Saturday, November 22, 2014

Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi - Oviedo, FL

Yuki Hana Fusion Sushi is located on Aloma at the Intersection of Tuskawilla very close to the 417.

They opened about 2 years ago.  Chef Eddie has over 15 years experience as a Sushi chef and trained with several Japanese Master Chefs at a fine Japanese restaurant in Long Island, New York.

Not just a traditional Sushi restaurant, Yuki Hana has all kinds of different dishes from various Asian locales. Some unique standouts from the menu are the Wagyu Beef,  Korean Seafood Pancake, Scallops with Uni cream risotto and the Oxtail tacos.

A special for the holidays, which is offered from now until the end of the year. They are serving a rare treat, whole fish. The whole fish dinner is offered Fri-Sun by reservation only. The fish is a steamed striped bass with ginger scallion shoyu sauce.  It is served with a soup course & family style sides, such as sautéed chinese broccoli, mapo tofu, dumplings and a dessert course. The whole fish dinner is available for 2-8 people.

They also have some good happy hour specials. Monday Night from 5:00 – 10:00 pm and Tuesday – Thursday from 5:00 – 6:30 pm they have 2 for 1 drinks on with a purchase from the happy hour food menu.

On a recent visit I tried a vast array of the menu items, see pics below:

Dining Room

Lemongrass Hot & Sour Seafood Soup $7
Shrimp, scallop, calamari, mussel and assorted vegetables

Ahi Poke $ 13
Ahi tuna seared with shichimi pepper and tossed with hot sesame oil, Sriracha, scallions, and masago. Served on crispy wonton chips and avocado

Kanpachi Crudo $15
Hawaii yellowtail, black garlic, basil oil, tobiko, cucumber, lava salt, lemon confit, and togarashi
The Kanpachi Crudo was very light and fresh tasting with a tangy sauce

Crown Royal Roll $ 16
Lobster tempura and avocado inside and topped with seared Angus marble beef, bacon jam, radish spouts and spicy mayo

Fire Cracker Roll $14
Assorted fish, krab, asparagus, and cream cheese rolled inside, crispy fried. On top is tempura scallops mixed with tobiko, chives, sweet chili sauce, and eel sauce, served with fire on the plate
Such a dramatic presentation, Fire on the plate!

Live UNI with raw quail egg, ikura.
Live Uni

This dish had a very elaborate presentation served in the sea urchin shell, it was a special, Live Uni flew in that day from Santa Barbara. Served with a raw quail egg and Ikura(Salmon eggs).

Fuji Mountain Roll $13
Shrimp, krab, mixed with tobiko, bacon, melted mozzarella cheese, tempura flakes on top, inside asparagus, avocado, drizzled with eel sauce, and spicy mayo
This was my favorite dish, lots of good flavors and a nice little crunch here and there

Vietnamese Sashimi Roll $13
Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and shichimi pepper rolled together with spring mix cucumber and caramelized shallots in clear rice paper. Served in hot sesame vinaigrette, mango sauce and crushed peanuts
One of the few sushi rolls made without rice, lots of peanuts, good sauces

Uni Sampler

Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream
Overall everything was very good, the atmosphere, service and food were all great. I'll be making regular stops here to eat and try all the unique menu items.

Menu pics:


Yuki Hana Japanese Fusion on Urbanspoon

Obliv-o-Brunch PJ Party Sunday, December 21 at 11:00am - 2:00pm

at 11:00am - 2:00pm

RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends

from their Facebook:
"We will be having a Pajama Party for our Holiday Themed Brunch! So roll out of bed and head on over for some holiday cheer and of course beer!

Drink Specials-
*Spiked Eggnog
*Warm Mulled Wine
*Warm Spiced Mead
*Founders Breakfast Stout
*Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch

*Eggnog (house made)
*Hot Cocoa w/ Marshmallows (house made)
*Coffee (holiday blend or regular)

here are some pics from past Oblivion Brunches

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Southern Meets Asian Fusion At SOCO

Set on a busy corner in Thornton Park, SOCO is an exciting new addition to the neighborhood.  Texas-born Executive Chef Greg Richie trained with Emeril Lagasse and Roy Yamaguchi, picking up some Asian fusion inspiration.  Soco brings together his Southern roots with the exotic influences that he mastered while working in Hawaii. I had the pleasure of tasting several cocktails and small bites at a recent media mixer.

The Slow-Roasted Barbecue-Glazed Pork Belly Biscuits with Jalapeño Jelly are delicious, though I find the pork belly too fatty.  The flaky, buttery biscuit is perfectly made, which bodes well for SOCO’s new Sunday Brunch offering.

One of Soco’s most famous dishes is Chicken and Dumplings, which is really more of a ravioli.  It combines Chicken Breast, Lobster Dumplings, Local Mushrooms and Edamame. The Soy Butter sauce is way better than it sounds, complex and creamy, bringing all of the flavors together in perfect harmony.

Oyster lovers will enjoy SOCO’s Cornmeal Crisped version, served with Pickled Green Tomato Relish on housemade Chicharrones, and topped with Herb Cream.

Craft Cocktails set the mood perfectly when dining on the expansive outdoor patio.  The Royal Palm is a very strong and flavorful drink, made with Palm Ridge Reserve, House Orange Marmalade, Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters, and Agave. My favorite drink was The Sparkler: Sparkling Wine, Bernheim Wheat Whiskey, Aperol, Lemon, Agave. So refreshing and delicious!

The House Made “Moon Pie” is WAY better than the original. A nice crunchy graham cracker crust is filled with dense, truffle-like chocolate, and topped with toasted marshmallow swirls. An RC Cola reduction provides exciting contrast.  

