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By Anna Wilding
WAIKIKI (Herald de Paris) —  The bliss of Hawaii. Of course we can all talk about the weather and the perfect temperature of the ocean, but really it is more than that. It is the gentle blend of cultures from Asia, America, the East and West that merge seamlessly. It is though each culture bought some of the best it had to offer-to and it is that, to me that makes the island what it is and to work as a whole. It is a natural fit for one of America’s best sushi chef’s Masaharu Morimoto- legendary Chef – of Iron Chef fame.

unnamed (7)Morimoto has two locations in Hawaii and I was fortunate enough to be treated to a fabulous dinner at Morimoto Waikiki situated on the marina waterfront and at the new, stylish and ever so grand, avant garde Modern Hotel.
Morimoto’s sparse, simplistic, stylish and modernistic design is fitting for the delicate art of sushi preparation and presentation.  The setting allows and highlights the ability of Morimoto’s dishes to sing and soar.

In fact, it is when Morimoto is at his most delicate that his dishes are the most refined and energizing. Take, for instance, the delicious whitefish carpaccio – kanpachi. Sourced using local ingredients and presented like a large fresh spring flower on a porcelain white plate, this was one of the best summer dishes I have ever tasted. It was going to be a hard act to follow. Light, a gently tangy dressing,combined with fresh simplicity is hard to replicate. However,  it was, but with the gravitas needed of a main dish entree. The hot braised black cod on ginger soy reduction with budo mame, flaked under the fork and knife and melted into one’s mouth. I still dream about it and it is the best black cod I have ever tasted.

Suunnittelija Paola Suhonen Los Angelesissa

Suunnittelija Paola Suhonen Los Angelesissa

Morimoto uses, where possible, local and naturally sourced ingredients. In fact the one dish where I felt Morimoto was trying to appeal to the masses and actually veered from locally sought ingredients was the one dish I thought was a little leaden compared with the rest that soared on the pallette. I thought the ahi tuna pizza, with tuna sourced from Japan, was just a tad overdone.  A little too much of this-being tuna, and a little too much of that-being the wonton/nacho style crust and dressing. It was either that, or put simply,it just did not compare with the incredibly high standard of the rest of the dishes.

For example, another excellent stand out dish was the Ishi Yaki Buri Bop -which our friendly and extremely knowledgeable waiter prepared in front of us. The waiter sears the yellow tail on both sides before us on a hot stone bowl heaped with perfectly seasoned rice.

To follow the incredible and very original Chocolate Peanut Bombe and if peanuts aren’t your thing, a selection of incredibly well made sorbets in fresh island flavors.

It is a sublime experience and one of the better experiences in life, to sit at Morimoto’s with a glass of champagne, overlooking the marina at the Modern Hotel in Hawaii and sampling from an innovative, diverse menu,that caters to everyone.Oh and you may just like to try one of Morimoto’s signature sake’s with your main dish. Morimoto’s is a fully immersive dining experience, and one to remember for a long time to come. Morimtoto’s stands out for its energizing food and its clean sophistication.

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