course: KFQ (Korean Fried Quail) – served with local grilled corn, salmon skin dust, furikake aioli – paired with Lazer Bullet, Brett Pale Ale
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Fifth-Course: Jackman Farms Wagyu Oxtail – beef consommé, tonkotsu risotto, foie gras shavings – paired with Devil’s Chair IPA
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Sixth-Course: Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Snap and Red Cypress Imperial Stout Ice Cream Sammies – paired with Robust Porter
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Sixth-Course: Chinese 5 Spice Ginger Snap and Red Cypress Imperial Stout Ice Cream Sammies – paired with Robust Porter

Seito Sand Lake
Address: 8031 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 407-248-8888

Red Cypress Brewery
Address: 855 E. State Rd 434 Winter Springs, FL 32708
Phone: 407-542-0341

Experience a multi-course tasting extravaganza with Seito Sushi’s omakase “chef’s choice” dinner menu. Omakase literally means, “It’s up to you,” and the expression is used in restaurants where the chef creates a menu based on the freshest and highest quality ingredients. If you’re up for the adventure, be prepared to experience Seito Sushi’s innovative approach to Japanese cuisine.

In the dining room, you can find a beautiful 10-seat domestic walnut wood table. The “Chef’s Table” has significant meaning to the chef since it was built by Executive Chef Austin Boyd.

“Woodworking, much like cooking, is a labor of love for Austin.”

Photo Credit: Seito Sushi Baldwin Park

 

The omakase “chef’s choice” menu is a six course meal customized with off menu selections. A typical meal will begin with lighter dishes and progress to heavier dishes. Reservations for the omakase menu must be made at least 3 days in advance and are $85 per person (+$30 for wine or sake pairing). You are welcome to sit anywhere in the restaurant to order omakase style.

From the food to the environment, the dining experience at Seito is always enjoyable. At the media dinner with Jason and Sue Chin, I got to hear more about their experience of running a restaurant and admire their strong work ethic while balancing a family. The passion that they have towards food and building the community has really shown in the past few years. It also helps that they have an incredible team and Executive Chef Austin Boyd to take Seito to the next level.

Each dish that was prepared that evening was like a work of art…

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Squid Ink Soba // West coast Uni, Spicy Cod Roe, Cucumber Flowers, Miso Brioche Crumb
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Yellow Tail Belly Nigiri // Bourbon Barrel Aged Soy, Lemon Grass Pesto, Uni Foam, Globe Basil
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Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab // Herb Salad from the garden, Nuc Cham Dressing, Garden Peppers, Purple Snow Peas
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Grilled Oysters // Black Bean Pesto, Fried Scallions, Ginger Soy
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Spice Rubber Pork Belly // Honey Glaze, Millet Cake, Peach Jelly, Miso Pickled Quail Egg, Dill Flower
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Shiso Cured Salmon Tartar // Salmon Skin Chip, Caper, Red Onion
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Wagyu Spinalis Negi Maki // Caramelized Onions, Beef Fat Poached Asparagus, Wild Mushrooms, Demi glace, Fiddle Head Ferns
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Lion Fish + Key West Shrimp // Pickled Citrus, Plum wine Marinated Water Mellow, Sea Beans, Tosaka Nori, House Old Bay
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Brown Butter Cake // Cinnamon Basil and Lemon Balm Ice Cream, Carrot Coulis, Ginger Snap Crumble, Basil Flower
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Whiskey Flight

Photos taken by Krystle Nguyen with the Nikon D5000 DSLR and Olympus OM-D E-M10.

Seito Baldwin Park
4898 New Broad Street, Orlando, FL 32814
407-898-8801

Capa steakhouse at Four Seasons Resort Orlando offers a “From Matsusaka With Love” special for Valentine’s Day weekend –

In February 2016, for the first time in history, Matsusaka beef, the ultimate within the Japanese beef industry, will be directly imported from the Matsusaka Region of Mie Prefecture, Japan and introduced at Capa restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

For six evenings, February 10 to 15, 2016, the Matsusaka beef will be on the menu at Capa in a special tasting called “From Matsusaka with Love.”

Read more from their Press Release below:

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Japanese beef, known as wagyu, is famed for its soft, buttery texture, high marbling ratio and superior taste.

Matsusaka beef from Mie Prefecture has been recognized and honored with the highest rankings for decades in the Japanese beef market. Four Seasons Resort Orlando Executive Sous Chef Sam Faggetti travelled to Japan in March 2015 to learn about Matsusaka beef.

Later this January, Stephen Wancha, Director of Food and Beverage for Four Seasons Resort Orlando, will travel to Japan as well.

“We strive to offer a variety of exceptional meats on the menu at Capa, and our wood burning grill gives our steaks an amazing flavour profile,” says Faggetti. “It has been a privilege to travel to Japan to learn more about the care and preparation of the Matsusaka beef, and we are honoured to offer this special tasting at Capa.”

For six evenings, February 10 to 15, 2016, the Matsusaka beef will be on the menu at Capa in a special tasting called “From Matsusaka with Love.”

The tasting menu is offered for USD 250 per couple, with an optional wine pairing available for USD 75 per person.

The Matsusaka Beef Tasting for Two includes:

– Trio of wood grilled special grade Matsusaka beef: 3-ounce strip loin, tenderloin and ribeye
– Served with side dishes of patatas bravas, blistered pimientos, roasted asparagus and truffle aioli
– Trio of steak sauces: rioja, peppercorn and verde

By definition, Matsusaka beef cattle can only be virgin female cows of the Japanese black wagyu variety that have spent the majority of their lifespan, up until the time of slaughter, in Matsusaka City and its surrounding area and are registered under the Matsusaka Beef Identification and Management System.

Some cattle farmers provide beer to cows to stimulate their appetites and give them thorough massages to improve blood circulation and encourage even fat distribution. Many farms raise their cows in individual rooms so they can be finely managed and assure a comfortable, stress-free life for their cows.

Matsusaka beef producers spare no effort to produce the highest quality, richest, most finely dispersed marbling possible while managing their cows on a day to day basis. The rich marbling results in an exquisite taste.

Reservations to experience the Matsusaka Beef Tasting for Two at Capa can be made by calling 407 313 6161.

Here are some photos from a recent media preview of the Matsusaka Beef Tasting at Capa:

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New York Strip Tataki Nigiri
Filet Flash Seared Sushi Roll
Raw Filet Maki Roll
Hand Roll

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48 Hour Sous Vide Short Rib
Served with a Red Wine Natural Reduction and Baby Tatsoi (Micro Green)

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Grilled New York Strip (left) Filet Ribeye Seasoned with Maldon Salt (middle) Filet Seasoned with Maldon Salt (right)

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Dessert from Assistant Pastry Chef Peter Whitley. An Open Face Macaroon with Green Tea Cream and Raspberry Jelly.

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Staff and chefs of Four Seasons Resort Orlando and Capa

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Best of Orlando award!

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By Gina Nguyen

In 2007, David Song, a University of Florida student earning a degree in business administration and philosophy, found his way into the kitchen of an emerging Japanese restaurant called Dragonfly Sushi, working as an entry-level sushi chef at Dragonfly Gainesville.

In 2010, he relocated to Orlando to work at Dragonfly Robata, the brand’s second concept.

Chef David Song
Chef David Song

As an advocate of sustainable practices, Song focuses on imported fish flown in daily from Japan, along with locally-sourced produce when developing new menu items and ideas for the seasonal Omakase menu.

The Omakase–meaning to trust–menu creates meaningful connections with food and beverage choices: It starts with guests trusting in the chefs and bartenders to create selections inspired by their moods.

Today, Song lives up to Dragonfly’s mission of bringing joy and fulfillment to patrons through a full-service dining experience that encompasses the kitchen and bar. When Song isn’t behind the counter, he is traveling to gain inspiration, while eating at local favorites throughout the state of Florida.

What are your favorite dishes at Dragonfly to cook and eat?
Chef David Song: My favorite dish to prepare is our sashimi passion. Sushi was always my first love in the restaurant and this dish gives me the freedom to be creative with my plate up. I spent many years honing my knife skills so when I get an opportunity to display them, I really try to go all out. My favorite dish to eat is our shio saba off the robata grill. The grill is amazing at locking in great flavor and cooks the mackerel to perfection. With a light brush of yuzu butter and daikon oroshi, it’s easily my favorite dish to eat.

Favorite place to eat outside of Dragonfly?
Chef David Song: Does my mother’s house count? Honestly, I enjoy casual dining places because for me, food has always been a reason to gather with friends and family. My favorite place to eat at the moment would probably be Lee and Ricks Oyster Bar.

Upcoming plans include:
New Year’s Eve event
Sushi Classes – December 19, January 23
Valentine’s Day at Dragonfly – Feb 14

Dragonfly is opening up in Doral with a brand new fish market concept inspired by authentic Tsukiji market in Japan.

I’ve been a part of the research and development project –helping where I can with menu items and restaurant build out–but the bulk of the work has really been done by our Culinary Director Chef Ray Leung and our President Hirofumi Leung.

I will be part of the opening team to help train and ensure we develop a great culture so we can provide the most memorable dining experience for our guests.

Interesting Facts?

Chef David Song: I have a hidden passion for motorcycles. I figure everyone has a place to go, so you might as well have a little excitement getting there. I’m also big into do-it-yourself projects. I always try and fix it myself before I call the professionals. I don’t always succeed but I learn a ton.

Lastly, if I could golf everyday, I would. Nothing beats a relaxing day on the golf course with your buddies.

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Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi (7972 Via Dellagio Way) will be hosting their second Behind the Knife: Sushi Class on Saturday, December 19.

Priced at $60 per person, guests can expect to learn to roll four different types of sushi rolls with Chef de Cuisine David Song.

During the course, guests will learn about the tools of the trade, both ancient and new.

Chef Song will provide his students with the tips, tricks and techniques it takes to make perfect sushi rice, and how to recognize sushi-grade fish based on color, texture and smell.

Designed to be an experience, a champagne aperitif and floating hors d’oeuvres are included.

The bar will also be available with rare Japanese whiskeys, sake, shochu and any of your favorite cocktails a la carte. Check-in will be at 11:30 a.m. with the class starting at 12 p.m.

Dragonfly Sushi Class

Dragonfly Sushi Class 2

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The original RanGetsu was founded in Tokyo, Japan by Masanori Konaka in 1947 in the very posh district of Ginza. It still exists there today, specializing in shabu shabu (Japnese hot pot or fondue) and sukiyaki made with Kobe beef.

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The restaurant was then passed down to his son, Masayasu Konaka, opening an International Drive branch here in Orlando. A few years ago, the location moved to Maitland’s Lake Lily and is currently managed by Masayasu’s son Mr. Masaaki Konaka today.

Mr. Takashi Kikuchi, General Manager of Rangetsu, can be seen at the restaurant today, and may just come by to your table to see how things are going or help prepare your sukiyaki dish.

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With an increase in incidences of gluten allergies and celiac disease, Rangetsu recently began a gluten free menu option for guests. On a recent visit to the restaurant, we were invited to check out the items on the menu.

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The biggest issue with gluten free items at an Asian restaurant often is the use of soy sauces which often contain gluten. At Rangetsu, the dishes that are gluten free on request are made with gluten free soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, and flour. Fried items, though, are used in a common fryer so is at risk of gluten exposure and is not recommend for those with celiac disease.

