When people ask about a place for a nice dinner, I often mention Morimoto, behind Chelsea Market. We went there many times and were never disappointed, the food being as good as the presentation of the dishes beautiful. So, this is where we decided to have a last dinner with my nephew Valentin, before he went back to France. He also loves this place that was one of the first dinners we had when he came for a visit few years ago, as we wanted him to discover Japanese cuisine.
So, we went there on a Monday night and the restaurant was not that crowded, but there was still quite an atmosphere there. Instead of seating us in the main dining room, we were seated in a small room with maybe 6 tables, much quieter in fact, allowing us to enjoy a nice conversation.
We started of by ordering drinks. A blueberry ice tea for Valentin, a white lily with yuzu for Jodi and a cocktail for me, called the Sukoto and made with Suntori Toki Whiskey, Ardbeg 10 year whiskey, chili, lemon and ginger. I loved my cocktail that was quite strong, but yet refreshing.
Then came the appetizers. We first tried the ‘yu-burrata’ with black truffles, dashi soy, fresh wasabi and grilled sourdough. This is a fantastic dish made with soy: we put a bit of it on a piece of delicious bread and it was divine.
The second appetizer was the miso glazed roasted bone marrow, sake ikura, mitsuba chimichurri also served with grilled sourdough. It was good, although I would have liked more bone marrow. But, definitely, the combination of the bone marrow and the fish eggs were interesting, a sort of decadent surf and turf.
The last appetizer was the pork gyoza, served with garlic chives, tomato, crème fraîche. It was delicious: crispy and delightfully fatty.
After sharing our appetizers, we decided to each order our own dish. Jodi went for the sea bass served with sweet sake kasu, japanese eggplant, miso and tempura avocado. The fish was succulent and perfectly cooked.
Valentin and I chose the surf and turf, composed of a wagyu skirt steak and hamachi ribbons, okonomiyaki that is a Japanese pancake, crushed avocado and yuzu soy. It was fantastic! In fact, this is not the first time I ate that dish and it never disappointed me. The wagyu was perfectly cooked medium rare and was deliciously charred on the outside, with some kosher salt that elevated even more the flavors. The fish then was very good: raw, it was smothered in the yuzu soy that gave a nice acidity, as well as the avocado that added a bit of fattiness. I definitely recommend that dish.
Last was dessert. We first went for the kumo kuri that is a chilled soufflé cheesecake, made with soy, chestnut cream, citrus, blackberry, hazelnut, kabocha ice cream. I admit that I did not like it at all, being a bit bland.
The best was the hanabi dama, a ball made with marshmallow cream, dark chocolate sorbet, salted caramel ganache tart, rum. It was a take on S'mores that was quite successful. They light up the rum and then pour it on the chocolate ball that has the marshmallow cream inside, melting the chocolate shell. I put some of the marshmallow cream on the cookie and chocolate bar and voila!
Needless to say that after such a feast, we took a bit of a walk, glad that we got to go there before Valentin's departure: Morimoto never disappoints and remains one of my favorite places in the city!
Enjoy (I really did)!
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Morimoto - 88 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011