Of the many restaurants that have come and gone in the Lake mary/Heathrow area over the last seven or eight years, I don’t recall a Thai restaurant being among them. There’s one now — and a very good one, too — in Rikka Asian Bistro. And it isn’t just good Thai but also excellent sushi.
The sushi is prepared by chef AB (pronounce the letters separately). On my recent visit I sampled a number of selections and creations, each one expertly crafted and of unquestionable freshness.
I started with a plate of hamachi, thinly sliced and arranged on the plate in a starfish pattern, each slice topped with a dot of hot pepper. The fish had a buttery texture and mild flavor that was well complemented by the slice of spice.
Chef AB also offered a roll that he had “just thought up,” salmon, tuna and avocado molded together with rice, served on a boat with a rosette in the center fashioned out of tuna. The soft texture of the avocado was what made this one a winner.
From among the kitchen foods I sampled the steamed Chilean seabass with black bean sauce, a beautiful flaky fillet with mild-tasting flesh topped with a bold sauce, accompanied by steamed asparagus and a mound of white rice.
I also had a wonderful red curry, a just thick enough sauce dotted with bits of red flecks that warned of spicy heat, with chunks of al dente zucchini and potatoes, sprinkled with crushed peanuts. I was stuffed at that point but I couldn’t stop myself from having a few bites more than I should have.
But I had to say “stop” with the fried cheesecake, a wedge of richness with a light jacket of batter, deep-fried and drizzled with chocolate sauce and served on a beautifully decorated plate along with a dollop of fresh whipped cream (you know, just in case you have one unclogged artery left!).
Rikka occupies a space that has seen a number of restaurants over the years, including Jinja. I think the new tenant will be there for a good long time.
Rikka Asian Bistro is at 1541 International Parkway, Lake Mary. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The restaurant’s website is not currently activated, but this link will take you to its Facebook page. The phone number is 407-333-2288.