Mr. Masaaki Konaka
Mr. Takashi Kikuchi of Rangetsu

The gluten free menu has quite a list of options found here. From sushi rolls to robata teriyaki grill skewers, those looking for gluten free options will find plenty of choices.

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Hamachi Kama

As an appetizer, we recommend the grilled Hamachi Kama. Hamachi Kama is the collar of yellowtail fish (Hamachi) and is often the juiciest part of the fish, kind of like the dark meat of the fish. It’s a delicacy found at most Japanese restaurant but the version found here at Rangetsu is with out a doubt the best hamachi kama in all of Orlando. The collar meat is juicy and cooked perfectly, fresh and flaky white fish.

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The Tempura Appetizer is quite delicious as well, arranged vegetables and jumbo shrimp dipped and fried in a light tempura batter.

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Grilled Teriyaki skewers are popular in Japan, eaten usually as an accompaniment of beer and alcohol at pubs across the nation. At Rangetsu, the robata grill menu are all able to made gluten free, though it is not as marinated due to the lack of soy sauce, and instead seasoned lightly with Hawaiian sea salt. The momo chicken thigh and the enoki mushroom with bacon are popular options.

For something that is both gluten free and rice free, try the naruto roll, made by a cucumber wrap rather than traditional rice and seaweed.

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NARUTO (RAW) 16 – Crab, tuna, yellowtail, salmon and avocado wrapped in cucumber and soy dressing (no sushi rice)

Not many in Orlando have had true sukiyaki beef before. Only a few restaurants serve the dish in the city, with Rangetsu having the definitive version.

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Sukiyaki, not to be confused with the popular Japanese pop ballad from the 1960s, consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered in a shallow iron pot, alongside vegetables.

At Rangetsu, the dish is prepared by our server table side who first takes a piece of lard to lather and grease up the iron pot. The beef slices – you can choose black angus New York strip ($30) or Wagyu “Kobe” beef ($46) are added to the pot as it heats up along with vegetables, such as cabbage, tofu, mushrooms, and noodles. Our server then pours over the dish a sweet mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin.

Our server then cracks an egg and beats it in a small bowl, dipping our meat in the eggs raw, giving the meat a nice creamy egg flavor. The sukiyaki dish is exquisite – especially when eating with noodles which soaks up all the sweet and savory flavors from the special soy mirin sauce.

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See our quick video of the Beef Sukiyaki being prepared here:

Rangetsu
901 South Orlando Avenue (17-92), Maitland FL 32751
(407) 345-0044
www.RanGetsu.com

RanGetsu Restaurant & Orchid Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

0 1964

Umi, located on Park Avenue, across the street from beautiful Rollins College is a Japanese Fusion restaurant that serves up Japanese cuisine, fresh sashimi and sushi, and a array of local drafts, wine, and sake.

We were there on this occasion for a sake presentation by Chad Doss of Stacole Fine Wine Company, as he took us through the night filled with high quality sake.

He first informed us about the process of creating sake, and the various grades of sake based on the milling quality of the rice itself.

It was quite enlightening on the fine art of its production and Jimmy the bar manager, even mentioned that there are even sake made from the water of glaciers.

We learned that the sake that we were to try were of Junmai Ginjo grade (40% of rice milled away) and a much higher quality grade otherwise known as Junmai Daiginjo (50% of rice milled away).

With interesting names of sake like, Bride of the Fox and Snow Maiden for example the various samples that we were given each had their own character whose taste were as beautiful as the names to which they were given.

On top of that, we had samples of the various sushi, sashimi, and robata grill items that Umi serves which were of the best I’ve had in a while. It was an interesting night, to which the takeaway from it was a better understanding of Japanese culture as it applies to painstaking art of sake.

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Very Berry Mojito

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Chad Doss Sake Expert


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Umi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

http://www.umiwinterpark.com/

525 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789(407) 960-3993

I had a chance to dine with a intimate group of media, Jason, and Sue Chin (the owners of Seito and Osprey Tavern in Baldwin Park) for Seito Baldwin Park’s 15 Year Anniversary.

Honestly, it was one of the best culinary tasting experience I’ve had this year, featuring a 9 course omakase dinner. Omakase means (in a Japanese restaurant) a meal consisting of dishes selected by the chef and literally means “I’ll leave it up to you.”

Here are a few of the dishes from the exceptional 9 course omakase dinner:

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9. Baked Glacier Point oyster – sambal froth, nori butter, black tobiko, almond flour.

It was lightly crispy and so buttery soft…delicious.

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8. Japanese sea bream – pickled sweet peppers, apple, orange gastrique, lemongrass oil.

There’s something about this white fish that makes the ending notes so clean and palatable. You wouldn’t even need ginger to cleanse your palate for the next course.

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7. Pork belly kakuni with braised savoy cabbage, pickled green beans, Japanese mustard.

I could’ve eaten about 9 more of this and gained some kind of cholesterol problem but it will be worth it. This cube of pork belly was so beautifully glazed with a slight hint of Japanese mustard for a hint of tang. It completely melted in your mouth without the unpleasant residue that fat could sometimes leave on your tongue.

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6. Whole roasted Branzino – lime leaf, kyurizuke, barrel-aged white soy, nuoc cham, house sriracha.

Probably my favorite way to enjoy branzino. Seito’s was so simply seasoned that the flesh of the fish really shined. This is definitely a dish to share and enjoy with your table.

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Stuffed with Kaffir lime leaves to rid of the fishy smell and taste.

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Jason was kind enough to help separate the fish for us.

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Never let any part go to waste. ( fish cheeks, eyeballs, and crispy fins are some of my favorites)

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5. Salmon tataki on a bed of daikon nest, relish, fried garlic, dark tosa soy.

