One of the world's most famous chefs, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is opening a restaurant at the renovated Shelborne Wyndham South Beach next week. The Japanese master has been preparing for service in the Magic City by giving fellow chefs and industry peers a taste of his menu.
Short Order was invited to sample the celebrity chef's menu. But don't worry, come October 1, you'll be able to bite into it too.
See also: Morimoto South Beach to Open October 1
Morimoto South Beach's gorgeous setting is set up to be the next big tourist destination. It includes a beverage bar that seamlessly connects the indoor and outdoor spaces that seat close to 200 people. A sushi bar running through the whole restaurant acts as the stage for the dish Morimoto is best known for.
Bronze and amber light up the room. Glamour is the unifying theme.
Shishito peppers are a great way to kick off any Japanese meal ($12).
The cleverly named Beet It cocktail ($14) blends Belvedere beet-infused vodka and ginger syrup. Be careful with these suckers. They are addictive and deceiving. You'll think you're fine, and then all of a sudden your world will start spinning.
Toro tartare ($28) lets you play chef. Pick and choose how much nori paste, wasabi, and sour cream you want to smear on your piece of tuna belly.
Any dish with the name Morimoto as part of the title is begging to be ordered. The Morimoto ceviche packs lobster, conch, and white fish ($24). A yuzu gelatin is the best component of the dish and worth slurping down when it melts.
Our server suggested the bagna cuda ($14). Seasonal fish and local vegetables are plated alongside a garlic anchovy dip for your dipping pleasure. It wasn't our favorite dish of the night.
But the wagyu beef tenderloin carpaccio ($23) with yuzu soy, ginger, and sweet garlic was.
So was the maguro kama ($15), or tuna collarbone. It's served with anticucho sauce. The dish may be made from your less-than-ordinary animal parts (collarbone and grilled beef heart), but it's worth venturing out of your comfort zone for.
Whitefish carpaccio includes only hot oil and mitsuba ($18). I would have loved some more zest and acidity.
A special section of the menu is dedicated to soup and noodles. It includes a clear gazpacho, uni carbonara, and duck meatball soup. We opted for the Morimoto South Beach chilled noodles ($16) instead. Served cold, the dish included hot Inaniwa noodles, savory pork sauce, and garlic chili oil for some heat. You might not want to share this.
A traditional Japanese dish, pork gyoza ($15) is done a bit differently with tomato sauce and bacon foam.
Ten-hour pork belly, rice congee, and soy-scallion jus ($16).
Treat yourself to a chef's combination sushi or sashimi platter. Morimoto serves up all the fish imaginable, bringing them from Tsukiji fish market in Japan to your table daily.
The sushi master is rolling plenty of rolls, from barbecue eel and avocado ($10) to shisomaki ($5) with shiso and plum paste.
Don't be alarmed if throughout your meal, you hear a ruckus. It's just Morimoto's tradition of breaking the sake keg and pouring some booze for his guests.
Braised black cod ($34) in a ginger-soy reduction melts in your mouth.
Eight-ounce wagyu filet ($80). All steaks are served with traditional sweet onion and garlic jus.
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Chilled souffle cheesecake with strawberry wine sorbet ($12).
Fiery and salty caramel chocolate tart ($20) is fiery indeed. It's got 70 percent dark chocolate sorbet and lit on fire with some Bacardi rum to reveal its marshmallow core.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha