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Morimoto, S. 8th and Chestnut Street in Market East - Chef Masaharu Morimoto Comes From Nobu


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I've done Morimoto about a year ago and had an amazing meal. It's quite expensive, I think we blew about $400 for dinner for two with sushi, couple of small plates, desserts, and a very generous alcohol allowance, but much fun with food has been had by all and I felt it was worth it. It would help to go with someone who loves food, too.

Also, once you've had a few drinks, a constant change of color of the walls boosts the fun and giggles.

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We're heading to Morimoto the first weekend in June -- our annual pilgrimage :-) Something we didn't know about the omakase until our second visit is that if you choose, you can go beyond the three prices listed on the menu -- we went, I think, $30 more and got an omakase personally prepared by Morimoto himself -- including fugu!!!

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My boyfriend and I were in Philly last weekend and had some amazing meals. We started on sat by getting drinks at continental. You can sit outside and they have fun drinks like the Champagne-a-rama! Then we ate at Budahkan, which is always amazing. We had a tuna pizza (thinly sliced tuna and wasabi on focaccia) as an appetizer and i had the seared ahi tuna, which was on of the best I have ever had, while my boyfriend had the steak which was equally delicious. On sunday we had brunch at Continental mid-town, which is such a fun kooky atmosphere. For dinner we went for drinks at Jones and dinner at to Morimoto, which was very impressive.

I absolutely LOVE Stephen Starr restaurants (as you can tell from my culinary weekend). Why oh why cant we have a Stehen Starr in DC??

Doesn;t he back Morimoto in Philly? Morimoto opens soon in Tyson's maybe he's backing that venture.

(strugggling to refrain from being glib about celeb chef's anbd their restaurants they don't work at)

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---snip snip snip---

Also went to Morimoto, which has not lost its luster despite the absence of hands-on Iron Chef presence (Morimoto was manning the shushi bar when we first went several years ago). Since we had been there several times, we knew what to expect, so we were not totally shocked by the prices, although they seem to have crept up even a bit more from last year.

---snip snip snip---

The only place where I've had better sushi than Morimoto is at Sushi Nozawa in LA (Mr. Nozawa has the infamous moniker "the Sushi Nazi"). Mr Nozawa made us some raw crab dishes that still make me want to cry. They were that good.

It's been about eight months since our last trip to Morimoto and I believe the omakase prices back then were $80, $100, and $120. Have they changed since then?

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Morimoto's losing its mojo, I think.

We've been making it a regular part of our visits to Philly since the year it opened -- usually on our own, once for a memorable meal with friends. We likely will look for some new experiences in new places during our next trip. Our meal on Sunday evening was not what we expected in terms of value or hospitality.

Too bad we didn't have the same server as Dcdavidm -- ours immediately questioned our choice of cocktail and pushed us to order something that would "pair with our food." So we ended up not getting any predinner drinks. Then when we were discussing the tasting menus and beverage pairings he kept telling us what we wanted wouldn't work, without explanation. I finally said "we seem to be hearing a lot of 'no' from you tonight, what's the deal?" and his answer was "well some things just don't work."

I ordered the $150 tasting menu and while it was well-prepared, it was not comparable to my previous experiences (both at that price point and below) in terms of ingredients or innovation. At one point, for example, our server said chef wanted to know how full I was, to give me the option of fewer pieces of sushi with more special ingredients. He then brought out a plate of six nigiri that weren't anything out of the ordinary.

At the end of our meal, we asked the hostess if she could call us a cab (something offered to us routinely during previous visits). "Lots of cabs come by here," she said. "Just go outside."

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Morimoto's losing its mojo, I think.

We've been making it a regular part of our visits to Philly since the year it opened -- usually on our own, once for a memorable meal with friends. We likely will look for some new experiences in new places during our next trip. Our meal on Sunday evening was not what we expected in terms of value or hospitality.

[snip]

That is sad to hear, especially since Morimoto is rather pricey and customers' expectations are deservedly high. Obviously, your experience contrasted markedly with ours, and I hope it is not a sign of lasting deterioration. Thanks for the warning, however.

xcanuck -- you asked how prices for the omakase compared with your $80-100-120 memories. Raise each of those by $20 and you have today's offerings.