Restaurants usually serve tuna tataki since the meat of tuna stays intact when it’s cooked, but salmon’s flaky nature makes that difficult. Seito was decided to challenge that but cutting the sashimi pieces first then taking their time to sear each edge of the salmon. 

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4. Tokyo turnip salad – Okinawa potato puree, caramelized mountain yam, bacon miso dressing.

Jason and his team always manage to impress me with their salads creations. People usually hear the word salad- and think “boring” but that is the complete opposite for this salad. The Okinawa potato was sweet and blended to a perfect puree to harmoniously accompany fresh turnips and yams. 

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3. Beef tenderloin – miso marble potatoes, blistered shishito peppers, ginger-scallion pesto, malbec pho jus.

Wonderfully cooked to a tender medium rare.

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2. Smoked yellowtail toro – uni foam, holy grail, cherry smoke.

The smoke infused flesh of the fish was really bold, however it did not take away from the freshness of the raw fish. 

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1. Kabocha bread pudding – sesame butterscotch, ginger-vanilla creme, pumpkin powder, granola.

I love ending on a sweet note, and this definitely hit the spot without being too sugary. However, I did wanted a side of ice cream to accompany the bread pudding, but that could just be me being basic. 

Everything about Seito’s Sushi new innovations continues to blow me away, from their creative use of the protein to the modern twist on traditional classics.

Unfortunately, not everything from this anniversary dinner course will be available on their regular menu, but it does show the depth and talent that the kitchen and chefs of Seito possess.

I’m really excited to return and enjoy their full Omakase dinner options, I’m sure nothing will be subpar.

Congratulations again to Seito Sushi Baldwin Park on their 15 Year Anniversary!

Seito Sushi Japanese Restaurant
 4898 New Broad St
(407) 898-8801

 

 

0 2019

It’s kind of a hidden gem. Deep within Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin resort, you can find Kimonos, a long time favorite for sushi and Japanese cuisine.

The restaurant is accented by dark woods and hanging kimonos, the namesake traditional Japanese robes, each colorful and intricately woven, creating a rather intimate ambiance.

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Sushi is the main attraction here, but the cooked and side dishes might outshine even the sushi if you know what to order. Oh, and a meal here is not inexpensive by any means – may be a preferred location for those expense accounts.

For an appetizer, we recommend the Kobe Beef Tartare and the Kimchee salad. The tartare is served artfully with avocado puree, dashi, and sliced lotus chips – full of flavor and beautifully presented.

The Kimchee salad is a classic dish here at Kimonos – known as kimuchi by the Japanese, kimchee is actually a Korean dish as most folks know by now, but the dish is popular in Japan as well, owing to its long colonial history with Korea and the cultural exchange from that time period. It’s spicy, with lots of heat, yet the octopus makes it refreshing as well.

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Kobe Beef Tartare – Avocado Puree, Ginger, Dashi and Lotus Chips – $17.00

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Kimchee salad – with Octopus, Spring Garlic – $10.50

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Sushi rolls are plenty here, and are rather traditional compared to other locations. The fish quality is excellent. The Kimono is a popular go – to, made with tuna, yellow tail, salmon and a wasabi mayonnaise glaze. On this visit, we go with the coconut shrimp, and dragon roll – both quite tasty.

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Coconut Shrimp Roll – $13.00 and Dragon Roll – Spicy Tuna, Salmon, Avocado – $16.50

Dessert at Kimonos is something you must save room for – the desserts are all beautifully created by Laurent Branlard, executive pastry chef for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, who has the distinction as the only two-time winner of the World Pastry Team Championship.

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For those visiting later in the evening for dinner, Kimonos also features another time honored Japanese tradition – nightly karaoke.

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Menu
Menu

Kimonos at the Swan
Address: 1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
http://www.swandolphinrestaurants.com/kimonos/
Hours of Operation
5:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Morimoto Asia, the highly anticipated collaboration between Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group, officially opens for dinner this Wednesday September 30th, 2015 as part of The Landing, one of four neighborhoods in the new Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

It is the Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience and showcases flavors from across the Asian continent with an emphasis on China, Korea, Japan and Thailand.

Chef Morinoto and Peking duck

The menu is an eclectic take on some of Chef Morimoto’s favorite Asian flavors including L.A. BBQ kalbi ribs, moo shu pork, Morimoto Peking duck, lobster chow fun, sweet and sour crispy whole fish, pho ga, pad Thai, sticky ribs and Singapore laska noodles. Chinese dim sum includes items such as dumplings, shumai, shrimp har-gao and grilled chicken bao.

In addition, the 14-seat sushi bar offers pristine sushi and sashimi options from around the world. Items include toro, kanpachi, Japanese red snapper, uni, sea eel, hamachi, fluke, and salmon, as well as more ocean delicacies. A variety of specialty sushi rolls and selections from the raw bar are also offered to the guests not seated at the sushi counter.

Assorted Sushi

Chef Masaharu Morimoto, most known for his role as Iron Chef Japan, originally began his life as a baseball catcher in Japan before a shoulder injury ended that career and he began his second life by studying sushi in his hometown of Hiroshima.

He quickly grasped the technique of this exacting food art and, at age 24, opened his first restaurant. Five years later, he moved to America to expand his culinary repertoire and explore the opportunities and possibilities he saw for a cuisine that would combine the best of both continents.

In 1994, Morimoto was recruited to join the team at the original Nobu restaurant, and in 2001, he opened his first eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia. He debuted Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai in 2004, followed by a second Wasabi at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi in 2008.

Morimoto has received numerous accolades for his cuisine and aesthetic, including several appearances on San Pellegrino’s “Top 100 Restaurants in the World” list, a James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” for Morimoto New York, and in 2010, Morimoto Napa was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best U.S. Restaurant Openings.”

