Iron Chef & the First Lady

Hubby and I spent a glorious Christmas and New Year’s in Hawaii. We missed out on dining at Morimoto last year so I made sure we went this year.


The evening started with some excitement even before we walked into Morimoto - our speculation over the numerous black SUVs outside The Modern Hotel was answered when we saw the Secret Service (not very conspicuous in Hawaiian garb might I add…you can pick them out no problem!) outside the door scanning everyone entering Morimoto. We walked into the spacious and airy restaurant, trying to get a peek of The First Lady dining on the patio.

One thing to keep in mind when dining at Morimoto is that you should expect a dining experience. Morimoto is known for his unique food presentations as well as the high quality of food – with that comes a higher price. We decided to go for ultimate 7-course Omakase experience for $120.

1st course – toro tartare: this was the dish I was really hoping to get ever since seeing it on The Food Network. It was so unique to use a special spoon to scoop the fresh-chopped sashimi with a garnish blends such as wasabi paste or seaweed paste.

2nd course – whitefish carpaccio:
I was a bit surprised to see how small this dish was but the fish was so fresh and delicate with the light garnish and sauce that I quickly overlooked the dish’s small portion.

3rd course – foie gras chawan mushi: anything that includes foie gras gets me excited! But I have to admit that this wasn’t my favourite dish out of the Omakase. It was a true chawan mushi with the smooth and silky texture but the classic taste of the foie gras got lost in the dish. The presentation was fabulous though.

4th course – bagna cauda: another surprising dish…I sure didn’t expect to be served fondue! But this was no ordinary fondue. This was a dish that satisfied multiple senses with the colourful fresh veggies and the aromatic and flavourful anchovy dipping sauce.

5th course – sushi: five pieces of fresh nigiri sushi – enough said.

6th course - wagyu beef, epice lobster, ginger pork: The best thing on this dish was the tender, flavourful wagyu beef. The spicy lobster tail was slightly overcooked but the claw was perfectly moist. The ginger pork was perfectly cooked – I just wish there was more.

7th course – souffle & sweet potato¬† ice cream: I love souffle but I don’t love sweet potato. I loved this dish. The sweet potato ice cream wasn’t too pungent and was a great accompaniment to the moist souffle.

I really enjoyed the omakase – at first glance the dishes seemed small but I was pretty full by the time dessert arrived. I found the noise level too loud and the servers a bit too brash, taking away the intimate experience that I was expecting. The steep prices doesn’t make Morimoto a regular restaurant to visit but I think it’s worth trying at least once just for the experience.

1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Waikiki
Morimoto Waikiki on Urbanspoon

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