Everything I tasted at SOCO offered excellent flavor and exciting interpretations, there’s nothing basic about this place.  I look forward to trying more of their offerings very soon, especially the Sunday Brunch!

Soco Thornton Park on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chef Andy Bates having a pop up dinner at Redlight Redlight

A popup dinner will be hosted by Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour next Thursday, November 6th. Celebrity Food Network UK Chef Andy Bates is gonna be in town and will be preparing an English Dinner. I will be cooking with him as well. The Redlight Redlight brewers are crafting a traditional english style ale to pair with Andy's fare. Ticket are on sale now at Redlight Redlight.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

American Q Restaurant at B Resort And Spa in Lake Buena Vista

I spent a delightful Monday evening this week at a tasting for Orlando’s newest BBQ concept, American Q.  This unique restaurant combines the fun and excitement of a Brazilian-style carving and buffet experience with the traditional American flavors of barbecue.  It’s a relaxed, rustic setting with a restored 1951 red Ford truck as the centerpiece, holding the salad bar. Executive Chef Justin Leo created an inspired menu that gives guests a true tour of the best of BBQ.

I started with a Dragonfruit Smash cocktail. This unusual drink combines muddled dragon fruit, tequila, basil simple syrup, lemon and mint, with a big slice of dragonfruit as a garnish. The flavor was very sweet and tropical, but the lumpy texture from the dragonfruit seeds takes some getting used to.  Still, it’s a fun way to try this exotic fruit for the first time!

The bar snacks are truly worth the trip, especially the signature Swine Candy.  I’m not usually a fan of sweetness and bacon combined, but this snack is truly exceptional.  Smoked bacon is roasted with molasses & bold spices to a crunchy-chewy texture, and I liked pairing it with the yummy tater tots.  

I also loved the blue crab and rémoulade stuffed deviled eggs, a nice twist on this vintage favorite.
Visitors to Florida often want to sample alligator meat, and American Q’s alligator boudin is a nice way to cross that off the bucket list. Nicely smoked with rice, roasted tomatoes, peppers & okra, it’s like a Cajun jambalaya in a sausage.

I tried all three types of ribs, and my favorite was the Memphis Baby Backs, nice and meaty with a mild sauce, served with a refreshing apple and caraway coleslaw.

Then it was on to the Flatbed Buffet- an all-you-can-eat bargain at $34.95 for adults, $10 for kids. The servers did a great job explaining the regional sauces: Kansas City, Carolina, Texas Mustard, and a Florida-inspired Mango Heat.  They helped us pair them with the delicious smoked meats.

My favorites were the House Made Andouille Sausages, Smoked Pork Shoulder with Spiced Onions, and Picanha of Beef.  

But the star of the evening was the Brisket Of Beef with Texas Bark.  I’m a brisket connoisseur, having traveled all over Texas to experience different preparations. And I was shocked to discover that this was the most tender, most intensely smoky and juicy brisket I’ve ever tasted. I really enjoyed pairing it with the very nice loaded baked potato salad from the buffet. I’ll make the trip to American Q just to experience that brisket again.  

Oh and for the dessert too! Many restaurants just phone in their desserts, or serve some frozen and reheated standards. But American Q makes each one in-house, and each is incredibly delicious.  

The classic Berry Cobbler, served in a mini cast iron pot, is rustic perfection with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I also loved the Croissant Bread Pudding with warm apple compote and whipped cream. The piece de resistance was the decadent S’mores Pie.  This stuff is serious! The layered graham crackers, gooey chocolate cake, and toasted marshmallow topping makes it a chocoholics dream come true. 

I was wowed from beginning to end at American Q, and I highly recommend it for both locals and tourists alike! Located in the B Resort & Spa in the Downtown Disney area of Lake Buena Vista:
1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL

American Q on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Southern Moon Smokehouse now serving Brunch Saturdays & Sundays

Southern Moon BBQ is now serving brunch every weekend starting Saturday the 27th and will be every Saturday and Sunday from 10-4 ‪

They are located on Curry Ford near Crystal Lake next to Winn Dixie & Rogue Pub.

They have some really great creative dishes that are a great mixture of breakfast/brunch and BBQ. One of the best things about Southern Moon is they make almost everything in house even most of the bread.
Tropical Mimosa: lychee, mango, guyaba juices, sparkling wine
I'm not a Mimosa person but this was really good, alcohol was mild, juices were sweet

Pulled Pork Pancakes - Smoked pulled pork shoulder over fluffy corn griddle cakes served with whipped honey butter and whisky maple syrup.$10.99
This was my favorite dish, the pork didn't have a strong BBQ flavor so it didn't overpower the pancake, the corn cakes were very good, the cornmeal was obviously made in house, it had plenty of real chunks of corn.

Brioche French Toast - French toast topped with seasonal berry compote. $7.99
 The grits were nice and creamy, in the dishes below, they also had good flavor, grits are hard to do well and they know how to do them right here.

Q Grits - Creamy cheese grits topped with brisket. $6.50

Q Grits - Creamy cheese grits topped with pulled pork. $6.50

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Martini - House made coffee liqueur, Crop Organic Pumpkin Vodka, amaretto and house made ginger beer 

BBQ Benedict - House biscuit topped with smoked short rib, poached egg and Carolina gold hollandaise. $8.99

French toast, hash, grits

Hash Brown Casserole - Crispy hash browns smothered in cheese and creme fraiche topped with your choice of BBQ meat. $9.99

Smoke House Frittata - Filled with tomato, melted onion, and cheese baked fluffy to order. $5.99

Scotch Quail Egg - House sausage wrapped around quail egg, breaded and deep fried served with our Carolina gold hollandaise nestled in a bed of fresh greens. $5.99

Southern Moon Smokehouse Southern Brunch Menu