Yesterday, my friend Michael treated me to an amazing lunch at Morimoto, located at the Chelsea Market in New York City. It is owned by Masaharu Morimoto, best known as the third Iron Chef on the Japanese TV cooking show Iron Chef, and an Iron Chef on its spinoff, Iron Chef America. Morimoto is known for upscale Japanese fusion cuisine, fresh sushi and a unique presentation style.
The restaurant had a very upbeat and modern atmosphere, with contemporary style decor. I can see it as a happening place in the evenings and late nights. There is a huge bar downstairs with sleek lighting and a wall made entirely of lit bottles. Even the bathroom are worth a visit to. The stalls have a three dimensional affect making you feel like you are outdoors in the midst of autumn.
We ordered non alcoholic beverage – ginger lemonade that came cocktail style. It was quite flavorful, but a little too sweet. A shot of tequila with it would make a perfect evening drink.
Our waiter highly recommended a toro tartar for appetizer. It was carved on a wooden board, served with caviar in a bowl of ice. It came with a variety of condiments (wasabi, soy beans, etc) some of which I could not recognize, but went well together. The toro simply melted in my mouth.
Michael ordered the roasted black cod bento box. It came with miso soup, mixed greens, tempura and sushi.
I had the buri bop rice bowl. It was an interesting combination of raw yellowtail, steamed rice, raw egg, carrots and seaweed, served in a hot stone bowl. The waiter mixed all the ingredients and cooked the fish on the side of the hot bowl, topping it with a soy ginger sauce. The table side preperation was unexpected. I liked the delicate flavors of each of the componenets of the dish.
For dessert, we were served a fruity panna cotta that was light and had strong tropical flavors (passion fruit I think). It was delicious! Morimoto has a number of traditional Japanese dishes on its menu, but also remains true to it’s fusion reputation. Along with sushi, rice bowls you will also find buffalo mozzarella, carpaccio and steaks.
88 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011