Kaetsu Japanese Restaurant



**** (4 stars)

I admit to being a bit underwhelmed by Kaetsu, but perhaps that’s just because the space is so beautiful that it sets high expectations. We had the multi-course menu, and everything was fine, but there were no standout dishes. It includes the Japanese standards such as miso soup, tempura, and sashimi. All were fine, but no better than I’d expect from most mid-level Japanese restaurants. Considering the pricing I was expecting a bit more sophistication. Still, if you’re staying in the hotel it’s convenient. I wouldn’t make a special trip just to dine here, though.

Kaetsu Japanese Restaurant
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road
+852 2584 7088


Sashimi Bento

Alakan Roll, Poki Roll, Ikura

Roti with red curry



**** (4 stars)

This is a very upscale restaurant for a strip mall type location. Great decor, and an extensive pan-Asian menu including Sushi, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and even Indian cuisines.

We started with an order of Roti with curry sauce, because what other sushi restaurant has that?! It was excellent, with perfectly fresh roti. The sauce was so good I saved it to put on my rice.

I had the lunch sashimi bento box, which included seven nice pieces of fish, seaweed salad and lettuce salad, rice, and a very large bowl of miso soup. The miso was a bit sweeter than normal, but everything else was great.

We also had two rolls and some ikura sashimi. All were good.

Pricing might be a bit high for the area, but I thought it was worth it. Service was exceptional. I’ve never had a soft drink refilled so many times!

4300 S Hwy 27
Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 243-8988


Dragon Roll

Flamingo Roll

Reptile roll




**** (4 stars)

Although this place is literally out in the center of the mall I walked past it twice looking for an overhead sign on a storefront! The signage is quite small, in contrast to the sprawling conveyor belt system that transports the sushi.

Like all “revolving” sushi places, the offerings are on plates color-coded for price, from $3-6. When you’re finished eating they simply tally up the plates to calculate your check.

I liked the sushi here much more than I was expecting. The ingredients were fresh and the offerings were quite varied. My favorite item was the flamingo roll.

Each serving is essentially half a roll, so the pricing is typical to slightly high. On the other hand, because it is half a roll you can try twice and many things, which is great, especially if you and your companion disagree on ingredients.

8001 S Orange Blossom Trl
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 850-9091

Sushi Kichi

Spicy salmon and Philly Lynch rolls

Sashimi lunch plate


**** (4 stars)

This is a pleasant strip mall sushi restaurant that offers a good price for a variety of combo lunches. The sushi or sashimi samplers are good choices, or you can select two rolls. All come with soup and salad, and there are three choices of dressing.

The kitchen also offers hot lunch combos. All run from $10 to $12.

The dinner menu offers more selections.

The fish was fresh, and service was attentive.

Sushi Kichi
5368 Central Florida Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 778-1953

Kome Japanese Chinese and Sushi Bar

Soup and salad

Salmon teriyaki box



*** (3 stars)

This area of Metrowest needs a Chinese restaurant, so I was surprised when the one that previously occupied this space went out of business. This one has potential, but so far is not as good.

We tried it for lunch, and the service was friendly, and the kitchen was very fast. The lunch boxes are a good deal because most include soup, salad and a bento box with sushi, rice, three large wonton triangles stuffed with cream cheese and deep fried, and your entree.

The salad with ginger dressing was the best item. Salmon teriyaki was a bit fishy, as was the California roll. Overall the meal had that heavy oily sense you sometimes get from Chinese food.

There are five tables, but most of the business is probably “to go” or perhaps delivery. The price was reasonable for the large amount of food.

Kome Japanese Chinese and Sushi Bar
2407 S Hiawassee Rd
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 299-8687

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ



Menu ala carte



**** (4 stars)

This restaurant serves Japanese barbecue (essentially the same as Korean barbecue), and lots of it. You cook the meats and vegetables yourself on the grill in the center of the table.

