Do you have to drive all the way into Windermere, pick up your family and then come back out to Orlando for great sushi? Stop! No more. One of Amura’s long time sushi chefs took over ownership of Aoba Japanese Restaurant on Maguire Rd. next to Publix.
He dazzled at Amura Sand Lake sushi bar for a long time, honing his skills while reaching for excellence and entrepreneurship. After a brief stint at owning a smaller sushi restaurant by the airport, he jumped at the opportunity to bring his attention to detail and freshness close to Downtown Windermere.
Aoba occupies a common strip mall anchored by Publix Supermarket in Plantation Grove Shopping Center. It is a few miles south on Maguire Rd from Colonial Dr. There are two other Chinese takeout restaurants and the newly opened Red Eye Bar and Grill. in the plaza. Don’t let the exterior and seemingly modest storefront fool you. Take a step in.
The open entry gives way to a line of semi private booths to the left and a long sushi bar on the right. There are two larger tables flanking the entrance. The high ceilings with hanging signs create an abundance of space. Farther back to the right is the restrooms, a left turn puts you in the kitchen. Unless you plan on washing dishes stay out. High activity.
Like every sushi restaurant the choices are enormous. Food is prepared in a hot kitchen and the sushi bar. Some items many come out a varying times depending on the amount of orders at each station. This restaurant has a hibachi grill, the traditional Japanese flat top. There is a whole menu section of items prepared on the Hibachi Grill. Naturally, there are noodle and rice dishes which includes traditional Japanese preparations and stir fry. Aoba Special Roll section is enormous and utilizes a wide range of ingredients. Common simpler cooked and uncooked rolls with spicy denotation rounds out the sushi list. There are many lunch combinations for a quick in and out.
Fried Calamari w/Sweet Rice Wine Sauce – lightly battered, crisp, delicate sauce.
Ebi Tempura – lightly battered deep fried shrimp. Crisp, crunchy, tender. Balanced dipping sauce.
Edamame – lightly salted and steamed. Fresh.
Japanese Onion Soup – Onions,Mushrooms,Tempura flakes in Clear Soup. Light broth.
Royal Tuna Kobachi – Tuna cut into cubes mixed w/spicy sauce on top of seaweed salad & avocado, topped with masago. Crispness of the seaweed salad melted into the sharp bite of spiciness smoothed over with tuna and avocado. Great salad.
Lower right: Super Crunchy Roll – Krab meat, tempura flakes, mayo w/House Cold Smoked Salmon. Good combination of smokiness and crunch.
Left: California Roll – Krab, avocado, cucumber, masago. Fresh.
Middle: Hawaiian Roll – Spicy Tuna, cucumber & tuna, salmon, masago on top. Spicy kick from the tuna cooled by cucumber combined with the fresh textures of raw fish makes a great experience.
Right: Bubba Roll – Tempura shrimp, avocado, cream cheese & steamed shrimp on top. Crunchy shrimp and steamed shrimp textures sandwiched with avocado is a creamy mouth feel.
Volcano Roll – Baked scallop, krab meat & conch with mayo on California Roll. Very light mayo made this combination a stand out from the other restaurants mountain of artery clogger.
Sexy Girl – (Daily Special) Spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, topped with lobster salad, masago, sesame seeds, eel sauce and tempura flakes. She was sexy awright, the rich lobster salad mingled well with spicy tuna and crunchy shrimp sweetened by eel sauce was a masterful creation.
Sashimi – Tuna, escolar, salmon, yellow tail, and snapper. Fresh, clean, buttery.
Hibachi Sirloin Steak – tender, juicy, flavorful.
Hibachi Shrimp – lightly seasoned, tender.
Special Bento Box – Hibachi Steak, Combination of Tempura, California Roll, gyoza, and egg fried rice. Nice flavors and textures.
Aoba is ideally set in the neighboring Windermere, Ocoee, Winter Garden and Ilseworth area. Service is friendly and the atmosphere is neighborly. Now you don’t have to drive far for a good selection of sushi.