It may not look like much on the outside, but Kiko’s Japanese Cuisine serves up some very decent sushi and Japanese style cuisine, especially for those who are new to sushi or enjoy vegetarian dishes. Chef Jim is head of the sushi station while his wife, Kiko, takes care of the kitchen items, including but not limited to the deliciously fried tempura items.
Chef Jim, a soft spoken man with a gentle heart, was trained in San Francisco and actually had a restaurant in Melbourne many years before moving to this corner of University and Semoran in Winter Park, just on the outskirts of Full Sail University.
The decor here is rather minimalistic, but quaint. The restaurant is staffed by the pleasant young daughter of the family along with other college-aged waiters and waitresses.
Also of note, Chef Jim and his wife Kiko are vegetarians – maybe the first and only Japanese restaurant that I’ve been to in Orlando with vegetarian chefs. There is an extensive vegetarian/vegan menu here with over 50 items all made with fruits, veggies, and “faux” meat.
“Veggie” meat isn’t too popular in American cuisine yet, but in Asia, where Buddhist practictioners have favored vegetarian meals for centuries, it’s almost perfected to an art form. Almost all the savory meaty tastes without the guilty bad karma feels.
Salt and Pepper “Pork” – made with veggie burdock meat, green peppers, and onions
Overall, this is a nice standard neighborhood sushi place with a pleasantly good selection of vegetarian options – great for catering to vegetarian friends. I definitely enjoyed this humble sushi shop, especially its fried tempura options.