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Before Memorial Day, I had an amazing meal at Morimoto (full review can be found here). If you're looking for high-end cuisine in Philly, I would definitely recommend it.

The short story: I got the $120 omakase, which contained the likes of toro tartare, Kumamoto oysters, Japanese scallop carpaccio, Kampachi sashimi salad, Eight-Spice Lobster, Kobe beef with grilled abalone mushrooms, and a to-die-for sushi board (there was a dessert course, but I wasn't very impressed). I also opted for a beverage pairing, which I probably wouldn't do again (due to my pickiness with wines and liquors). The flavors were thoughtful, the presentations were absolutely lovely, and the quality of ingredients was apparent in every bite. The service was also quite impeccable--they really went out of their way to accomodate me, and I felt like I was the only customer in the place.

Definitely try a cocktail in the small but cool lounge space above the main floor--I chose the cilantro gimlet, which was perfect for an herb fanatic like me! And, if you can, grab a seat at the sushi bar--it was fascinating to watch the chefs prepare my food and that of the other patrons. Like dinner and a show!

If you go all out and order omakase, Morimoto can be very pricy. However, I took a look-see at the a la carte menu, and I think it's possible to get out of there with your paycheck still in tact. It all just depends on how creative a meal you want and what kinds of ingredients you prefer.

All in all, great experience--I hope to return (on someone else's dime)!

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[These paragraphs were copied from The Mother Thread as part of larger posts.

Use the Snapback Function (the little icon at the top-right of each entry) to view each post in its entirety.]

Back from a quick weekend in Philly.

Morimoto for lunch. Very nice sushi but I didn't find it to be much better than the better Sushi restaurants in DC.

I've been to Philly a few times the last couple weeks for lunches.

I went to Morimoto's to try his Shoyu ramen with pork belly and soft boiled egg- good, but I would venture to say Ren's Ramen is just a scratch better.
pics

Just wanted to add my Philly report from this past weekend:

Morimoto- I really loved the basic omakase ($40) menu. All the fish was very fresh, the opening Toro Tartare with with Caviar, Tempura, Scallions, Ponzu and Fresh Wasabi, and finished with a Japanese fruit was a highlight. We had an assortment of sushi with toro, red snapper and others. We also had a whitefish caparcio with microgreens, with a very tasty vinaigrette with hot oil, we had black cod with miso served with a mustard sauce and pickled peppers that was cooked perfectly. Everything had very good balanced flavors and we were happy with each course. We ended with a chocolate cake with blueberry sauce that was very good. It was just enough food for lunch without being heavy. I wish I lived nearby so I could eat here more often all of the lunch specials coming out looked great.

I was at Morimoto about a month ago and was sadly disappointed. It used to be my measuring stick for Japanese food, but I fear quality is slipping slightly as of late.

Morimoto: At this point, we were wondering why we'd eaten at restaurants beginning with the letter M! This was our second time eating at Morimoto in probably two years. We sat at the sushi bar once again, and once again Morimoto was behind the sushi bar, preparing items and expediting. We enjoyed the omakase, both of us opting for the $100 version. service was attentive, and the sashimi course in particular shone. The only miss we had was the desert course, which was a cherry mousse, served too cold, on top of a flavorless poundcake. Otherwise, we had an enjoyable meal overall.

Also went to Morimoto, which has not lost its luster despite the absence of hands-on Iron Chef presence (Morimoto was manning the shushi bar when we first went several years ago). Since we had been there several times, we knew what to expect, so we were not totally shocked by the prices, although they seem to have crept up even a bit more from last year. Nonetheless, food was outstanding for the quality of the ingredients and the care in the preparation and presentation. Ms. Dcdavidm long ago fell in love with the spicy shrimp tempura, which is addicting. She also had a refreshing cold soba noodle dish. I usually go for some form of the omakase, which this weekend featured a string of presentations based on the use of heirloom tomatoes. The selections were creative and delicious.