Today, there are additional Morimoto restaurants in Honolulu, Mexico City, and Maui, a Morimoto Sushi Bar in Boca Raton, Japonais by Morimoto in Chicago and Morimoto South Beach in the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Hotel in Miami. In 2015 and 2016 a few more restaurants will be open in Bangkok, Las Vegas and Toronto.

Morimoto Asia Forbidden Lounge

Patina Restaurant Group (www.patinagroup.com) has a portfolio of restaurants including Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Epcot World Showcase, as well as Michelin-starred Lincoln Ristorante, STATE Grill and Bar at the Empire State Building, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2, The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, La Fonda Del Sol at Grand Central, and The Rink at Rockefeller Center.

On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.

Morimoto Asia Private Dining Room

Morimoto Asia’s 36-foot tall, two-story layout has been designed by STUDIO V Architecture, including an exhibition kitchen that allows guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the culinary action. The second-level sushi bar and lounge have a separate entrance and is known as the Hidden Lounge.

“This has been a project of passion for our team and Chef Morimoto. We can’t wait to open our doors to everyone visiting Disney Springs this fall and beyond,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

The beers will feature mostly Asian varieties in both bottle and on draft, including the Morimoto signature beer by Rogue Ales. In addition to the collector’s edition Imperial Pilsner and Morimoto Soba Ale and the highly coveted Black Obi Soba will also be available by the bottle.

The restaurant will also offer an assortment of sake, including the Morimoto signature line, plus a wine list showcasing wines of the world, signature cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

Chef Morimoto - Vertical

“I am excited to create a menu that allows so many of my favorite Asian flavors to come alive all in one place,” said Chef Masaharu Morimoto. “I hope the guests at Morimoto Asia have as much fun eating this food as I have creating it.”

We had the opportunity to interview Chef Morimoto via e-mail this week ahead of the opening.

TastyChomps: Chef Morimoto, what are you most excited about for the new Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs?

Chef Morimoto: This restaurant has a completely new culinary theme; for the first time I created the menu of Asian cuisine, not just Japanese. As a Japanese, I grew up with eating many different types of Asian cuisine. So I always had all kinds of ideas about Asian cuisine. I am very excited about the new challenge.

TastyChomps: What is your favorite dish so far for the new Morimoto Asia?

Chef Morimoto: I cannot pick a dish, just like you cannot pick your favorite child among your children. All these new dishes are my favorite!

TastyChomps: How did the vision for Morimoto Asia come to be?

Chef Morimoto: It is in Disney, so the target guests are different from those of other Morimoto restaurants. There will be a lot of kids. People will come from all of the world, expecting first-class entertainment. People love Asian food because it’s approachable, delicious, and fun, so I thought the theme would be perfect for the location.

TastyChomps: What is your favorite dish to cook at home?

Chef Morimoto: I never cook at home because my wife does. She cooks mostly vegetables thinking about my health.

TastyChomps: What was your most challenging experience in your cooking career and how did you overcome it?

Chef Morimoto: I enjoy cooking for the guests at the restaurant. However, when I cooked at the Kitchen Stadium for the judges in the original Iron Chef, I was extremely stressed out and nervous. But of course, becoming an Iron Chef changed my career completely.

TastyChomps: Where are your favorite places to visit in Asia and why?

Chef Morimoto: I would like to visit Southeast Asia because there are a lot of interesting and delicious street food. Those dishes inspire me in many ways.

TastyChomps: What do you eat when you are traveling and working?

Chef Morimoto: I try to eat the local food wherever I visit because that’s the best food. If I don’t have the time to eat out, I eat simple food, such as onigiri (rice balls) and miso soup, at my restaurant.

Morimoto Asia will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with dim sum. www.morimotoasia.com

Menu and Photos – Courtesy of Morimoto Asia

Sticky Ribs Half Rack
Sticky Ribs Half Rack
Singapore Laska Noodle
Singapore Laska Noodle
Peking Duck
Peking Duck
Orange Chicken
Orange Chicken
LA BBQ Kalbi Ribs
LA BBQ Kalbi Ribs
BowWow Kids Meal
BowWow Kids Meal
MochiMochi Annin Tofu
MochiMochi Annin Tofu

Morimoto Asia Sushi Menu Morimoto Asia Forbidden Lounge Menu Morimoto Asia DINNER Menu

 

click to zoom: http://tastychomps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Morimoto-Asia-DINNER-Menu.jpgMorimoto Asia Kids Menu Morimoto Asia Dessert Menu

Morimoto Lunch - OCT 2015
Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs – Orlando – Lunch Menu – OCT 2015

Scenes from the Grand Opening event at Morimoto Asia

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Morimoto Asia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park has been working on perfecting their ramen game. Now on Monday nights, from 5pm to close, they are having a hospitality night with half off special pricing on all their ramen so you can enjoy the wonder that is Japanese ramen. This is for all hospitality industry workers and professionals! The ramen, typically $14 for dinner, is $7 and is made with variations such as the tonkotsu, a 24 hour pork bone broth with slices of braised pork belly, and the shoyu, a soy chicken broth base with grilled chicken thighs.

We recently dropped by to try their Tonkotsu Ramen – made with a 24 hour pork broth, and topped with slices of braised pork belly, poached Lake Meadows soy pullet egg, and house made garnish – it was absolutely delicious and I just salivate thinking about it now – really one of the best ramen bowls in town.

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The Pork Tonkotsu Ramen – so delicious.

There is also Shoyu Ramen available, made with Roasted Chicken Stock, and topped with Grilled Chicken Thigh, onsen tomago egg, sweet corn, braised carrots.

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There is an Indonesian spice paste that you can ask for – do ask for it – such wonderful complex flavors that are added to the soup and noodle base.

In addition to ramen, the kitchen at Seito Sushi Baldwin Park has been working on various “new” wave Japanese cuisine, with dishes such as oxtail yakisoba, roasted whole sea bream fish, and this little work of art – the cured salmon dish.

