Oishi Japanese Hibachi Restaurant

Originally posted on Blogger on May 20, 2011

I bought a coupon from EverSave awhile back for $40 worth of food at Oishi Japanese Hibachi Restaurant for $20 and kept forgetting to use it. So, when I realized I had both a free evening and a craving for sushi, a foodie friend and I went off to take advantage of my awesome deal. I had read very mixed reviews of Oishi on Yelp so went in with an open mind and fairly average expectations.

Oishi is located at the corner of International Drive and Central Florida Parkway in a shopping plaza. It looks unassuming from the outside, but the decor is very nice. The tables are made to look like natural wood, and while there is a lot going on, it is tastefully done. Since it was relatively late (almost 10pm, and they close at 11), we decided to sit at the sushi bar with hopes of seeing some exciting stuff being made right in front of us. Alas, the clear window was a bit too high to see anything going on behind the counter. A little disappointing, but no biggie; we could decide what we wanted from the menu instead of just picking and choosing as things that looked good went out to other tables.

We ordered four rolls (spicy tuna roll, sex on the moon roll, spider roll, and ninja roll) plus two pieces of octopus sushi. I’ll be honest, I tend to like to order rolls that sound a little different, so I was excited about both the sex on the moon and the ninja rolls because of their wild descriptions, but I was really most pleased with the simpler rolls.

The spicy tuna roll, while not particularly spicy, was delicious. Seriously delicious. I love anything with avocado, and the amount of avocado mixed with the tuna worked so well for me. The spider roll, filled with fried softshell crab, avocado, scallions, and a generous helping of masago (smelt roe) and then drizzled with eel sauce, was also very good and my second favorite roll that we sampled that night. I will say, speaking of the masago inside this roll, that that was something unique to Oishi that I have never experienced before at a sushi restaurant. Normally, rolls are, well, rolled in the masago, so that the tiny beads of goodness are sparsely sprinkled over the outside of the roll. At Oishi, however, the smelt roe is portioned inside the rolls so that you get a much larger taste of burst in your mouth yummy-ness.

Spicy Tuna and Spider Rolls

I’ll be honest, I really can’t remember what was in the ninja roll, and the description is not listed on Oishi’s website menu. It was good, but not great. The sex on the moon roll was an inside out roll with cream cheese, asparagus, scallions, avocado, shrimp tempura inside it and tuna and tempura flakes around the outside. The sex on the moon roll would be better off named the kitchen sink roll, frankly. Both of these specialty rolls were virtually covered in spicy mayo and eel sauces. Now, it may have just been that it was later in the evening and I wasn’t in the mood for a particularly heavy meal, but I had difficulty eating more than a couple of pieces of the ninja roll and only one piece of the sex on the moon roll. I think it may have been due to the heavy-handedness of the sauces and the overall extravagance of the rolls in general. I am a huge fan of both spicy mayo and eel sauce, so I never thought I’d meet a roll that had too much of either. I met two of them that night. I tried, and so did my friend, but we just could not make much of a dent in the sex on the moon roll. We did manage to finish the other three, though.

Oishi was good, but I would say, for one of the first times ever, that in this case simpler is better. There are so many good places for sushi in the Orlando area that I can’t say I would jump to go back here right away before trying others out, but by no means was it a bad experience, either.

Ninja Roll
Sex on the Moon Roll
The best we could do with the Sex on the Moon roll

Oishi on Urbanspoon

Find me on Twitter at @orlndofoodie!

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