By Yasmene Warren
If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it feels like to dine in a traditional Japanese izakaya-style restaurant, then lay your worries about booking a flight to the country to rest as you can get that experience right here in Orlando! The adventure starts with Juju!
What is Juju?
Juju is a Japanese restaurant in Orlando located on Maguire Boulevard and East Colonial Drive. The izakaya dining experience comes from the same masterminds behind Susuru on Palm Parkway, located off of 535 where you can also enjoy this style of dining.
The restaurant opened just last October, 2022, and replaced the old Pizza Hut building that used to be in the area. Although the building is completely re-themed, the outside structure still remains the same, with Juju playing on the nostalgia of its customers who may miss the old establishment.
If you'd like to dine or grab a drink at Juju, they are open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Izakaya and Omakase
When dining izakaya style, you are seated at a Japanese bar and served alcoholic drinks and snacks. Juju specializes in serving Japanese craft cocktails, so there are plenty of options to pair with your small plates!
If you don’t want a quick meal izakaya style, Juju also has a six-seat kappo bar where you’ll be served 10-course omakases. Dining omakase is a unique experience where you’ll be face to face with the head chef as they curate different meals and provide you with the best experience possible. If you’ve ever been to a sushi bar where the chefs put together the rolls in front of you, this is very similar to that!
In traditional omakase, the chef is totally in charge of the courses served to you, and cooking decisions tend to change mid-course. Hence omakase’s direct translation of “I leave it up to you.”
Dining at the Kappo Bar
Because Juju offers a dining experience outside of the traditional one, there isn’t a set menu. Some of the dishes you may expect to be served, according to the restaurant’s page on Yelp, include Susuru Gohan, Persimmon Scallop, Beef Tenderloin Kushiyaki, Shoyu Smoked Duck, Mentaiko Udon, Chicken Karaage, and so much more.
Kamameshi 釜飯 : The final savory course of our Kappo menu. All of the ingredients used throughout the Kappo experience laid over claypot-warmed rice.
You are free to walk into the kappo bar or the izakaya dining area during Juju’s operational hours, but it’s best practice to book a reservation.
Kappo bar seats tend to start at about $180 per guest, with an optional premium sake pairing for $70 per guest.
The omakase dining experience lasts for just an hour and 45 minutes so timeliness is crucial!
Calm, casual and purely authentic are the best words to describe the dining experience at Juju. You’d never guess that this restaurant rests in the shell of an old Pizza Hut as its decor is something straight out of Japan!
The close seating at the kappo bar creates a sense of intimacy between not only you and your loved one, but also the other guests and the head chef, truly making for a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t find anywhere else.
All Images by Juju on Facebook
Juju is a great addition to the area, giving residents some delicious options and a peek into Japanese culture. Whether you’re looking for a quick sake and a small bite, or you’re in the mood to try something new and unique, you won’t be disappointed with your visit to Juju in Orlando!
Juju is located in the Colonial Town Center, right next to the small area Colonialtown North. This section of Orlando is known for its lively dining scene, with numerous small, yet very popular, restaurants such as Chicken Fire, Se7en Bites, and Kabooki Sushi. This neighborhood is filled with softly colored mid-century homes, and is in close proximity to the Milk District and Mills 50, so there’s plenty to do all around!
The Orlando Real is sponsored by The Pozek Group. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Orlando, reach out and we would love to help!
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