I’ll admit it: I was skeptical. When I first heard that The Cowfish — the North Carolina-based restaurant concept combining sushi and burgers into “burgushi” — was coming to Universal Orlando, I didn’t have much hope for the fishy fusion, even if it did involve two of my favorite foods. But now, after eating at Cowfish Orlando on its first night of “soft opening” to the public, I’m sold! Enjoy these Cowfish Orlando photos from our first look inside the sure-to-be-popular eatery, which should now be open daily at CityWalk.
Cowfish Orlando Exterior
Cowfish occupies both a portion of CityWalk’s ground level real estate between Red Oven Pizza and VIVO, and the second story site where the complex’s original Starbucks Coffee once sat. The look is clean, colorful, and a bit whimsical, with massive representations of the restaurant’s namesake animals.
On the second floor, you’ll find this casual outdoor bar and eating patio across from Red Coconut Club.
Cowfish Orlando Interior
The ironic ultra-modern motif continues inside the restaurant, starting with the giant-screen virtual fishtanks in the entryway, a continuing through the goofy bathroom signage. The bar and dining areas are clean and brightly lit, but still provide some cozy corners, along with striking views of the CityWalk complex below.
Cowfish Orlando Menus
Just as expected, the Cowfish Orlando menu is split between gourmet hamburgers and elaborate sushi, with a few options combining to two genres.
Cocktail choices are also extensive….
…as is the decadent dessert menu.
There’s even a kids’ menu with bento boxes, that doubles as an origami activity sheet.
Cowfish Orlando Food
For our first meal at Cowfish, we ordered two appetizers — the blackened tuna nachos, and spicy togarishi shrimp — plus a fusion bento box, which featured a cheeseburger slider and spicy tuna “Boss” makimono, along with a trio of side dishes.
The food was more than enough to satisfy two hungry adults, and we were already stuffed by the time dessert arrived. Despite being full, we couldn’t resist the cake-like “sushi” roll, fruit shortcake, or cookies with mint chocolate milk.
Cowfish Orlando Initial Impressions
I was admittedly apprehensive about Cowfish, but came away from our opening night dinner greatly impressed. A couple items could have used a touch more salt, or a little more crispness, but overall the flavor profiles were creative and well-balanced, and portion sizes were more than adequate for the price.
Much like VIVO and Antojitos before it, Cowfish makes a great first impression. We’ll be visiting again in the near future to make sure it continues to live up to its potential. But our initial impression is that it makes a great option when your group can’t agree whether to eat American or Asian, and wants the best of both worlds.
Full disclosure: I fully intended to pay for our food, and attempted to, but a manager recognized me and insisted on comping the meal. When I return (in disguise) on future visits I’ll be paying full price.