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House Cured Salmon
Ikura Mousse, capers, cucumber, pickled onions

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House fried panko crusted oysters

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Fresh seasonal oysters – delicious

Seito Sushi
4898 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 898-8801
www.seitosushi.com

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There are tons of great sushi restaurants, okay sushi restaurants, and not so great sushi restaurants here in Central Florida.

So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite sushi restaurants that I personally recommend based on quality and experience.

In good sushi, I look for fresh fish, flavored quality rice, and overall just tastiness of the dish. Some are traditional Japanese sushi restaurants with minimal rolls, while others have lots of sushi rolls, but done well.

Here is TastyChomps.com’s List of the Top 15 Best Sushi Restaurants in Orlando:

1. Sushi Pop
310 W Mitchell Hammock Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765, (407) 542-5975, www.sushipoprestaurant.com/

2. Kabooki Sushi – 3122 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, (407) 228-3839, www.kabookisushi.com/


3. Kappo at East End Market – 3201 Corrine Dr, Florida 32789, www.kappoeastend.com/

4. Sushi Tomi – 8463 S John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819, (407) 352-8635, Facebook Page

5. Seito Baldwin Park – 4898 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814, (407) 898-8801, www.seitosushi.com/

6. Shin Sushi – 803 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801, (407) 648-8000, www.shinsushi.com/

7. Yuki Hana Sushi – 3635 Aloma Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765, (407) 695-8808, sushioviedo.com/

8. Sushi Kichi – 5386 Central Florida Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32821, (407) 778-1953, www.sushikichi.com/

9. Mikado’s – 6417 Raleigh St, Orlando, FL, (407) 822-1080, and 13586 Village Park Dr #306, Orlando, FL, (407) 851-9933, www.mikadosushiorlando.com

Image via Yelp.com
Image via Yelp.com

10. Umi Sushi – 525 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, (407) 960-3993, www.umiwinterpark.com/

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11. Sushi House – 8204 Crystal Clear Ln #1300, Orlando, FL 32809, (407) 610-5921, www.sushihouseint.com/

Image courtesy of Sushi House

12. Hanamizuki – 8255 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, (407) 363-7200, www.hanamizuki.us/

13. Sushi Lola’s – 2902 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, (407) 898-5652, www.sushilolas.com/

Image via Yelp.com
Image via Yelp.com

14. Shari Sushi Lounge – 621 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801, (407) 420-9420, www.sharisushilounge.com/

Image via Shari Sushi Lounge
Image via Shari Sushi Lounge

15. Shakai Sushi Lounge – 43 E Pine St, Orlando, FL 32801, (407) 423-2688, www.shakaiorlando.com

Image via Yelp.com
Image via Yelp.com

Did we miss any of your favorites? Comment and let us know below!

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I was invited to Dragonfly last week to try out a few items that are featured in the Robata Grill section of the menu.

Robata method for cooking has been growing popular exponentially, however, Orlando is still new to style. To put it simply, Robata (short for Robatayaki) is a Japanese grilling style  that roughly translates to ” fireside-cooking”.

What’s amazing about Dragonfly’s Robata grill is that they import specialize coal from Japan, the Bincho-tan. Which is a white coal with the raw material being oak, this emits less carbon and is able to retain 1000 degrees in heat for a long time.

With such an unique grill, the seasoning for the meats and vegetables are really simple- a little salt, a little pepper, and some tare/teriyaki glaze. This allows the true flavors of the grill items to really be enhanced.

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Chicken usually just taste like…..chicken….unless being thrown into a ton of spices and dipped in gallons of sauce. However, this skewered chicken thigh had natural sweetness that’s been drawn out by the light dash of salt, and incredibly tender. I was thoroughly impressed by the chef’s ability to time it on such a high heat grill.

A Shade of Blackberry (10)
Hatsumago Kimoto Sake, Blackberry gastrique, and ginger syrup.
A sweet summer drink, refreshing, light, with a little tang of ginger that pairs so beautifully with the chicken.

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Tontoro (7)

Pork cheeks, with a side of sesame oil and salt. You’ve probably had the korean barbeque pork belly- well, this is the spruced up version of it. It has a pleasant texture, soft, but there’s a bit of crunch towards the end bite.

Hot Kagoshima Daze (10)
kaikouzu Kurikogane Shochu, fig-infused bourbon, lillet blanc, togarashi syrup.
My guest really enjoyed this drink. The strong bourbon flavors, with a little bit of spice towards the end. Perfect to cut through the pork fat.

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Corn (5)

Sweet corn. Reminds me of the Mexican corn on the cob (elote) that you find from street vendors. Grilled, with spicy seasoning, sharp parmesan cheese, and cilantro.

Shochu Mojito (10)

I was a baby and couldn’t handle the taste of bourbon so they brought me a mojito instead. This muddled-cherries mojito gave a little twist to the classic mojito, a little tangier but you still get the sweet and refreshing notes.

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Enoki Mushrooms (6)

Stringy white mushrooms, with subtle flavors so the bacon adds a nice touch.

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Whole grilled Branzino

European sea bass, with a ginger scallion pesto on top. The entire fish is grilled and glazed in yuzu butter. Light, savory, and juicy…. we couldn’t stop eating it.

DSC01086The result.
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We ended with a summer special dessert- matcha pound cake with blueberry jam.

A a little Q&A with one of the grill masters, Jeff :

How long did it take you get used to the Robata Grill?
It took me a month in training.

What would you say is the most challenging thing about the Robato grill?
Timing, because the grill is so hot it can overcook easily.

What’s the biggest difference from a regular grill and the Robata Grill?
The coal, the special bincho-tan coal really makes a difference.

Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi

7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 370-3359

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 Umi is a new Japanese Fusion restaurant in Park ave. and like every other Japanese Restaurant, Umi offers sushi, sashimi, seafood etc… However, Umi strives  to use traditional Japanese cooking in combination with influences from various cuisine to offer modern creations without disregarding the authentic Japanese taste.

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Sweet Ebi, Fresh Salmon, and thinly sliced Octopus
a simple selection of sashimi pieces marinated in a dijon ponzu sauce.

DSC00941Cured Snapper
Thinly sliced cured snapper with truffle ume vinaigrette, shiso, onion, and micro greens.

Aside from their fresh selection of seafood, Umi features Robatayaki Grilled meats and homemade sauces- a cooking method that Florida is not familiar with. Similiar to barbecue, but smokeless and odorless. Food items are skewered and slow-grilled over hot charcoal. This allows the meats or vegetables to absorb in the intense smoky flavors of the charcoal.

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Ribeye Gorgonzola Flat Bread (8)
Flat bread, yakiniku ribeye, sauteed white kimchi, gorgonzola cheese, black vinaigrette reduction.
This was definitely an addicting tapa dish. You have the tender steak, with a sharp cheese, and a crispy finish with the toasted flatbread.

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Skirt Steak (14)
Seared with balsamic teriyaki glaze. Grilled to a tender medium that’s slightly sweet with a nice char.
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Pork Belly (7) 
Thick cut pork belly that’s seared with a house butakakuni- marinade ( usually soy sauce and dashi) that’s melt-in-your mouth tender.
DSC00992Squid (9) 
Whole squid brushed with yuzu butter and seared. For those afraid to try squid or dislike squid due to its elastic texture or fishy smell…I recommend trying squid again in this kind of way. The squid is incredibly soft, and full of buttery, smoky flavours.

 

Another feature from Umi that I was really impressed with was their selection of imported beers.

DSC00955Koshihikari Echigo Beer
is a Japanese Rice Lager style beer brewed by Uehara Shuzou Co. Ltd.
light malt flavours, with hints of sake/ sweet rice taste.

DSC00985Hitachino Dai Dai Ale
is a American IPA style beer brewed by Kiuchi Brewery in Ibaraki-ken Naka-gun, Japan.
Pours out a deep amber color, a smooth ending with a hint of caramel/toffee flavours. I’m not a fan of IPA but this one has got me to tolerate IPA a little more.

DSC00978Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout
is a American Double / Imperial Stout style beer brewed by Kiuchi Brewery in Ibaraki-ken Naka-gun, Japan
A wonderful beer for dark beer advocates. There’s strong coffee smell and taste, followed by bitterness but not unpleasant.

Umi just recently opened (may 7th, 2015) but they offer everything from fresh sushi and fresh seafood to robata grilled meats and master confected sushi rice.  The tapas style menu is intended for diners to sample all kinds of food and explore new tastes.

Umi – Winter Park

525 S Park Ave
Winter Park, FL
(407) 960-3993

Click to add a blog post for Umi on Zomato

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Hidden in a rather desolate plaza on Universal Blvd, Japan Food Aki is a good introduction restaurant to Japanese home cooking. They’ve got the sushi rolls and nigiri, as well as the various pork and beef katsu curry dishes popular in Japanese cuisine.

In the 1800s, the Japanese were on their way to modernization and were enamored with the curries brought overseas to them by the Dutch via the Indian colonies. It became a national hit along with the fried pork cutlets (katsu) in the 1900s.

The sushi quality might not be the best in town, but the value is there – especially for happy hour, which lasts from 5:30pm – 6:30pm weekdays with rolls that can be found for $2.50 and nigiri sushi for $1.00 a piece.

It is a good place to start for your exploration and journey into Japanese cuisine.

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Click to add a blog post for Japan Food Aki Restaurant on Zomato

Kappo at East End Market is one of Orlando’s best sushi restaurants, yet also one of the most hidden.

Founded by college friends Mark, Lo, and Jen – all graduates of UF – they all traveled the world from New York to London to Tokyo to learn from the masters and now, they are back here in Orlando, having opened up this small 7 seat sushi bar inside the wonderful East End Market in Audubon Park.

The 7 seat bar is intimate – you can watch each of the chefs work attentively on their dishes, giving great care and respect to each piece of nigiri sushi.

Dinner is reservations only, while lunch is available for walk-ins.

The dinner experience is unique – omakase style, which means chef’s choice, with the best fish of the day prepared piece by piece like a scene out of Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Sushi as art – and it is as delicious to eat as it is beautiful.

For lunch, we recommend their transcendent chirashi bowl, or a plate of nigiri sushi, ending with a savory cup of miso soup or some house made Japanese inspired ice cream.

I made a short film of a recent visit here:

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Yuki Hana Japanese Fusion, in Oviedo, just off of Aloma at Tuskawilla, serves Japanese modern cuisine with a fresh twist on classic dishes and a vast selection of delectable sushi, fresh sashimi, and signature rolls created by chef and owner Eddison Chen.

Yuki Hana Fusion’s menu represents chef Eddison’s nearly 15 years of experience including many years working with some of the best Japanese master sushi chefs in New York – where followers there have said Eddie “is devoted to maintaining the purity of his vision—-that is not to be simply good but transcendent.”

We were recently invited to visit the modern and sleek Yuki Hana to sample some of their dishes and were quite surprised and delighted by what they had to offer, a step above the typical sushi places in the area for sure. I would say it ranks among the best in Orlando in terms of its quality and taste.

We started with a glass of the Bunraku Kinmai “Dancing Gold Flakes” sake, while the gold flakes are believed to “enhance good fortune”, the sake itself had a smooth, rich flavor, slightly sweet and one of the best sake I have had the pleasure to taste.