The combo meals are the best deal, because they let you try almost everything on the menu, and the bundled price is quite reasonable, especially considering how much food you get.

We had the Gyu-Kaku, which included miso soup, salad, rice cake appetizer topped with spicy tuna tartare, a big bowl of bibimbap, and for the grill: veggies, three types of meat, shrimp and chicken and a “smores” dessert. That’s a lot of food!

The miso soup had lots of green onions in it, which I like. The salad was an attractive mix of greens with a ginger/1000 island type dressing. The rice cake with tuna tartare on it, called a volcano was the only thing I thought was mediocre. I had a similar version at the Gyu-Kaku in Chicago and thought the same thing.

Perhaps my favorite was the bibimbap. served in a hot stone bowl. I love this type of bibimbap preparation, and usually order it at Korean restaurants rather than the barbecue, so it was nice to have it included.

There were also vegetables for grilling, and a tin of corn kernels.

Of course, the focus in the grilling, and there were nice sized portions of all the meats. Our favorite was the kalbi, although some of the other beef cuts were more tender.

The smores dessert, too consisted of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate.

Everyone arrived at once, filling up the restaurant, so it took a long time to order, but then the food was well-paced, and our server was excellent.

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
7858 Turkey Lake Rd
Ste 100
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 613-5056

Bamboo Asian Cuisine

Pork lo mein with fried rice and egg roll



**** (4 stars)

This isn’t a fusion restaurant (which would blend cuisines in one dish) but they do offer Chinese and some other Asian cuisines, particularly sushi.

I liked the three items I had at lunch: a particularly savory pork lo mein, a very interesting flavored egg roll and fluffy fried rice. Service was fast, perhaps due to the fact I was alone.

The place is bright and clean.

Bamboo Asian Cuisine
1567 E Silver Star Rd
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 291-0100


Dynamite roll




Tuna poke

**** (4 stars)

This stylish restaurant in the Four Season serves a moderate selection of sushi, plus an assortment of hot dishes. The hamachi ponzu was fine, but not as good as other versions I’ve had where the sauce is less vinegary. The dynamite roll was a nice combination of crunchy and chewy textures and sweet and spicy flavors.

The best item we had was actually a garlic chicken noodle side dish that was plenty for two people to share as an entree.

There is small but well-chosen selection of wines, and an extensive selection of sakes, listed by type. If you are into whiskey, try the Coffey still blend.

Service was outstanding.

Four Seasons Hotel
2 Dole Dr
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(818) 575-3000

Friends Sushi

**** (4 stars)

This stylish sushi restaurant offers some very inventive rolls and attentive service.

We started with the salmon carpaccio: thin slices of salmon served over greens in a soy dressing. It was very good, although I thought the dressing could have used a touch more rice wine vinegar for sweetness.

Then we shared three rolls. Each was unique, and they went together well.

“Sweet & Spicy” combined eel, cucumber, and salmon, but the piquant kick of the dollop of red sauce was what made it interesting.

In the “Jimmai” the hamachi, cilantro and seabass were really complemented by the smokiness of the grilled asparagus.

Our favorite roll was the very unusual “Ticky Tacky” where the predominant flavors came not from the king crab or tender thin octopus topping, but rather the mint leaf and wasabi mayo. That one packed quite a delicious kick.

There are many additional specialty rolls on the menu that we’ll need to check out next time.

Friends Sushi
710 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-8998

Yoshi Sushi Bar

*** (3 stars)

This is a perfectly fine neighborhood sushi bar. Fish quality is good, and the preparations are professional.

All of the fish selections for the sashimi lunch were fresh tasting and it was a nice assortment. There is a large assortment of rolls available as choices on the sushi lunch.

The Tuna Kobachi was a fairly small serving, and the very thinly sliced avocado was a bit hard to deal with, but the flavors were good.

Service was very friendly and welcoming.

Yoshi Sushi Bar
11127 W. Colonial Dr
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 347-0521