KABOOKI Sushi has long been louded as some of the very best sushi in the Central Florida area (there’s a location on East Colonial as well as Sand Lake RoadSand Lake Road). We recently decided to grab some dinner at the East Colonial KABOOKI on a Friday evening with a couple of friends. We’ll certainly get more into later but it has been determined, by the entire party, that this place is, in fact, the best sushi in Orlando. We’d originally kinda sorta found that hard to believe, given it’s “barely there,” you’ll-miss-it-if-you-blink location in a very tiny strip “mall” pretty much on the corner of Colonial Drive and Crystal Lake Drive, just across from the Fashion Square Mall. That is – until we actually popped in to check it out.
Recently completely renovated, the restaurant—at least in the evening—is quite sexy. During our visit we opted to dine at the bar, just at the front of the restaurant.
Let’s start out with the apps. We had to try some of those, of course.
First off, we had to go with some edamame, of course. There are actually a handful of “flavors” available to select from, and we’re interested in trying them ALL. On this visit, though, our group went for the truffle parmesan, and quite frankly it’s the best we’ve ever had. Who woulda thunk it!
Next up was the miso soup. Nothing groundbreaking here: tofu, shiitake, seaweed, negi. That said—and while it’s one of our dining companions who had the miso soup—we have it on strong authority it’s hands down the best on the planet. And this is from someone who’s actually had miso soup in the Far East. Wow!
And because we just couldn’t keep ourselves from it, apparently, we placed an order of the the rock shrimp. Garnished with tobanjanaioli, chive, yuzutartar, the shrimp was cooked and flavored to perfection.
And this was only just the appetizers! When it came to the main dishes, there were several on the extensive KABOOKI menu that caught our eye. Let’s take a look:
The hokkaido roll
The hokkaido roll is made up of lump crab, tempura flake, avocado, tobanjian aioli, topped scallops, black garlic, and orange chili sauce. So, so tasty! All of the flavors compounded into an explosion; the orange chili sauce, in particular, was the perfect pop.
The chill roll
The chill roll is probably a roll that’ll look most familiar to those found on the menus of other similar restaurants. It’s made up of salmon, yellowtail, masago, chives, tobanjian aioli, and avocado. The fish was so fresh.
The booki booki roll
The booki booki roll is tempura shrimp, mayo, avocado topped with spicy tuna, and bulbul arare. We particularly enjoyed the “rice wrap” versus some of the traditional wraps.
As a side we ordered the “one up,” found under the hot tastings section of the KABOOKI Sushi menu. This dish is comprised of butter roasted local mushrooms, potato truffle purée, cured yolk, and togarashi pinko. Holy mushrooms, if this isn’t one of the best dishes we’ve ever experienced. FULL STOP. Strong endorsement.
And we even saved room for dessert. Can you imagine?
Chocolate lava cake with dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream, chocolate ganache sauce.
In addition to all of the delicious food highlighted here and on the KABOOKI Sushi menu, they also have a very extensive drink menu featuring beer, wine, sake, and cocktails.
We’re super eager to return to check out several other items on the menu. Namely the brussel sprouts, the ramen special, the handmade ebi gyoza, the kasei don, and the ghost roll.
3122 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
7705 Turkey Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32819
Have you ever dined at either of KABOOKI’s locations?