ORLANDO – There’s a martial arts studio across the street, and on some nights you can sit at your table and watch the students kick and throw one another across the mats.
Granted, that’s not the kind of entertainment that everyone looks for when dining out and ordering a plate filled with sushi. But it is an interesting diversion, no question about that.
Bikkuri Sushi is at 1915 E. Colonial Drive, right at the corner of Hampton Avenue, and this very fine restaurant in the Colonialtown South neighborhood is known in some quarters as the “sushi upstairs” place. In the shopping complex where it’s located, the restaurant has a unique L-shape that snakes around the sushi bar. When you first walk in and come up to the cash register next to the bar, there’s a short walkway leading down to the long isle of tables and booths, set to those windows overlooking fast-paced Colonial Drive. Along the wall are photos of the many meals they serve here.
This is not a large restaurant – it’s a fairly cozy one, to be honest. But it is one that attracts a healthy crowd on a Saturday night, and with good reason. The service is fast and friendly, the sushi is appetizing, and again, you can sit at your table and glance out at the traffic going by on Colonial Drive. Arrive early, because there are fewer than 20 tables in there and they fill up quickly.
You might also spot those martial arts students duking it out on a weeknight.
Bikkuri is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. From Sunday through Wednesday, the restaurant serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then dinner from 5-10 p.m. The restaurant stays open late on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, until midnight.
For those arriving for lunch, there are specials that include two sushi rolls and miso soup for $6.99, or one sushi roll and two Nigiri rolls with miso soup for $5.50. The sushi roll options include California, vege, spicy tuna, eel, and Philadelphia; the Nigiri roll selections include tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, white tuna and kani kama.
There are also lunchtime Bento specials, like the Bento A (spicy tuna roll, two Nigiri, salad and vege tempura, for $9.99) or the Bento B (four pieces of spicy tuna roll, two Nigiri, salad and teriyaki chicken for $10.99.)
In the evening, there are dinner specials for one or two people. The person dining alone, for example, could try the $19.99 dinner special – a great price considering all that you get, which includes a house salad, one dumpling (fried or steamed), a spicy tuna roll, four assorted pieces of Nigiri, one glass of house wine, and a scoop of either ginger or green tea ice cream. That’s a great deal, although if you raise the price to $25.99, you get a dumpling, one adamanio, a spicy tuna roll, six assorted sashimi, and a glass of sake or wine.
The meals for two range in price from $30 to $36.99 and $44.99.
Then there’s the dizzying array of sushi roll options on the menu – BBQ eel, Black Dragon, Crispy California, Fried California, Spicy Scallop, Double Shrimp and Mexican, among the wide variety of options here.
My favorite is the house special, the Bikkuri Roll, which gives you four pieces for $6.99, and the plate comes with a fried roll of salmon, avocado, cream cheese and caviar – so, so good.
Bikkuri is also a popular place to stop at for your regular Happy Hour fix. In fact, the Bikkuri Lounge had its Grand Open Special on Sept. 1, and since then has been offering free shots until midnight, free Karaoke, and Happy Hour every day from 5-7 p.m. Buy one drink, get one free. Where else should you go to enjoy a cocktail like a Fuzzy Naval, Tequilia Sunrise, Blue Star, Pink Angel, or Melon Twist … than Bikkuri’s lounge?
“Bikkuri Sushi offers wonderfully fresh world class sushi, an extensive menu, and a friendly setting,” the web site notes. “Famous for their use of surprisingly super fresh ingredients and the best value you can find in Orlando, Bikkuri provides friendly, attentive service and has the highest quality sushi anywhere.”
In this case, they’re not exaggerating.
Plus, I love stopping by this very fine “sushi upstairs” restaurant at night, getting a table by the window, and watching life on busy Colonial Drive speed by me while I happily shift into slow gear, relax and enjoy my drink and my meal, no longer moving at the frantic pace of those outside motorists.
And the martial arts studio is fun to watch, too.
To learn more, call 407-894-4494.
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