There has never been a more true cliché than “hole in the wall” when referencing Kiko Japanese Cuisine in Winter Park. And might as well throw in “don’t judge a book by its cover” while we’re at it. Give this place two gold stars for it’s double cliché status! 💫💫 We recently stopped in on a Friday night for an enthusiastic dinner with a few friends.
Let’s start off by again stating this place isn’t much from the outside. Situated in a somewhat run-down shopping strip across the street from Full Sail University on the corner of Semoran Boulevard and University Drive, if you’ve passed the bikini car wash (you heard that right!) you’ve gone too far.
Once all parked and headed inside visitors will find a fairly dark, tiny dining space. It’s really quite alluring, actually, and a very stark contrast from the just encountered exterior. The interior almost has a sheik, clubby vibe which is no doubt in large part to the music playing overhead.
Toward the back of the restaurant is a sushi bar where we could see two chefs preparing all of the sushi dishes patrons were ordering. It’s a tiny space but they seemed to be pumping out oodles an oodles of sushi orders.
Now let’s move on to the good stuff. And be forewarned this culinary outing involved lots and lots and lots of food (but much sharing was had among the group). Of course we wanted to begin our journey with a few appetizer selections. That entailed fried calamari (tempura squid with special sauce), edamame (steamed soy bean with salt), and gyoza (Japanese pan-fried pork dumpling). Can’t really go wrong with selections like these, eh?
Post-appetizer bliss, our table moved on to the main selections: An extravaganza of sushi like the Reef Roll, the Fire Cracker Roll, a Sexy Lobster Roll, and the Naruto Roll. Check them out:
This delicious roll is packed full of flavor. Shrimp tempura & mango inside topped with spicy shrimp & avocado, crunch, scallion, masago, eel sauce & spicy mayo. Definitely did not disappoint.
Sexy Lobster Roll
This roll consists of tempura lobster tail, spicy shrimp, mango, avocado, with soy bean paper & spicy salmon & chef’s special sauce. Mmmm – sexy both inside and out.
Fire Cracker Roll
This roll combines tuna, avocado & krabmeat inside, eel sauce, spicy mayo, and Srirachi. And then it’s deep fried. Oh yeah!
Choice of one (tuna, salmon, yellowtail or crabmeat) with avocado tobiko, wrapped in cucumber with ponzu sauce. Our dining mate opted for the tuna. What a colorful dish!
Full? Sure. But betcha thought we were done, huh? WRONG. We couldn’t pass up trying a couple of the dessert items screaming at us from the menu.
Lightly battered fried banana with ice cream.
Lightly battered fried cheesecake.
Needless to say those two items were the perfect way to close out this delicious dining adventure.
So what do you think? Stomach growling yet? Hard to believe all of this goodness is waiting behind what some would say is a less-than-appealing shopping mall facade. Wrong-o!
This place is most definitely worth a few more visits. In addition to all of the things we’ve already mentioned there are several things on the menu we’re interested in checking out: Bento Boxes, Tempura & Katsu dishes, Sauteed Noodles, and Hibachi meals. And there’s still even so much more aside from these!
Kiko Japanese Cuisine
110 S. Semoran Blvd.
Winter Park, FL . 32792
Have you ever been to Kiko Japanese Cuisine? We’d love to hear about your own experience (hopefully it’s just as good as ours).