Contemporary Japanese food at Morimoto


723 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa 19106
Rating: 5/5.
Ideal for: Family Gathering, Celebration.
Price: High-Price.

Morimoto has been on my bucket list from the moment I tried and liked sushi –it was when I was 20 years old. I finally crossed this item off my list on January of 2018.

It was my brother’s birthday, so we needed an extra-special place to celebrate his day and we chose Chef Morimoto’s restaurant to do so. The restaurant’s ambiance was the first thing that caught my attention: the lights were dimmed, the walls had a 3D pattern, and the tables had some neon lights. It was very relaxing. The restaurant was filled with people, and yet it was not noisy, something that is very important to us when we dine out.

It took us a while to order from its menu, because we were mesmerized by the ambiance of the restaurant. Once we ordered, though, we couldn’t wait for the food to arrive! For appetizers we got a tuna pizza that had tuna Carpaccio (raw meat, sliced very thin) with an anchovy’s aioli. I personally thought the tortilla was a little too cooked, but the rest of the table didn’t think so and ate it very quickly. The tuna was cut very, very thin and yet each of the bites was filled with flavor!

As if we didn’t have enough tuna with that pizza, we got the tuna tartare as well. The presentation of this plate was superb: It was a small bowl in the middle of a big plate. The bowl was surrounded by ice and on top of it you would find four little spoons and four nectarines. The tartare was spicy but not the hot spice that makes you want to drink water for hours. It was more of a tangy feeling, that disappeared once I tried the juicy nectarines. These nectarines were both sweet and sour, and so small that one bite was enough to devour each of them.

We also shared an order of vegetables tempura. The batter of the tempura was so crispy that you could hear it from a distance! It was also salty and buttery, just how I like my tempura to be. It came with three sauces, and let me tell you I was impressed with them.  One of them was a soy sauce with some spice to it, the other one was a sweet and sour sauce, and the last one was a gorgonzola sauce. I never thought vegetable tempura would work with gorgonzola sauce, and yet it was quite delicious.

I was so full after the appetizers, that I only had space for something small. I ordered three pieces of sashimi, and I, Orly Margulis, have never had sashimi that was this good. The chu-toro (medium fatty tuna) sashimi literally melted in my mouth. The salmon sashimi was flavorful, fatty and delicious. I can’t eat salmon sashimi from GrubHub anymore. The third piece of sashimi I ordered was tobiko (flying fish roe), and I loved it. I loved how the roe poped in my mouth to release the flavor, and it was especially delicious when I combined it with the chu-toro and salmon sashimi.

I also grabbed a piece of the salmon that had a spicy sauce on top and green leaves on the side. It was New Zealand salmon, so it was very rich in flavor and it was cooked medium well so the flavor and the fatness of it wasn’t lost. I also tried the ishi yaki bop, a plate that is cooked at the table. The wait staff would bring a burning stone bowl filled with rice, vegetables, an egg and yellowtail fish. Then, the waiter grabbed the pieces of fish, put them around the bowl and cooked and mixed the rice, egg and vegetables together until the egg was fully cooked. I am not sure if I enjoyed the flavor of the vegetables with the fish, or seeing the waiter as he was preparing this plate!

Before I said I was full, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have space for dessert. I always have space for dessert. I ordered the fiery chocolate tart, a deconstructed s’mores dessert. The plate comes with chocolate graham crackers with chocolate ganache, and a chocolate sphere filled with marshmallow and chocolate ice cream. The best part of it wasn’t the chocolate overload, but how it was served. The waiter poured liquor set on fire, so the chocolate sphere melted in front of me. Although this dessert was superb, I wouldn’t order it again for just myself. This is the only time you will see me saying this, but it was too much chocolate.

Next time, I would order the matcha, matcha, matcha. It was a matcha cake with chocolate and matcha ice cream. It was chocolate-y without being overwhelming, and the green tea gave it a different texture. Not everyone liked this one, but matcha is one of my favorite drinks, so I truly enjoyed this dessert.


Jewtina Tips:  Skip the cocktails and order an extra appetizer instead!

Teenu- Disfruta -Enjoy!