Oviedo

Pictured: Chicken gyro bowl

We were invited to a media preview today at The Simple Greek – Oviedo as seen on CNBC’s “The Profit” – one of my favorite show that comes on after my favorite show, Shark Tank.  The food was so good and fresh and the restaurant was very clean.  They will be running a Grand Opening special tomorrow 3/9 of $1 GYROS ($7.95 value) from 11am-3pm, limit one.

The Simple Greek redefines the traditional Greek restaurants with an interactive concept that combines fresh, high-quality ingredients and Greek atmosphere in a fast casual setting. The concept utilizes a build-your-own assembly line style set up in an open kitchen to show off all of the fresh food being prepared.  The menu features a variety of dishes such as build your own bowls, salads, pitas and Greek yogurt with a variety of proteins, toppings and sides to choose from at an affordable price.

The Oviedo location is owned by Jonathan Tonn.   Jonathon opened his own franchise after witnessing its success on “The Profit” and he is in partnership with DeSisto Restaurant Group.  DeSisto Restaurant Group also owns The Simple Greek locations in Tampa, FL & East Providence, RI.

Build-Your-Own Gyro Bowl

Top to Bottom:
Gyro Bowl
Greek Fries
Chicken Gyro Whole Wheat Wrap

House-Made Sauces: Hummus, Spicy Hummus, Tzatziki (middle)

Dolmades – rice & herbs rolled in grape leaves

Avgolemono Soup – traditional rice soup

Lentil soup (vegetarian) – lentils & vegetables in a vegetable broth

Baklava – crispy golden filo dough, walnuts, honey.  I highly recommend this dessert!

(Source credit: The Simple Greek)

Be sure to check out The Simple Greek – Oviedo soon to discover your inner Greek!

The Simple Greek
945 City Plaza Way, Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 542-0106
thesimplegreek.com

Ping’s Dessert – Japanese cotton cheese infused with matcha, matcha macaroon, durian ice cream, dark cherry soup.

Every season Yuki Hana hosts an Omakase dinner which means “leave everything up to the chef”.  I always look forward to Yuki Hana’s Omakase dinners because I know a lot of time, preparation, and research goes into each Omakase dinner to draft up and provide an adventurous menu for their guests.  This Omakase dinner was extra special because they were also celebrating their Five Year Anniversary.  If you haven’t been to an Omakase dinner experience at Yuki Hana, you are truly missing out on a local mind-blowing culinary adventure.  No experience is the same and you will never forget how spectacular it is.

Sakitini with pomegranate, arugula syrup, citrus, fish sauce, spicy shiitake sugar rim and dehydrated lemon slice.


Chef Steven’s Amuse – Sweet potato puff, cured cobia sashimi, edamame crème fraiche, pickled shallot.  The edamame crème fraiche filling inside the puff was ridiculous, I loved it.  The cured cobia sashimi was the perfect fish for this delicious appetizer.


Chef Steven’s 1st Course – Hokkaido scallop, sweet shrimp with heads crispy fried, tossed in uni mayo, anchovy powder, seasoned anchovy, ume gel, and shiso. Perfect balance of soft & crispy.  Delicious!

Chef Steven’s 2nd Course – Madai, charred negi soy gel, jalapeño foam, citrus marinated cucumber, and crispy salmon skin.  Those crispy salmon skins were AMAZING.  I loved this refreshing dish.

Chef Steven’s 3rd Course – Crispy hand roll cone with unagi, bacon jam.  Second picture is chu-toro tartare, ikura, furikake.  Who doesn’t enjoy eating a hand roll?  No chopsticks needed!

Chef Albert’s 4th Course – Congee with lobster, clams, shrimp, uni and squid ink rice chips.  This was my favorite!  I wanted to lick the plate after I was finished eating but didn’t want to get any weird looks.  I wish the squid ink rice chips with uni was an appetizer on their regular menu.  I’m obsessed with them!  My biggest weakness is chips.

Chef Albert’s 5th Course – Poussin served with winter green, sesame dressing, pickled cucumber, whipped tofu, charred orange.  This was the best grilled chicken that I have ever eating in my life.  The seasoning was perfection.

Chef Albert’s 6th Course – Bison skirt steak, shaved truffle, asparagus, Shimeji mushrooms, beet, black pepper sauce.  Divine!

Ping’s Dessert – Japanese cotton cheese infused with matcha, matcha macaroon, durian ice cream, dark cherry soup.  So much heart and passion went into this dessert.  It was heavenly.  I love homemade cakes, ice cream and macarons!

The kind and hardworking owner of Yuki Hana, Ping Jiang, and her team of dedicated an talented chefs.

This was my third Omakase experience at Yuki Hana and the skills, quality, creativity, and taste just keep getting better.  I am looking forward to their next Omakase dinner.  I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to attend these dinners on behalf of Tasty Chomps.  I hope to see you all at the next one!  Please follow Yuki Hana on IG at @yuki_hana_sushi for their latest updates and upcoming events.

 

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.

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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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

Photo Dec 11, 5 57 26 PM

Photo Dec 11, 6 22 58 PM

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

Photo Dec 11, 6 35 33 PM (1)

Geoduck Two ways

Photo Dec 11, 7 18 37 PM

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

Photo Dec 11, 7 07 02 PM

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

Photo Dec 11, 6 59 33 PM

Nigiri sampling – fresh sushi topped with lovely accoutrements

Photo Dec 11, 6 59 04 PM

Photo Dec 11, 6 16 16 PM

Photo Dec 11, 6 15 52 PM

Photo Dec 11, 6 15 34 PM

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

If you haven’t been to Oviedo in a while, particularly to visit Sushi Pop, I suggest to you – Don’t mind the Oviedo chickens, just hurry on over and make some dinner plans as soon as possible.

A few new items recently debuted on the dinner menu at Sushi Pop, many of which will probably leave you utterly stunned and inspired, like I recently did during a visit, with the truly creative and delightful tastings that Chef Chau and his team has conducted.

Chef Chau explained, “We try to stay true to the season. But most the time we are inspired by the things we’ve eaten, experienced or are experimenting on. It comes in all forms, sometimes it starts with an idea and then we just keep going down that rabbit hole.”

Chef Chau - focused, determined, creative and avant garde in his cuisine
Chef Chau – focused, determined, creative and avant garde in his cuisine

Chef Chau also recently returned from a staging at Eric Ripert’s three-Michelin starred Le Bernadin in Manhattan.

“Chefs really don’t have a continuing education program. What we have to supplement this is called a “stage” or an externship. And that’s what I did at Le Bernardin. For a few days I got to hang out with some really talented chefs and do something completely out of my comfort level, it was very exciting! I try to do a stage once a year to get inspired. Next one will be at Benu, Corey Lee’s 2 Michelin star restaurant in San Francisco.”

“I had lunch at Le Bernardin one time and I got the chef’s tasting which was $150. The entire time they kept pushing a wine tasting on me but I told them I was working the dinner shift so I couldn’t. Finally they convinced me to have some champagne. At the end of the meal the check came out and there was no bill. I called the captain over and asked what happened. He said everything was taken care. I said “wow I really should pay”. He said no, you are now part of the Le Bernardin family…so classy.”

One thing that Chef Chau brought back to Sushi Pop was a newfound appreciation and love for using the confit method to cooking, as evidenced by the new khao soi noodle dish, featuring a whole leg of duck confit.

Sushi Pop's Duck Confit Khao Soi curry noodles
Sushi Pop’s Duck Confit Khao Soi curry noodles – $17

Savory and sweet with textures of crunchy and soft – with a deft and masterful touch from Chef Chau at Sushi Pop, it’s transformed from Rangon street food to a blissful art. The noodles are made in house, infused with black squid ink and Korean gochujaru peppers, so there is a slight touch of spice to the thick noodles. The base of the dish is the curry, a combination of Thai curry, galangal, lemongrass, and chicken stock.

