Who doesn’t love sushi?
I ate my last meal in New York at Morimoto — a Japanese restaurant on 10th Avenue. I definitely didn’t want to leave New York City without having great sushi, and luckily, Morimoto delivered.
Our meal began with the toro tartare.
Our waitress served us the raw, chopped toro, topped with domestic caviar, in a large bowl filled with ice. Inside the bowl was a tray filled with dashes of sauces — wasabi, sour cream, nori paste, chopped chives, guacamole, and rice crackers — and a cup of dashi soy. To eat the tartare, you use the metal spatula-like spoon to scoop out toro, add condiments, and dip in the dashi soy.
The toro tartare tasted delicious! It’s one of those foods that I’ll want again if I go to New York, but not all the time — it costs $31 on the lunch menu. It’s definitely worth the price for a non-local, though.
Maki and nigiri sushi were next on the lunch agenda.
The shrimp tempura roll, spicy salmon roll, and sake (salmon) nigiri created a triumvirate of flavor, headed by the sake nigiri.
The sake nigiri was absolutely phenomenal! The salmon practically melted in my mouth. The chef’s inclusion of wasabi in between the slice of cool, raw salmon and the sweet sushi rice made the sushi taste ten times better. In Japan, the sushi chef lightly smears a small bit of wasabi in between the fish and the rice, as wasabi should not be mixed in the soy sauce, which is commonly done in the West.
Taking a short break from sushi, I feasted into the crispy rock shrimp tempura.
The rock shrimp tempura had both a green chile and a wasabi sauce. Our waitress gave a ranch dip along with the rock shrimp tempura, which added a cooling dimension to the spicy shrimp. Honestly, I think I should have started with the shrimp, as it’s quite filling. Plus, its hot properties clash with the coolness of the sushi I just ate.
I ended the meal with two more maki rolls.
The spicy tuna roll and California roll were calm and somewhat “safe” endings to the meal.
The standout roll was definitely the California roll. What made it stand apart, especially from other California rolls, was the use of real snow crab meat — very different from the usual imitation crab found in most sushi restaurants and grocery stores.
I definitely recommend trying out Morimoto if you visit New York. Would I go back to Morimoto if I take another trip to the Big Apple? Possibly, but probably not. I won’t lie — Morimoto is ridiculously pricy, even for lunch. Is the food worth it? I’d say yes, but it’s not the place for someone on a budget (unless you want to leave hungry and underfed). I’d say try it once, then decide to return if you think it’s worth it. Just watch how much you’re ordering.