Jacksonville, FL 32204
So this was a busy weekend for the crew. Food trucks have become a big draw in our area and you can count on some event each weekend, weather permitting. That’s where we started the day. After we stuffed ourselves with some of our favorite vendor selections, off to the Sun Ray cinema, one of the only art house theaters left in this town, to catch the latest Cohen Brothers offering, and finally dinner. I was a miserable rainy night, so we stayed in the Riverside area selected a spot only one of us had previously eaten at. It turned out to be a brilliant choice. Hands down Kaika is one of the most elegant Asian Fusion spots in town. The interior is spectacular, from the wall art, lighting, dark furniture, neon lighting, the muted hues of grey and rose lend elegance and depth to the room.
The menus were presented by our server for the evening Abbi, a delightful young Asian woman who was most kind and patient with us. We started with a few share appetizers, Seaweed Salad, Pot Stickers, Crab Rangoon, and Edamame. The salad a brilliant green, fresh with the aroma of sesame oil, This was one of our favorite flavors.
Dumplings, large nicely toasted and packed full with spicy pork, soft and warm served with a flavorful dipping sauce
Krab Rangoon, cream cheese mixed with lump krab, celery, onions, carrot then deep-fried. Crispy not oily a perfect dish.
We also tested out the Kaika Special Won Ton Soup, although tasty there was nothing notably “special” about this dish, the broth rich, won tons packed full, I have had this soup in other restaurants.
We decided to share and test out the sushi rolls, one non sushi fan passed, we chose the Ocean Roll, salmon and avocado in the inside, pepper tuna, fish eggs, scallions and yozu sauce on the exterior. As we waited my friend shared with us when she dined here she felt the wait for food was too long. I chided her saying sushi is an art that took time. That proved to be true when the Ocean Roll was delivered.
When it was placed on the table, I could only stare at it. The plate appeared to be embellished with flowers and scroll work and the sushi placed to showcase the dish, how incorrect that assumption was. Each of those flowers and swirls is the art work of the person creating the dish. The flowers on the upper left contained a small lit lantern, The umbrella, covers the wasabi and ginger. The flavors and mix of textures made this roll as good for the taste senses as the dish was to the visual senses.
Our other selection, Spider Roll soft shell crab,with romaine lettuce, avocado, mayo, fish eggs, served with eel sauce. Another work of art arrived, decorated with cherry blossom and a blue light, crab and small birds embellishments on the plate. Soft shell being one of my favorite, I was pleased my gal pal shared with me.
f you’re not a fan of Sushi, a very robust menu is available containing some unique signature dishes, plus a noodle rice category. And if you are in for a fun time with lots of theatrics sitting at the hibachi table is a must. The more besties you can round up for this experience, the fun meter hit the red zone.
We sat across from a table that was full of friends having a top notch experience. The chef that cooks at these tables always put on some type of crazy show plus there is great pleasure in watching your food cooking.
So we finished the feast with the Fried Ice Cream. This dish has always been a fail for me, tasting like the oil from the Tempura , not this time. A huge open flower filled with chocolate and vanilla ice cream covered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Ultimate decadence!!! Notice the art work on the plate
This was my first visit, to Kaika but it will not be my last, the lunch offerings are quite nice and Bento Boxes are a great way of sampling several items at a reasonable price starting at $9.95 that include soup, rice, daily appetizer, fruit and half of California roll.
Gather up you own crew and make you way over to Riverside, lunch or dinner, I don’t believe you will be disappointed.