Geoduck is in season and chef Chen made great use of the ingredient in two dishes sampled this evening. Also known as giant clam, the geoduck is a very large, edible, saltwater clam native to western United States. Distinctively shaped similar to the male genital, the geoduck can go for $150/lb in Asia where it is a delicacy.

We started with a geoduck miso soup made with both geoduck and little clams, as well as enoki and shitake mushroom. The soup was rich and flavorful, and had the mushroom and clam textures went well together.

Next, the geoduck served two ways – tempura and sashimi style with an orange lemon confit, crispy and soft – very good.

Uni was also in season – sea urchin is creamy and custardy and is often an acquired taste, but can be very wonderful if served fresh as it is here at Yuki Hana with a topping of quail egg.

Some Asian – Latin fusion is also present here at Yuki Hana, executed well with dishes like the Oxtail tempura avocado taco with a Korean spicy gochujang pickle sauce.

They’ve recently updated the menu, adding dishes like the Kanpachi Crudo with Hawaii yellowtail, black garlic, basil oil, tobiko, cucumber, lava salt, lemon confit, and togarashi and the Madai, Japanese sea bream with mango, avocado, cilantro, mustard seed vinaigrette, shallot chips, and furikake

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Geoduck miso soup made with both geoduck and little clams, as well as enoki and shitake mushroom.

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Geoduck Two ways

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Oxtail tacos – braised oxtail, house Asian slaw, tempura avocado, gochujang pepper sauce, cilantro, lime wedge

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Fresh, live uni sea urchin – available now in winter season – served here with raw quail egg.

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Nigiri sampling – fresh sushi topped with lovely accoutrements

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Dessert is handled here by Chef Eddison’s gracious wife Ping, who has picked up quite the skillset of pastry and dessert making from her travels around the world. The banana bread pudding I sampled was crispy, crunchy and delicately soft and sweet at the same time – definitely one of the best desserts I’ve had in Orlando. Photo Dec 11, 7 35 30 PM

Do visit Yuki Hana in Oviedo soon, for the lovely ambiance, fresh and innovative sushi and kitchen dishes, as well as wonderful desserts – I know I will be returning very soon!

Yuki Hana Japanese Fusion on Urbanspoon

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Ajinomoto Pork and Vegetable Pot Stickers (Gyoza) are one of my favorite things to make when I am in a rush – they’re tasty, easy to make, and only take a few minutes to cook.

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The dumpling was first created in Northern China about 1300 years ago, and the Japanese term “Gyoza” comes from the Chinese name “Jiao-zi.”

The dumplings became popular in Japan particularly after World War II when returning Japanese brought back their love of the dish after returning from their rather devastating occupation of China.

In Japan, Gyoza are pan-fried while in China they are more commonly steamed or boiled. They’re popular around Chinese New Year time because the shape is similar to gold ingots or taels, and who (especially among the Chinese) doesn’t love gold?

Ajinomoto, the food company who brought MSG and the flavor of “umami” to the world back in 1909,  produces about 800,000,000 pieces of gyoza each year.

These crescent shaped dumplings are crispy on the bottom, yet also somehow juicy on the inside.

My first encounter with Japanese gyoza was on a recent visit to Tokyo where, in the rather haute Ginza district, I stumbled upon TenRyu ( Address: 2-6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Website: http://bimi.jorudan.co.jp/shop/1022/), a Japanese/Chinese restaurant – whose name not surprisingly translates to “Sky Dragon”, yes we love our dragons no matter where our restaurants are in the world. This little Beijing style restaurant founded in 1949 was famed for making their jumbo gyoza stuffed with pork, fresh Chinese cabbage, and onion, of which they apparently sell 5000 a day.

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TenRyu’s dumplings were literally the size of my handDSC08473

 

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Directions
1. Place gyoza dumplings in a non-stick pan. Add 2 oz water (no oil needed)
2. Cover with lid and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
3. Remove lid and cook until bottom is golden brown.
4. Serve while hot

Apparently, the Ajinomoto folks have created a new gyoza product with “EZ-ice” where you don’t even have to add the water for added convenience. Great for camping, I think.

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Sapporo Ramen is one of my favorite places for Japanese ramen noodle soup here in Orlando. After having visited Tokyo and trying some of the most popular ramen shops there, I can comfortably say that Sapporo Ramen is among the most authentic ramen in town, and rivals some of what I tasted in Japan.

Sapporo is a city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, known for their cold weather, the home of the Sapporo Brewery, and the founding place of the miso ramen.

Miso ramen became popular around 1965, featuring a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily chicken or fish broth – and sometimes with tonkotsu or lard – to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup.

The Spicy Miso Ramen
The Spicy Miso Ramen

Miso ramen broth tends to have a robust, tangy flavor, so it stands up to a variety of flavorful toppings: spicy bean paste, butter and corn, leeks, onions, bean sprouts, ground pork, cabbage, sesame seeds, white pepper, and chopped garlic are common. The noodles are typically thick, curly, and slightly chewy.

Recently, Sapporo Ramen introduced a new spicy miso ramen along with a curry noodle ramen to their line up of ramen which includes tonkatsu, miso, and shoyu. I found it to be quite flavorful, with just enough spice to be not overwhelming, and great when paired with the sweet corn and salty bamboo shoots.

Another thing I like about Sapporo is their variety of Japanese street food items offered from the takoyaki octopus balls topped with quivering bonito flakes to the imagawayaki desserts, a pancake like bun filled with sweet bean paste.

Creamy Pork Tonkotsu Ramen
Creamy Pork Tonkotsu Ramen
The Kitsune Udon topped with fried tofu skin
The Kitsune Udon topped with fried tofu skin
Imagawayaki dessert
Imagawayaki dessert

Sapporo Ramen
5080 W Colonial Dr
Orlando, Florida
(407) 203-6777
Tue – Sun: 11:30 am – 8:00 pm
Check out their facebook page at Sapporo Ramen

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