Recently I had the delightful pleasure of tasting Chef Chau’s newest creations at his restaurant Sushi Pop Seafood and Chops. My family and I have been ardent admirers of Sushi Pop since our very first meal in 2012 (old review). So how could I pass up this incredible opportunity to experience and spread the word of Chef Chau’s delectable offerings ? Armed with an appetite and my camera, I headed eagerly headed to Oviedo.
For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity of indulging themselves at Sushi Pop, Owner/Chef Chau showcases his modern style of sushi, selecting only the best products and ingredients available from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. Otoro, Uni and Fresh Hamachi are delivered to the restaurant on a daily basis, straight from the ocean, and on to your plate. And if you are still a novice taster for Sushi, Chef de Cuisine Isaac Romero provides an adventurous Japanese menu featuring a wide array of dishes with classic flavors and modern style.
Without further adieu, I present to you Chef Chau’s sublime line-up, commencing with the cold starters, moving on to hot plates and ending with a sinful dessert.
So Fresh & So Clean: Hawaiian yellowtail, tuna, tempura asparagus, tobanjan aioli, asian relish, radishes. This is the way sushi is supposed to be. Simple, balanced, and subtle! The yellowtail and tuna screamed fresh to us.
Bacon Wrapped Scallop: kampyo, avocado, crab, tobanjan aioli, scallop, orange kosho, fluer de sel, chives, torched iberico lardo. I couldn’t taste the Bacon Wrapped Scallop (shellfish allergy), but I have been told on good authority (my husband) that it literally took his breath away…The Iberico lardo was the icing on the cake (Iberian pigs are fed on a diet of acorns) exceptionally sweet that simply melt in one’s mouth. Endearingly I call them mouth-gasams.
Since I couldn’t taste the scallop dish, Chef Chau concocted a surprise dish for me. Technically since it’s not on the menu, I shouldn’t be sharing this dish but I couldn’t refrain from demonstrating Chef Chau’s creativity. He made me a salad of crisp sweetbreads with a burnt orange vinaigrette. Chef Chau, can we PLEASE, pretty please, have this dish on the menu? The ultra light and crisp sweetbreads with its sweet-and-savory flavors accented by cheese and pickled vegetables was arguably one of the best sweetbreads I have had the good fortune of experiencing.
Boquerones Nigiri: Aioli, spicy garlic panko, fried capers. Spanish white anchovies so light and balanced with the acidity of the aioli and capers – it makes you reflect on the power of simplicity and balance – one dish that would surely convert the most pickiest of eaters too.
Octopus a la Plancha: charred white scallion and shishito chimichurri, nori puree, sweet potato. This dish was both visually appealing as well as delicious. Super-tender octopus, charred and smoky complimented with sweet and buttery potatoes – totally addictive!
Black and White: cobia, venere rice, black edamame, poached quail egg, yuzu vinaigrette, tempura seabeans. Perfectly seared cobia and all the delicate flavors blended harmoniously with the fish without weighing it down – a total party in my mouth.
Khao Soi: duck confit, spicy Burmese curry, squid ink gochugaru noodles, house pickled cabbage , coconut milk. Fall-off-the-bone tender duck sitting in a coconut-rich curry served with house-made squid ink noodles and house pickled cabbage to lighten things up. As one continues to dig, new flavors emerged – a touch of citrus from the house pickled cabbage, and finally the direct heat of spicy Burmese curry – this noodle soup (if I may call it that) was utterly decadent!
My ears are buzzing….trust me I know I just ate perhaps a week’s worth of food in one evening. I was ready to call in a stretcher to take me home when Mr. Sufian Zaman (Manager) with gleaming eyes served me dessert. Unlike most Sushi joints, Sushi Pop takes their sweet endings rather seriously. Hot Chocolate Soup: seasonal berries, chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow, Japanese black sugar ice cream, spiced chocolate drizzle. The Japanese black sugar ice cream was a first even for me and might I add quite hard to procure. Whether it was the vibrant kick from the spiced chocolate or the coolness of the ice cream and toasted marshmallows – it was the perfect finale to a mesmerizing evening filled with decadent delights.
Most of you are well-aware of my gargantuan soft-spot for Chef-owned restaurants. Having the courage and conviction to successfully operate your own signature eatery demonstrating their passion and commitment for food deserves much credit. And Chef Chau continues to dazzle Central Floridian’s taste buds with his exquisite array of dishes and culinary talents.
Impeccable presentation, delectable flavors created with high-quality ingredients, professional and attentive staff, eclectic wine and liquor menu – Calling all food connoisseurs – this one is worth the trek no matter which suburb of Orlando you reside in.