Located about twenty minutes away from the heart of Orlando, Sushi Pop is a Japanese restaurant that is known for their adventurous flavor combinations, as well as for their anime-themed décor. Unlike the majority of Japanese restaurants located in and around the city, Sushi Pop’s focus is on molecular gastronomy, elevating what would have been a simple meal of seafood and chops into an unforgettable culinary experience.
Just a quick glance at Sushi Pop’s menu will leave you feeling fairly intoxicated by all of the delicious offerings available. It is always worth sampling as many dishes as you can, since each one has been created using thoughtful imagination. The Sushi and Sashimi platter features vibrant slices of salmon, ruby-red tuna, and flounder that has been cut into floral shapes, served over daikon that has been soaked in ponzu. The Roll Out portion of the menu boasts over twenty different types of rolls, with the Hot Mess and the So Fresh & So Clean being particularly popular ones. Sushi Pop is also known for their unique take on edamame, and while there may be four different types to choose from off the menu, the Sautéed Shichimi Pepper and Garlic Edamame cannot be beaten. Of course, if you really want to sample the best of the chef’s creations, then the Chef’s Omakase is what you should order. This is a multi-course tasting menu designed by the head chef himself, who serves up dishes based on your personal preferences and tastes.
Sushi Pop underwent a refurbishment in 2014, and now boasts a full bar and cocktail lounge that serve up handcrafted cocktails and artisanal spirits. There is a heavy emphasis placed on Japanese whiskeys and sake, many of which are served in hand-chipped ice spheres, adding a whole new dimension to the drinks. The well-curated spirits are mixed into innovative and exotic seasonal cocktails, utilizing traditional Japanese ingredients wherever possible, making their beverage list just as appealing as their food menu. Even their Sangria has a refreshing yet spicy finish that gives it a Japanese twist and helps it to stand apart from the original traditional Spanish drink.
Every single aspect of the Sushi Pop restaurant has been meticulously and thoughtfully designed, from the lollipop containers filled with soy sauce to the comfortable pink and green tufted booths to the colorful manga splashed all over the walls. The flat screens dotted around the restaurant play anime throughout the day, but in a way that does not distract from the food in front of you and simply adds to the fun ambiance, while the backlit bonsai plants let off an aura of traditional Japanese elegance.
Sushi Pop’s whimsical charm will not fail to captivate the hearts of even the most traditional sushi enthusiasts. The playful energy and fun atmosphere may make the restaurant seem hip and trendy at first, which can often put the serious sushi connoisseurs off, but Sushi Pop is most definitely a restaurant that takes its food extremely seriously and is definitely a must-visit eatery for those that are in Orlando.