August 1st, 2010. jenn ‘s nyc – morimoto
The HORROR!!! Because of nearly 43 hours of no sleep I ended up sleeping through every single alarm in the morning and woke up at 3pm!! OMG!!! Yes. I wasted a whole half a day!! My original plan was to check out the Museum of Modern Art….but with a 6pm reservation at Morimoto in Chelsea there was no way I’d be able to make it. I quickly revised my plans for the day and decided to dash down to SoHo to check out the shopping before jaunting over to Chelsea.
After some window shopping I grabbed a cab to my next location: The Chelsea/Meatpacking District. There I arrived at my next adventure…Morimoto! Across from Colicchio & Sons, another place I really want to try, tucked away flat against a dark wall was the restaurant that I’d planned for and dreamed of….! I walked in and gave my name to the immaculate man & woman pair at the front and was greeted as if they’d been waiting just for me. The ambience is very chic and modern, almost futuristic in terms of the soft blue lighting against glass, but it’s also warm with a lounge-like feel in other spots. I was lead through the quiet restaurant and seated on one side of the bar in front of the sushi chef and directly across from the kitchen.
According to Cousin Yumi, the restaurant was designed by Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. Supposedly there’s a wall of recycled bottles…..sadly I did not know about this, therefore must have missed it! However, I can say that the little Japanese style details in decor really makes this place unique and lends a sort of “comfy” character to the high-end space.
From the get go the service was imppecable. My server asked whether it was my first time at Morimoto and when I said it was and that I wanted the Omakase he smiled with a twinkle in his eye saying that it was an excellent choice! Of course, I know this..I mean, it IS Morimoto! But it was as if he understood that I was there on a mission to expose myself to magnificent food creations and he already knew how much it would delight me!
My still water came in the form of a Fiji bottled water. Classy 😉 I also ordered the Virgin White Lily (Calpico, Yuzu & Lemon Juice). I loved this drink!! It was like a chilled, more refined version of the Korean yuzu tea syrup (zest, pulp and all!)! Sweet, refreshing and palate cleansing at the same time. Again, love at first sip!
The 1st appetizer to arrive was the Toro Tartare with Caviar accompanied by Fresh Wasabi, Sour Cream, Chives, Avocado and Rice Cracker Bubbles. Presentation is everything! It all came atop a bowl of ice. The food was in a wooden “plate” with a tiny flat spoon to eat it with. The kind lady who brought it out explained that it is best to use the spoon and eat the tuna with each of the condiments one by one and dip it in the sauce and then eat it. Really. This was an amazing starter!
The tuna was smooth and creamy and each of the condiments brought a certain element and matched so well in terms of flavor profile! The creamd seawood was so~~ sweet and almost like a jam, the sour cream was fresh, the cispy crackers provided texture. The little red ball in the ice is a Mountain Peach. I was advised to eat it at the end of the course to cleanse my palate and prepare for the next course.
Appetizer #2 was the Hirame(Fluke) in Hot Oil. Thinly sliced sheets of fluke atop each other with a hot yuzu infused oil poured over it. It gives sashimi a whole different meaning to have it warm like this! The fluke’s flavor was much enhanced by the oil, and the warmth actually gives you a sense of hominess and is satusfying to the stomach! I really loved this one, too!
The salad course came in the form of Sockeye Salmon underneath a Baby Arugula and Thinly Sliced Apples and Dill Foam. The saltiness of the salmon was balanced well with the crisp of the apple. This whole dish was light and summery and definitely made me want more!
Next up was the Oyster Foie Gras. I have never ever had oyster like this! It was light and fluffy with just a hint of oystery essence, melting in your mouth with every small bite! The reduction sauce it was sitting in was incredibly sweet and literally made me want to lick every single drop off the plate!!
EGAD!!! I completely forgot to take a picture of my 5 Piece Nigiri Course (Tuna, Aji, King Salmon, Whiting with Ginger Salt, and Clam)!! In my delight and haste to try the beautiful nigiri while also trying to remember the description the handsome waiter was reciting to me….I forgot to snap a photo. My bad! The best I could do was to take a picture of the sushi chef making the same dish for other customers.
The 6th course was a Housemade Ginger Ale Palate Cleanser. The ginger was ultra strong in this little glass! I had a hard time finishing it. It really did overpower the traces of the other tastes in my mouth! Potent!
The main entree was the Surf & Turf: Wagyu Beef and Chunky Sweet Potato Bites & Garam Masala Lobster with Creme Fraiche. Seriously, this dish blew my mind!!!
First of all, wagyu beef? You have not tasted tender beef until you’ve tried wagyu beef!! A nice slice of this folded in a sweet sauce and sitting on top of a few sweet potato sticks. Eaten together it’s like heaven in your mouth; the beef melts like butter and just lifts your mind!
The lobster was a wonderfully large portion. The strong garam masala was counteracted by the coolness of the creme fraiche. Really, this combo was just amazing! I was literally going at it with so much focus and joy!
Gasp!!! Horror upon horror! I forgot to take a picture of my dessert….a Chocolate Torte with Passion Fruit Gelato! You’ll have to take my word for it..it looked very cute and was also quite yummy! The passion fruit really helped cut the richness of thr chocolate. Decadent and full of flavor contrast! (Here’s a picture of my coffee instead..)
The Omakase at Morimoto was completely worth it!! A total food experience that could not and should not be passed up! If I lived in NYC I would not even hesitate to come by for a lunch or save up for another Omakase dinner!! Thanks a million, Morimoto, for this one of a kind experince! The food, the interior design, and the service are impeccable and the best I’ve ever had! Basically all through the meal I not only was able to appreciate the food, but I felt like I was being treated like a princess! They don’t call him the Iron Chef for nothing, that’s for sure!!