My co-worker and I were wandering around Greenwich Village until around 9:30 when we became really hungry and tired. She had tried Morimoto the week before and really enjoyed it, so she suggested we give them a call to see if they could accommodate us. I wasn’t very optimistic, since it was a Friday night. They told us they didn’t have any tables until 11 (I love how everything in NYC is open so late!), but said there were a few spaces available at the sushi bar. Since they don’t take reservations for the sushi bar, we quickly hopped in a cab and made our way over.Morimoto is located on the outskirts of the Meat Packing district. When the cab dropped us off, it seemed like we were in the middle of a random highway. As I found out later that evening, however, we were only a couple short blocks away from where all the clubs/lounges were.
The restaurant was dimly lit and was really lively and filled with well-dressed folks. The decor is really trendy and modern as well! The restaurant features a gorgeous wall made of glass bottles. It seems like a really happening place, but not really a place to go to for a romantic or intimate dinner.
When I walked to the washroom (located on the lower level), I noticed that the lower level was more like a lounge/bar. The washrooms have those special Japanese toilets which come with warmed seats and many buttons (most of which I had no clue what the functions were). For fear of having water shoot up at me, I decided not to touch any of them.Anyways, as I was reading over the menu, I thought about getting the “duck, duck, duck” dish, since I love duck. But in the end, I decided, what the heck, and went with the 7-course Omakase ($120). It’s not often I get to eat at an Iron Chef restaurant! My co-worker ate here the previous weekend and had already tried the Omakase (which she was raving about during the week), so she was hesitant to order it again. However, while talking to our server, he indicated that the chefs could prepare different dishes for her instead of getting the same items she did last weekend. How accommodating! My first course was the tuna tartar – osetra caviar, sour cream, wasabi, dashi-soy. It was served with a little paddle, which you use to scrape across horizontally in order to get a bit of each ingredient near the bottom (i.e. the caviar, wasabi, green onion, etc). It also comes with a side of soy sauce for you to dip the ingredients in. Apparently this dish was first featured on the Iron Chef show and is now on Morimoto’s regular menu. I loved this! Everything from the presentation to the taste was fantastic. A great way to start off the meal!
The second course was fluke sashimi. There were two thin slices of fluke topped with sautéed mushrooms, some greens and soy sauce. I found it a tad on the oily side and taste-wise, it was good, but it certainly didn’t blow me away like the first dish. I think at this point I was also served a small shooter of homemade ginger-ale which was nice and refreshing.The third dish was a vegetable fondue. This dish was very underwhelming and a complete let-down. After such a great start to the meal, I felt the meal was going a bit downhill. The vegetable fondue came with a piece of asparagus, water chestnut, cauliflower, tomato, a crab croquette and a crostini. The fondue was a very salty anchovy and garlic sauce. The consistency was really gluey and lumpy. The presentation was also quite unappetizing. It certainly looked like something I could just slap together myself. This was easily my least favourite dish of the evening.
Things started getting better when the fourth course came – the oyster foie gras dish. It consisted of a blanched oyster, topped with foie gras AND uni. Three of my favourite things combined into the perfect bite! It came served with a teriyaki sauce. The dish (or bite, rather), just melted in my mouth and had such a delicious flavour to it! This was a simple dish, but the ingredients were amazing.The fifth dish was the assorted sushi course. It came with five pieces of fresh sushi (including Toro, and one topped with uni) and a piece of the egg sushi. It looked (and tasted) like a piece of cake; nothing like the egg sushi I normally get at Japanese restaurants. Everything was extremely fresh and tasted delicious with a bit of soy sauce and the fresh wasabi. By the time this dish came, I was starting to get a little full. My appetite was definitely starting to slow down.
The sixth (and main) course was a surf and turf – with spiced lobster, wagyu beef and a side of lemon crème fraiche. I felt the spiced lobster was a bit overseasoned, but otherwise cooked well and tasty. The wagyu beef was amazing! It was really tender and had such a great flavour to it. There were some potatoes underneath the beef, which were also really enjoyable. They were perfectly crispy and had a sweet taste to them.The seventh and last course was dessert, of course. It came with a tofu cheesecake and red bean pastry. The tofu cheesecake was served in a small glass, topped with mango sorbet and shortbread. The tofu cheesecake on its own was pretty good, but eating it with the mango sorbet just elevated to a “wow” dish! Even though I was stuffed, I licked this glass clean! As for the red bean pastry, it consisted of red bean paste sandwiched between two flakey pieces of puff pastry. I normally don’t prefer red bean, but this was fantastic. What a perfect way to end the meal.
My friend indicated that although her Omakase was good, she didn’t enjoy it as much as the regular one. Some of her dishes included fish caviar, salmon ravioli and a wagyu beef bibimbap.Overall, I really enjoyed my dining experience at Morimoto. Although there were two lower points in the Omakase, everything else tasted amazing. I loved that they also put so much effort into the presentation. They say we eat with our eyes first, and it’s so true! Everything they made looked extremely appetizing (minus the vegetable fondue). Even when I was walking through the restaurant to get to the washroom, I noticed all the dishes at the tables looked nothing short of amazing.
Our server was also great. He was extremely attentive and was very hospitable. Whenever the food was brought out, our servers always carefully explained the dishes they were serving us, which I loved. I don’t like not knowing what I’m eating.At a glance:
Ratings (out of 5):