The star is the leg of duck confit – perfectly executed with delicately crispy skin and meat that has fall-off-the-bone tenderness, the duck combined with the black noodles and the curry sauce together is pure nirvana.

Hawaiian Yellowtail
Hawaiian Yellowtail crudo – $14

Hawaiian yellowtail with shiso pepper, Thai basil, pickled radish, avocado slivers, preserved lemon soy  – the konpachi is younger, milder not as strong but crisp.

Sushi Pop's Scallop Nigiri
Sushi Pop’s Hokkaido Scallop Nigiri with seared Iberico Lardo – $7

Hokkaido scallop nigiri with blow torch-seared Iberico Lardo – Sushi Pop’s take on bacon wrapped scallops with flavors of orange kosho, a rift on yuzu kosho, using orange zest instead of yuzu, fleur de sel, toasted sesame, chives. Truly marvelous flavor profiles throughout, such great tastes and dynamic flavors in such a small compact bite.

Sushi Pop's So Fresh So Clean roll
Sushi Pop’s So Fresh So Clean roll  – $14

So Fresh & So Clean (Hawaiian yellowtail, tuna, tempura asparagus, tobanjan aioli, Asian relish, radishes)

Sushi Pop's Seared Tuna, Black Garlic Rice Nigiri
Sushi Pop’s Seared Tuna, Black Garlic Rice Nigiri

The chef sent out a lovely tasting, not currently available on the menu – a seared tuna nigiri, marinated in ponzu with panko, shiso on black garlic sushi rice, made by mashing black garlic and a little squid ink with the sushi rice. The black garlic, a well guarded secret in the industry, is made by here by cooking and drying for months so that it is sweet and has a slightly less garlicky finish, and of course the black color.

Sushi Pop's Boquerones - a play on caeser salad
Sushi Pop’s Boquerones – a play on caeser salad – $6

Spanish boquerones, the “Mercedes Benz” of anchovies, is served nigiri style with rice in a way that mimics the flavors of a caeser salad in sushi form. Fried capers in olive oil, panko, vinegar, marinated anchovies, and a touch of caeser dressing style aioli.

Sushi Pop's Octopus a la plancha
Sushi Pop’s Octopus a la plancha – $13

Octopus a la Plancha is a product of one of Chef Chau’s forays into modernist cuisine or molecular gastronomy. The octopus is cooked sous vide for hours to get its soft, almost gelatinous-like texture and then pan seared with roasted shishito peppers, white scallions, relish chimichurri sauce, and light puffs of sweet potato espuma.

Chau Chau of Sushi Pop

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TastyChomps: Where did you grow up and how did you gain your experiences as a chef?

Chef Chau:

I immigrated over to the US from Vietnam when I was 18 months old. We eventually made our way to Ft Myers, Florida and that’s where I grew up. My aunt opened the first Chinese restaurant in which all our family worked at. That was my first taste of the restaurant industry. Eventually I started working for my parents’ restaurants. I learned a lot through the chefs they had.

Eventually in high school I started making sushi to make some extra money, and it has stuck ever since. I have no formal training.

My first “a ha” moment was eating at Nobu around early 2000 in NYC. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is the pioneer of modern sushi – well, him and my favorite Chef Morimoto.

I got to see sushi in a whole new light. I would say that was the first time my food really started changing.

In 2002, I opened up Shari Sushi Lounge – And I got an opportunity to visit Tokyo where I got to see where the cuisine I do was born.

It was life changing, from seeing the Masamoto knife shop (where I get my favorite knives), to hanging out with an eccentric chef Suzuki San at Maguro Ya and of course touring and seeing a tuna auction in Tsukiji market.

And of course, experiences through staging and working with talented people only makes you better.

