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Sep 23, 2007 01:11 PM

Orlando - Hanamizuki or Amura? please help!

Hello. After researching sushi restaurants, I come down to both of these places. The former sounds very Japanese, the latter also very good but more geared towards non-Japanese customers.

If you've been to both, I'd really appreciate a comparison. Also, since Amura has 3 locations, is one better than the rest? Thanks very much!

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  1. It kind of depends on what you are looking for.

    For my money, Hanamizuki is, hands down, the best Japanese restaurant in Orlando. That said, it is authentic, not Americanized, Japanese cuisine. Sushi and sashimi make up only a part of their extensive menu.
    In fact, I encourage people to take someone with them who speaks and read Japanese, on at least their first visit, to insure that they understand what they are ordering.
    Visit their website <> to get a flavor of the variety they offer, even though much of the website content is in Japanese, there is enough English content to offer you a flavor.
    It is also quite pricey.

    Not sure how extensive your research is but, again in my opinion, Amura is far from the best sushi in town. I favor both Ichiban and, especially, Shari Sushi over them.

    Of his three locations, I like the mix of items better on Sand Lake.
    Downtown, even though it is closer to me, I find crowded and noisy and somewhat unorganized. I like a more serene setting for Japanese food.
    Lake Mary has a strong steak and meat emphasis, even though it is the cleanest and best designed.


    10 Replies
    1. re: Bob Mervine

      I have to agree with Bob--Shari Sushi is MUCH better than Amura. I've never been to Ichiban or Hanamizuki so I can't comment on either of them.

      I really like Amura, but SS is definitely a few notches above.

      1. re: mish

        Of those mentioned, I've only been to Ichiban downtown, and always like it a lot. It's a great value if you go at lunch.

        I also had great sushi at Wazzabi in Winter Park (a little fancier/pricier), and I've been curious about trying Bayridge Sushi in Longwood because I hear it is all-you-can-eat.

        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

          Bayridge is cheap, but unless it's some kind of special offered certain times or days, I've never seen all you can eat.

          The problem for me is in the economics. The simplest way to reduced operating costs is to reduce food costs. That means using a larger pot of rice longer, not throwing out trims, getting "bargains" on what is supposed to be fresh fish and using fillers in the rolls that reduce the amount of protein you are getting.

          None of those things make for good sushi.

          That said, I have eatern there several times. I found th sushi and the experience to be average. Not bad, a place I would eat at again if needed, but not a place I would go out of my way to recommend.

          Sort of like buying a $200 Armani suit. Except a cheap suit doesn't have the potential of killing you.


            1. re: Bob Mervine

              I'm all about Shari....I really appreciate some of their creative ideas...

        2. re: Bob Mervine

          Thanks, Bob and to everyone else who replied here. I really appreciate it!

          1. re: joschus

            You are welcome, of course. Please report back on your findings.


          2. re: Bob Mervine

            Have eaten at hanamzuki and thought it was wonderful. Will be staying at hard rock next week during IBIE & wondered if shari was difficult to get to Sushi shari from there?. Would like to try something new.

            1. re: beteez

              It's in downtown Orlando, an area called Thornton Park. About 15-20 minutes by car from where you are.

              (621 E. Central Blvd. Orlando, FL, 32801-2916 407-420-9420 <>


              1. re: Bob Mervine

                hopefully my nav system will locate it.

          3. I don't recommend Amura (SL Rd location), I know we won't be back. The same rolls on the menu for $12 are $6-8 at my little local place- and my place is quiet, calm, and VERY CLEAN. Amura is loud-plus we had S-L-O-W service which never helps but we did go on the 24th & were aware that the place was hopping... I should have researched it on this site better. Went on a well fed/well traveled co-worker's word - I felt bad for my guests who trusted me. But it's just one meal- there will be plenty more......

            I will check out Hanamizuki.

            1. I have lived in Orlando for six years, and every sushi place I have been to has been better than Amura. I don't understand the attraction. Haven't been to Hanamizuki, but Ichiban, Fuji Sushi, and Zen are all much better than Amura. Zen is the best, worth the long drive to the Omni Resort.

              1. Ichiban has the best sushi in Orlando...period!!!! Everything is always fresh and of the highest quality. I first went there like 5 months ago and will never have to look for another Sushi restaurant again. Check em out.

                You wont be disappointed!

                Ichiban Sushi Orlando
                19 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

                1 Reply
                1. re: achnuman

                  For my money, I would go to Ichiban. Shari is good as well, but I like the feel/vibe of Ichiban better. Wazabi in Winter Park is good, but they stray a bit too far for my taste. While I'm all for creative rolls, they go a bit overboard (and I don't need tempura crunch in every roll).

                  Lake Nona sushi is my local spot and while its very good, I wouldn't make a special trip to go there.

                  And I agree with the others that Amura is WAY overrated.

                2. Neither! Go to Ichiban on Orange Ave.

                  Ichiban Sushi Orlando
                  19 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801