Friday, January 13, 2012

Restaurant Review: Crave (Orlando)

Crave on Urbanspoon

Once Graham and I decided we would be honeymooning in Orlando, I signed up to receive groupons from there as well. Around the park there are tons of chain restaurants, and I didn't want our dining experiences while on vacation to be limited to TGI Fridays and Chili's.

We're both sushi fiends, so when a Groupon for Crave popped up one day, I checked out their menu and then promptly purchased it.

The night we had planned to have dinner there, we stumbled upon it accidentally when we headed to Super Target and found it was right across the street. The restaurant is in a very nice shopping area of town. It's by the Mall of Millenia, which is home to a Bloomingdales, a Neiman Marcus, loads of other high end stores and there is an Ikea in the same shopping center.

The restaurant was very nicely set up. The kitchen area was open, which I like. They had the sushi area over in it's own little corner and dividing the restaurant, they had the biggest wine rack I've ever seen in my life.

They weren't very busy when we arrived, so we were seated promptly. This place doesn't have the greatest reviews, and most of the bad reviews were in regards to service, and price. Price is what it is, but for the most part our service was excellent. Our water greeted us promptly, brought the drinks out fast (the sangria was delicious!) and checked back with us multiple times during out meal. It did take forever to bring out my husband's second beer, but that was the only service related flaw.

They even brought us warm towels =)

For an appetizer, we ordered the Mediterranean Plate ($9.95), which was hummus served with roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, kalamata olives and warm pita. This was absolutely delicious. The hummus was different than any I had ever had. It tasted like traditional hummus, but it was also slightly sweet. I asked the server if he could find out what was in it, and came back and told me it was honey. I'm not a fan of mixing savory & sweet things together, but this was excellent.

So pretty & so tasty!

Now, I'm aware that a huge plate of hummus is not the typical starter for a sushi dinner, but oh well. We're not the your typical couple =)

We ordered three sushi rolls. We typically do four, but the appetizer was huge, and their rolls were definitely on the pricey side, so we decided to start with three.

The Keilani: Shrimp tempura, fresh water eel, avocado, spicy sweet sauce; $16.95
The Sumo: Spicy salmon, mango, cilantro, asparagus, sweet sauce, tempura flash fried; $13.95
The Crunchy Spicy Tuna: Spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, seaweed salad, crunchy flakes, sweet sauce; $16.95

All three were delicious, but the Sumo was by far my favorite. It was put together perfectly, the flavors all went well together and it definitely had some heat to it! The Keilani was my least favorite. It was tasty, but too sweet for me.

Only getting three rolls turned out to be a very smart idea, because we were both beyond stuffed when we left. After a $30 Groupon (and after adding in the tip), we spent about $90, and it was totally worth it. The sushi rolls tasted fresh and the appetizer was really amazing. It's definitely a good spot for a quiet dinner away from the theme park madness if you're ever in Orlando.

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