What do you do for fun outside of the kitchen? inside the kitchen?

I try to stay active whether that comes in the form of biking or running. I love the water, so come summer I’ll be 3 shades darker from surfing and fishing.

In the kitchen, we are always playing practical jokes with each other. One time, my sous chef cryo-vac’d my running shoes, froze them in a cambro with water. He brought it out to me one day and said we were “running” a special with this, lol I had no idea what meat or animal it was until I started de thawing it.

It was great, I won’t tell you what I did but I got him back pretty good.

Sushi Pop Oviedo - playful interior, lovely lighting and decor
Sushi Pop Oviedo – playful interior, lovely lighting and decor

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Sushi Pop is set up out in far-flung Oviedo – a place probably known more for their live chickens than for sushi – but the location belies the kitchen’s truly creative and carefully crafted takes on Japanese cuisine.

Helmed by Chef/owner Chau Trinh, Sushi Pop brings a steadfast dedication to freshness and quality of their seafood, all set in a wonderful, modern setting. Chef Chau left his role at Shari Sushi Lounge in downtown Orlando for the more quieter, closer to home locales of Oviedo.

Chef Chau Trinh of Sushi Pop
Chef Chau Trinh of Sushi Pop

Glowing pink squid-like lamps light the room, an intimate place accented by neon pinks and plush white leather seated booths. Anime films like the Hayao Miyazaki classics Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro play on the large flatscreen TVs along the walls. The neon lights all remind one of the busy street lights of Tokyo rather than the outer reaches of Orlando.

Interior of Sushi Pop
Interior of Sushi Pop

A large open kitchen area overlooks the room where diners can watch as chef Chau and his team (which sometimes includes his mom Mrs. Trinh) prepare their dishes. The waitresses here take their cues from the streets of Tokyo’s Harajuku district, popular for their counter-culture youth and costume plays.

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Kurabuta Pork Belly on Fried Rice
Kurabuta Pork Belly on Fried Rice

For an appetizer, start off with an order of the hamachi pop, shichimi pepper seared hamachi fish grilled and topped with guacamole, purple and green shiso, toasted garlic, and served with fried rice, kimchi vinaigrette, and spicy honey mayo, all bursting with umami flavors.

Kurobuta tacos
Kurobuta tacos

For those wishing to sample something besides the sushi, the hot kitchen items provides an adventurous menu as well. The Kurobuta tacos are savory, made with rich, braised Berkshire pork belly, and topped with dollops of hoisin sauce, green scallions, micro cilantros, and slices of avocado.

Sushi Pop's hot mess roll
Sushi Pop’s hot mess roll

The sushi rolls here are also stars – the hot mess roll was a favorite, a roll made with smoked salmon, avocado and tempura flakes and honey kabayaki, then topped with a symphony of baked tuna, salmon, yellowtail, flounder, spicy mayo, smelt roe, chives and rendered bacon.

Sushi Pop's ceviche roll
Sushi Pop’s ceviche roll

The luscious ceviche roll is constructed with hamachi fish with avocado, tempura shallots and chipotle lime sauce topped with seasonal whitefish, sriracha hot sauce, micro cilantro greens, Hawaiian pink salt and a wedge of lime.

If you are not sure what to get, call ahead a few days in advance put your trust in the chef and pre-order the Chef’s Omakase, a multicourse tasting menu created personally by chef Chau, sure to delight the tastebuds.

Sushi Pop's signature dessert - The PMS
Sushi Pop’s signature dessert – The PMS

For dessert, order some of their popular PMS, a deconstructed, molecular gastronomy type of dish made with powdered peanut butter, molten chocolate, and salted caramel ice cream. Overall, a very fun, bold take on the traditional Japanese cuisine.

Sushi Pop
310 West Mitchell Hammock Road,
Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 542-5975
http://sushipoprestaurant.com

Sushi Pop on Urbanspoon

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