Friday, May 27, 2011

Bayridge Sushi

So, I'm back in Orlando visiting my fiance for the last time until I officially relocate.  I am doing interviews with various hospitals, looking at rental houses, and other various move prep work.  It's all very exciting.  But of course, no trip would be complete without sampling some of the tasting offerings in and around Orlando.  It should come as no surprise that a sushi craving hit.  So, we decided to sample somewhere we haven't been, but have heard a lot about--Bayridge Sushi in Apopka.

We arrived around 845 and were promptly seated.  We avoid going to places when they are within an hour of closing, but Bayridge is open until 10pm on weekdays.  We were promptly seated and our drink orders taken.  The decor is very upscale with dark woods and dim lighting.  Far different than what you would expect walking up to its strip mall location.  Within a few minutes a waiter came around with warm, lightly scented washcloths to "freshen up" and cleanse our hands.  I have never eaten anywhere that did this, it was a nice touch.

The menu is extremely extensive, with two full pages devoted to various sushi rolls.  They have a large variety of specialty rolls.  It took us at least 10 minutes to peruse the whole things to get an idea of what we wanted.  Besides the sushi, they also offer a variety of hibachi, teriyaki, and tempura dishes for the non-sushi eaters. 

Sorry in advance for the crappy picture quality--it was super dark and this was the best I could do.

For appetizers, I started with the avocado salad and ginger dressing.  The fiance got the miso soup.  I did not try the soup, but he said it was very good with the perfect amount of tofu.  No picture because he was starving and didn't have the patience to wait for my photo attempts in the dark lighting =).  The avocado was amazing!  It seriously had half an avocado sliced on top.  It also had a few slices of tomato and some shredded carrots.  The ginger dressing was tasty, very even flavor with nothing overpowering.

For our main feast, we settled on the spicy tuna, super crunch roll, and shrimp tempura.  We also got a side of fried rice.  Spicy tuna is one of my all time favorite rolls, I get it practically everywhere.  It is also a great way (besides straight up nigiri), to judge freshness and quality of ingredients.  It is so basic-tuna with spice, rice, and nori.  Bayridge does theirs with a ground tuna, but it has noticeable green flecks in it.  According to the menu, this is scallion.  It was so delicious. 

Our second selection was the super crunch roll.  This had tuna, cream cheese, and avocado wrapped up with spicy tuna and tempura crunch on the top.  I personally wasn't wild about this, simply because I don't like cream cheese in my sushi.  I think it overpowers the flavors of everything else.  I tried a piece with almost no cream cheese and really liked it, but would order it without next time.  Josh absolutely loved it, so if you like cream cheese sushi-go for it!  

Finally, there was the shrimp tempura.  This was massive!  Most places serve shrimp tempura with just one piece of the fried critter, this had two large shrimpies plus avocado, cucumber, fish eggs, and a mayo sauce.  Once again, I wanted to eat my body weight in this roll.  The shrimp was perfectly fried and crunch, the mayo added a hint of flavor without being overpowering, and avocado added a wonderful creaminess.  I am getting hunger pangs typing this...and I just had breakfast.

We also had a side of fried rice.  I only had a couple bites since I filled up on the amazing sushi.  But those couple bites were great.  It is basic fried rice with a good amount of onion and other vegetables.  It had great flavor and was not greasy at all.  I usually order this so I can take most of it home for leftovers, but Josh polished it off.

Overall, an absolutely wonderful experience--from the food to the service.  Our waitress was attentive and prompt.  The wait for the food was minimal, but we also came late and there were few other patrons.  The price was great, all our food--2 appetizers, 3 rolls, and a side of rice came to $35.00.  Their lunch specials are an even better deal, like a selection of 3 rolls for $10.00.  They also offer a $20.00 all you can eat on certain days/times.  Be sure to check this place out!!

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