Has anyone tried Morimoto Waikiki?
Just a cut and paste from my Yelp review.. hope it helps!
"Iron Chef Moooooorimoto!"
How can I not visit? Hawaii is the closest I'm going to get to Japan in a long time, so I had to make reservations at the newly opened Morimoto Waikiki.
For the entire experience, setting, service, ambiance, and food - I'm going to give this five stars although based strictly on food, I would give it a 4 star.
The setting is lovely, on the marina side of the Edition hotel. We got there just as dusk was setting in and sat on the patio - it is much more serene and relaxing than sitting inside the somewhat noisy dining room. You do miss out on the action from their open kitchen though.
Modern, white, zen-like decor with firepits, tents, clear acrylic chopsticks, with rock place holders. You could hold a very nice wedding reception here without having to spend a dime on additional decor.
There are a LOT of staff in this restaurant. Our waitress was very pleasant, each dish is presented by a different person with a brief description and then followed-up by the waitress.
And finally.. here's what I ate:
Toro tartare $28 - fascinating presentation. The tartare (excellent toro quality) is finely chopped, almost with a ground up texture - spread out thinly onto a wooden board, propped up against a bowl of ice. I was super confused about where the tartare was because all I could focus on was the condiments. You're given a small plate with different layers of crispy rice ball puffs, dashi soy, avocado cream, wasabi, creme fraiche and a savoury paste I think made of nori (very tasty). Also a sweet preserved plum is served with it. Experiment to find your favourite combination. I liked it best with the rice puffs, avocado, a bit of wasabi, and a fair amount of the miso paste. You scrape a bit of the tartare onto a little wooden paddle and then dip into the condiments.
Morimoto style poke $18 - interesting interpretation, but not exceptionally tasty. Great quality poke, served with a very subtle wasabi sorbet, a visually pleasant but non-functional dashi foam, bocconcini (which really didn't work for me) and the best cherry tomatoes I've ever had. They cherry tomatoes are peeled, marinated in olive oil and very sweet. Best part of this appy.
Foie gras chawan mushi $16 - this has got to be the best cross-over dish ever thought of. Foie flavoured egg custard, sounds rather unpleasant but it is one of the most brilliant implementations of foie I've ever had. The custard is so mild, silky and just flavoured enough with foie that you don't get overwhelmed by the inherent richness of foie. Delicious, with a slightly thick dashi sauce. Served with a superfluous piece of duck breast. I would not eat the wasabi with this appy. It's a more upscale, better done version than I had at Raku in Vegas. Of course, it's also double the price. Definitely worth it.
Oyster foie gras $20 - the sum is not greater than the parts in this case. I didn't quite get it. The terriyaki sauce is ordinary and overwhelming. On its own, the oyster, foie, and uni were all quite tasty and fresh quality, particularly the uni. Eaten together, all I could taste was oyster and terriyaki. I would give this a pass next time.
Hot green tea soba with shrimp and veggie tempura $18 - this was our "filler" dish. The noodles are nicely green tea flavoured, but I guess I just don't like the slightly grainy soba texture that much. Broth and tempura were good, but not exceptional.
*Desserts!* My favourite part of the meal!
Haupia semifreddo $12 - green tea and coconut heaven!! This was a near-perfect dessert. Coconut semifreddo, served on top of a green tea meringue (slightly dry and too sweet, but still good) with cubes of clear coconut jelly and a bit of real honeycomb.
Tofu hot and cold $12 - pleasantly surprised!! When given such brief descriptions as cheesecake, souffle, and cherry sorbet - I had no idea what to expect. The hot version was the souffle and it was deliciously creamy but light - slightly honey-flavoured. Fantastic paired with the sour cherry sorbet. The cold version of the cheesecake didn't wow me as much, but tastes a lot more appetizing than "tofu cheesecake" might sound.
This was one of the most fun and interesting meals I've had all year, so for that - thanks Iron Chef Morimoto!!
We went to Morimoto's opening night and thought the Chef's Tasting menu was pretty good.
I still prefer Mavro over Alan Wong's and we've been to both in the last month.
Azure is one of my faves @ the Royal Hawaiian followed by La Mer @ Halekulani.
Michel's @ Colony Surf is good if you know how and what to order from the menu.
3660 on the Rise is always dependable.
Decent Hole in the Walls are Nico's, Uncle's, Maharani, Pho Tranh, Cafe Olive Tree, Mediterraneo, Le Guignol.
Alan Wong's Restaurant
1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826
2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815
Le Guignol Restaurant
1010 S King St Ste 108, Honolulu, HI 96814
71 S Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786
2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
1) Is the cafe olive in Wahiawa really what you meant to link to, or Olive Tree cafe in Kahala? this site is terrible for mis-linked links, and almost impossible to correct when they happen.
2) I went to Mediterraneo three times, at least a decade ago, and twice the pasta was seriously overcooked (not just past al dente, but approaching mush.) Do I dare give it another try?
If you do give Mediterraneo a try, I'd stay away from the pasta and try some other things like,
Their house salad, which has a kind of tomato...tapenade? or something on it;
The porcini crostini's are good
Risottos (We try asking the cook to make his porcini risotto, when it's not on the menu.)
Generally I don't care for the pasta and tomato sauce. I did like their carbonara which had sausage in it (the sausage was nice and zesty).
I haven't been there in a while, though.