Wednesday, 30 November 2011 14:47
Thought Bento couldn’t get any better?
Sushi Chao, the brainchild of the owners of Bento Café and Mochi Frozen Yogurt, combines the self-serve style of Mochi with Bento’s delicious flavors—think rice bowls, teriyaki meats, savory veggies, sushi rolls and more.
Located across from University of Florida campus on West University Avenue, the quick-stop restaurant welcomes visitors with Top-40 tunes, a futuristic atmosphere and fast Pan-Asian and sushi cuisine—the perfect place for a quick lunch break of, as their logo suggests, “Quick Asian.”
By Jolie Shapiro; photos by Rob Foldy
ON THE GO
At the spanking new Sushi Chao—a play on “let’s get some chow,” you can order off the menu or build your own plate from buffet-style options of vegetables, noodles and meat. (Fans of Mochi will know the drill.) Customers pay 39 cents for each ounce of food and handpick as much fare as they desire. If you go over $10, you get a side of white rice on the house. Small-batch cooking keeps the this section fresh.
If you’re after the more tried-and-true Bento favorites, you’ll recognize the sashimi rice bowls, like the Spicy Tuna Don (including tuna and avocado for $7). You’ll also find numerous sushi rolls, which range from $5.75 to $8.50 and even include low-carb Kawaii Rolls; salads like the Spicy Salmon, for $7.50; and even inventive $3.50 fish tacos.
Restaurant-goers can grab their food to-go, or sit and enjoy their meal while watching the blur of activity that campus invites. Although the restaurant is deemed “fast food,” we did not feel rushed. The staff was very friendly and attentive.
Address: 1620 W. Univeristy Ave.
Landmarks: Next to Florida Bookstore
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 12pm-11pm; Sun 12pm-10pm
Price Range: $$ (out of $$$$)
Attire: Come as you are.
Outdoor seating: Yes
THE SECRET'S IN THE SAUCE
We tried popular dishes like the Spicy Cream Chicken, from the self-serve section. Fried chicken drizzled with a secret sauce paired well with delectable sides like Pad Thai and fried rice.
Sushi Chao offers a variety of ways to taste your chicken. Korean Chicken is topped with sesame seeds, General Tsao’s Chicken is covered in a sweet sauce and Teriyaki Chicken in—you guessed it—savory teriyaki.
The Fried Krab Cheese Wontons ($3), off the menu, are a decadent combination of crab, cream cheese, green onions and ginger all wrapped in a wonton and then fried, perfect for a side or an appetizer.
We also loved the Kawaii Roll idea. Like sushi rolls but with the rice and seaweed replaced by lettuce and rice paper, these are like mini sushi salad bites that you dip into soy sauce before popping in your mouth.
And, in the popular DIY spirit, you can even design your own Create-a-Kawaii for $7.75.
Sushi Chao, we’ve no doubt, will fit right in.