It's a bit of a drive from downtown, but it's oh so worth it: Eating at chef Chau Trinh's Sushi Pop
restaurant in Oviedo is almost as fun as taking in the anime-themed decor. Now you can add drinking to that, as they've expanded their space to encompass a new cocktail lounge. Drinks were always well-built and sake choices well-curated, but now there's a place for them away from the dining table. Kanpai!
About those dining tables – our review
in 2011 said:
You'll find dishes flourished with blue cheese powder, marshmallow foam, jalapeño "noodles" and "eggs" made from coconut milk and mango puree. But novelty aside, it's the sushi that Chau elevates to high art. A simple, yet attractively rendered plate of sushi and sashimi offers an intoxicating choice of standards: buttery, market-fresh escolar, ruby-red tuna and vivid slices of salmon fanned over a mound of ice. Flounder is beautifully cut in the shape of flowers and set in a glass over ponzu-soaked daikon "stems"; imported soy sauce and wasabi make a world of difference.
From the list of rolls, the "Hot Mess" presents superlative rounds of smoked salmon and avocado sweetened with maple soy. They're topped with baked tuna, salmon, flounder and yellowtail flooded in spicy mayo, and the whole scrumptious mess is garnished with smelt roe, scallions and rendered bacon. The "Hot Rock" allows diners to sear wagyu beef
ishiyaki-style, or on a hot stone. In this relatively intimate dining room, the resulting smoke drew wide-eyed stares our way, but it just added to the amusement.
Even the shichimi-pepper-seared hamachi pop roused Hello Kitty-like giggles: Each exquisitely fashioned lollipop came dressed with a dollop of guac, shiso and toasted garlic slivers on a plate drizzled with kimchi vinaigrette.
From the restaurant regarding the expansion and tonight's party:
On Thursday May 14th 2015, Sushi Pop will have the grand opening of our new expansion, which includes a full bar. To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant will feature $5 specialty cocktails.
The bar selection and cocktails reflect Sushi Pop's commitment to have hand-crafted and artisanal spirits. The drink menu has an emphasis on Japanese whiskeys, flights and hand-chipped ice spheres, a treat for even the most distinguished Scotch enthusiasts. The principal keeper of the bar is Alex Tsintzas, trained at Luma and also by way of Employees Only in NYC. Alex has been with Sushi Pop since our infancy and will reflect that same culture of change through seasonal cocktails and the use of Japanese ingredients.
Come in and relax on the plush pink and green tufted booths, sip on a cocktail against the distressed black and white wall. If you are in for a show, sit at the wavy bar with metallic alligator skin and watch the bartender hand-chip a block of ice for your Nikka 21 year whiskey.
The bar space can seat an additional 60 guests with 13 seats at the bar. The bar has the same opening times as the restaurant: Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday 5pm-10pm and Friday-Saturday from 5pm-11pm. Closed Mondays. Complimentary valet parking is available for guests on Friday and Saturday.