We have always been impressed by Morimoto’s service; the staff is invariably young, enthusiastic, well-trained, and knowledgeable. Our server exemplified the way to build a server-customer relationship. She presented herself with friendly professionalism. In response to my questions about each omakase dish as it arrived, she not only described the ingredients, but engaged in a conversation about the dish. Realizing that we were really interested in the food, she brought out a selection that was not part of the omakase, but which the chef was experimenting with and wanted customer reaction. When the check came, I noticed that it did not include the two cocktails we had ordered upon arrival. She explained that, “we comped those because we really enjoyed talking with you about the food!” Nice treat.

Funny I just got back from Philly for the Dali show Monday...

Morimoto's is great and expensive...The multicourse Omakase can run up to $120 and the matching multicourse drink pairing (which was very good) goes for $60...at the very least stop in to Morimotos and have a drink/snack at the lounge which overlooks the restaurant, which is a treat to see.

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Tip for those who wish to try the Morimoto omakase: they will allow more than one person to share (we've done this with both two and three diners). Using this, we have picked the $120 omakase, and then added a few extra dishes not on it (we asked so as not to double any course). Fabulous way to enjoy Morimoto. In past years they have had a truffle Omakase in the fall/winter.

I agree with those who think Morimoto's sushi is no better than DC's best, but it is very good, and some of the other dishes (toro tartare, spiced lobster, rock shrimp tempura) are to me even better than the sushi.

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Interesting and Thank You.  I am going to Morimoto's in Philadelphia Saturday night and I noticed the word Omakase on the menu (at three different price points), I really didn't know what it meant but many many reviews said go for it at the middle price point ($120pp).

Any opinion's or feedback is appreciated.

I went to Morimoto on Monday, and walked out the door happier than I was when I walked in, but that's only because I'm convinced I "did" Morimoto correctly.

Lunch, with low expectations.

Perhaps more than any other Japanese restaurant, I have heard *so many* disappointing stories about Morimoto, and I think it's because the diners went seeking a transforming experience, and spent big bucks not getting one.

Remember, part of the thrill here is the restaurant design, and that costs nothing to enjoy.

(I would also scroll up and read Jimmy Chandler's post which contains excellent advice.)

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"I'll have two pieces of mirugai, and one order of tamago. Oh, and a tuna pizza."
 
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"I'll have some maki, and we can share it."

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"There's cilantro all over my tuna pizza."

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"Oh, that's okay - I'll take your tuna pizza, and you can have my maki."

the-kiss.jpg

'Hmm ... I wonder if she's going to offer me a taste of her ...'

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The%2BBlindman%2527s%2BMeal%2Bby%2BPablo

pablo-picasso-fish-subject-prints-and-mu

 

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I remember my first trip to Morimoto as solo. It was in 2004 May 14th. I drove up from DC, super excited, without a reservation hoping I can get a table. Turned out luck was on my side and I grabbed a bar seat facing Morimoto himself. I was enjoying every bite and walking on the clouds. Lady next to me was a friend of Morimoto and told me it was Morimoto`s birthday. Morimoto offered me(on the house) 2 pieces of nigiri. A fatty tuna and a lean tuna and asked which I prefer. It was a lifetime experience for me. On my way back to DC driving I was thinking what a great restaurant it was. 

Fast forward to May 12th 2024(mother`s day) my wife`s request was to be alone so I decided to take my 2 daughters for restaurant hopping in Philly and  Morimoto was our first stop. We grabbed 3 seats at the bar(Morimoto was not present) but we had a great time and awesome sushi. Hostess told me I was there last time in 2004 and literally almost 20 years later I was there with my kids. 

We had uni nigiri, king crab legs, fatty tuna and a bunch of other sushi. My kids are adventurous eaters and enjoyed every bite especially uni. I told them my story how I drove there by myself before meeting my wife and now here we are together as a family. It was a great experience to be remembered for the life time. My passion of food and restaurants was inspired by Charlie Trotter(RIP) and of course Tom Power and I am forever grateful for it. 

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13 hours ago, Ferhat Yalcin said:

My passion of food and restaurants was inspired by Charlie Trotter(RIP) and of course Tom Power and I am forever grateful for it. 

And you helped inspire mine. Thanks Ferhat!

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