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Bento Sushi Cafe in Orlando, Florida (Sandlake)


Ranking: 5Read Full Review


  • Food8(Outstanding)
  • Pricing9-10(Best Bang for $$)
  • Atmosphere8
  • Service9(Can't Complain)
  • Selection8.5(Fusion Menu)
  • Value9(For Large Bellys)

The Review

We started off our Florida sushi extravaganza at Bento Cafe in downtown Orlando. It has a great location, right in the middle of the action. The decor was hip and updated and the restaurant had televisions throughout it (and in the bathroom too). There was faint club music playing and the while the places is modernized, it is not intimidating and actually quite informal - you seat yourself as you walk in. Our knowledge server Tanya sat us in the back and it was on.

  • Momokawa Pearl Sake We started with Momokawa Pearl Sake. It is partially filter and you can taste a hint of banana and coconut. It goes down smooth, not too sweet or dry, and we are ready to eat.

  • Ginger Salad We start with Ginger Salad. The homemade dressing has a sweet, light taste.

  • Garlic Edamame Next we get garlic edamame. As they uncovered them the delicious scent traveled through the air and they were as good as the smelled. We never want to eat edamame another way again. I had to practically fight Michael for some before he ate it all.

  • Tuna Star Crunch Our first appetizer was Tuna Star Crunch. It is chunks of tuna with a spicy, creamy chili sauce. The dish was accompanied by homemade wonton chips. The dish was on the light side, and the heat from the spice was undercut by a subtle sweetness. The tuna is fresh and the dish is delicious.

  • Here is another angle of the dish above.

  • The Monkey Roll, The Envy Roll and the Lust Roll Then it was time for some sushi. We were delivered three rolls, The Monkey Roll, The Envy Roll and the Lust Roll.

  • The Monkey The Monkey had tuna, crab, eel and asparagus inside. The entire roll was fried in a walnut, tempura mix and drizzled with eel sauce. It was plated over sriracha and spicy mayo. The roll was crunchy and had a strong taste of nuts and vegetables, while being subtle on the fish. Overall it was very good.

  • The Envy The Envy roll had salmon, tuna and crab salad inside. It was topped with thin slices of kiwi and sweet chili sauce. The kiwi, a favorite fruit of mine, was truly a treat. The roll had a perfect blend of flavor and sweetness and was on the lighter side.

  • The Lust The Lust was easily a favorite of ours. Inside it was composed of tuna, cream cheese and avocado. It was topped with fried tilapia, drizzled with spicy mayo and eel sauce, tobiko and scallions. Typically we don't care for cream cheese, but didn't mind it in this roll, as it brought everything together perfectly. We have never had any sushi with tilapia before and now easily see why this roll is a favorite of their customers. The fusion of flavors, along with the tilapia crunch make this a must order.

  • Sweet Shrimp Nigiri We are served sweet shrimp nigiri next, which was fresh. They say you can eat the insides of the octopus but LOOK before you eat -- then eat slowly. Mushy, slimy, fishy. We're not fans.

  • Sashimi Plate We also tried various sashimi like yellowtail, salmon, octopus, scallop and red snapper. All of the fish was very fresh and cut into large, thick slices. Out of these our favorites were the yellowtail and scallops. For those of you interested in the quality of fish, I can't help you sniff through the computer but you can take a closer look at their fish with nothing on it below.

  • The Hot Lava The Hot Lava is shrimp tempura, escolar, avocado, masago and scallions topped with spicy baked scallops. The dish was plated with yummy hot pepper flakes and sriracha sauce. The roll was similar to any typical "Volcano Roll" but much lighter. You can actually taste the fish, the scallops were wonderful, and not just the sauce.

  • Bali Hai Mango Bali Hai Mango is shrimp tempura, topped with mango, coconut flakes and eel sauce. While good, the roll was very sweet and fell a little short with flavor.

  • TNT TNT is a better version than the typical spicy tuna roll. It has large amounts of spicy tuna blended with masago and scaliona inside. It was then topped with seared tuna, spicy mayo and Japanese chili flakes. The seared tuna easily stood out and was superb. The roll packs a punch and should easily be your pick if you are in the mood for spicy tuna.

  • Kawaii Rolls Kawaii Rolls are wrapped in lettuce first and then thin sheets of rice paper, no rice or seaweed. Bento offers these as a "healthy alternative, with less carbs." Sushi wrapped in lettuce was a first for us and we got a custom version with salmon, avocado and mango inside, with spicy mayo and sweet chili sauce. If you don't like salad, don't order this roll as the lettuce is strong. However, to us it was like "sushi salad" and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Eel nigiri topped with mango and avocado We ended the night (had to happen eventually right) with eel nigiri topped with mango and avocado. The sliced eel was large and not overly crispy, a plus. They have a homemade spicy eel sauce and we gave each piece a quick dip in it. Perfect.

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