723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910639.949655 -75.153273
Neighborhoods: Center City East, Center City
Great sushi – Excellent fresh sushi. A bit pricey but good. Great drinks too.
Morimoto is an “Iron Chef” culinary adventure in Philadelphi – Start the night off right with a specialty drink. The Guava Shiso-Jito is Smirnoff Citrus, guava nectar, mint, and lime. This is the best spin on a mojito I’ve ever had. It’s a great drink to relax with. I can feel the tropical breeze just thinking about it. Thumbs up with 5 stars!
“Let’s get it on” with the entrees. Morimoto Surf and Turf is Kobe sirloin, hamachi ribbons, avocado salad, and herbed potatoes. The sirloin is cooked to a rare perfection (or to your liking), sliced and sprinkled with salt crystals. The hamachi ribbons are tossed together with the avocado salad, and ponzu sauce. This is the best hamachi I have ever had. It was so fresh that it just melted in my mouth. The ingredients are perfectly matched in this dish. The potatoes are bite-sized and the cream sauce adds a silky goodness with the smooth texture of the potatoes. The best way to experience this dish is to eat it together, a bite of the sirloin, a bite of hamachi, a potato, and repeat. This very dish may have had a start on Iron Chef. Thumbs up with 5 stars!
The Seafood “Toban Yaki” contains sweet prawns, scallops, king crab, bok choy, manila clams, oyster mushrooms, and citrus butter. This hot pot of deliciousness will satisfy your seafood craving and then some. While the seafood is cooked to perfection, the seafood broth that is a result of the cooking process is amazing in its own right. The mushrooms and bok choy absorb this broth which make them some of the best you’ve ever had. Thumbs up with 5 stars!
Morimoto almost always made a dessert during his battles and his innovative ideas make it on his dessert menu. The Mary Jane Brownies are chocolate brownies with Kinako-Huromitsu ice cream, and candied hemp seeds. The brownie has a very rich chocolate flavor. The Kinako-Kuromitsu ice cream is very interesting. Kinako is roasted soy flour which is slightly sweet and nutty, almost tastes like peanut butter. The Kuromitsu is Japanese sugar syrup with means “black honey” in Japanese. It adds a nice sweetness to the ice cream, almost caramel in flavor. The ice cream is topped with chocolate cookie bark. The candied hemp seeds are a wonderful accompaniment and tasted like a nice, pulverized brittle. Order up a nice mocha cappuccino to end the evening right.
If Steve Jobs had a restaurant, I imagine it to be like this – This place reminded me of the ipod dock my daughter has; the plastic walls and tables are constanly changing colors, almost too slowly to detect until you realize the once purple walls are now green.
I am hardly a Stephen Starr fan, and yet this place always intrigues and satisfies me. For lunch the other day a group of my work associates decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal. We split a bunch of appetizers, and the edamame and rock shrimp tempura were the clear stand-outs. For our actual meals, the Isi Yaki Bop was phenomenal, although the soup and salad that came with it were lack-luster. The service was exceptional, everyone was extremely attentive and refilled our beverages constantly.
Even the restrooms were cool.
The only con was that my green tea tasted stronlgly like tuna fish... however, I will definitely be back.
Overpriced, and simply bad food! – I was very disappointed with the experience. After hearing so much about the restaurant I finally made a reservation for my birthday. We were greeted very well and the people aspect remained great and pleasant until the very end. However the rest of the evening proved to be not a memorable experience.
The restaurant itself looked cheap. The ambient light and modern design seemed as if it was made out of
So here comes the food part…
I decided to go with Omakase, which is basically a sample menu containing everything from appetizers to desert. The first dish I got was tuna tartare, which was great; maybe a little bit too much of pancho in the mix if that is what they use because it kind of suppressed the tuna flavor. Then I got 3 clams with 3 different sauces and that was amazing as well, though I cannot give too much credit for bringing out fresh clams. To be completely honest, I must say that 2 out 3 sauces were delicious. One was with a slice of jalapeno and another one with a cilantro leaf.
The next dish deserves a separate paragraph because it was probably the best fish I have ever had in my life. It was some soft of white fish, butterfish I think. The texture I contribute the fish, but the souce, which was based either on balsamic vinegar or some red wine was heavenly!
The sashimi pieces were nice, fresh and cannot complain about it. Though once again, if u put a fresh fish in front of me I will probably have little complaints about it. The problem starts when people do not do a good job preparing it.
However here is where the good things end.
The lobster I got was rubbery and was not impressive at all. I had lobsters like that in Chinese takeouts.
The sushi sample I got was not impressive at all. The tuna one was very fresh and tender, but the rest was chewy and too fishy. The most anticipated Koby beef tiny piece of a steak was the most tender one I’ve had, yet it was basically a chunk of fat. I do know that koby beef is famous for its fat, which should be distributed throughout the cut and not simply be placed on a plate as a square chunk. So great flavor in the little piece of meat I was able to find on the plate and the rest is just fat.
The desert was a big disappointment as well. I was basically a brownie that tasted not better that the one out of premixed box: very dry and the chocolate flavor was completely lost in the texture.
My girlfriend went with a crispy calamari salad and a soup. The soup was ok at best with the salt almost precipitating in the cup. The calamari in the salad were very tender but they were soaked in fat, which happens when deep frying is happening on too low of a temperature or one leaves them out for too long. It was so disappointed that we actually send it back and got mushroom salad instead, which, though is described in the menu as containing rice and curry, came out as a fried mushroom rice. It tasted good, so I am just disappointed with the name. One orders a salad expecting a light meal and not a plate of fried rice.
So to sum up, greatly disappointed. Great service with food that does not live up to its name and definitely its price. I am ok with paying $200 for just food, but I expect top quality and not feeling that I want to send everything back. I only sent one item back but wanted to do so on more that just one. And to finish the unsatisfactory evening, they threw away what we wanted to take with home and we had to wait for another 15 mins so they make it again since we almost did not touch fried wasabi rice being full from the “mushroom salad.”
way overpriced for ok food – I went in knowing it was going to be expensive, so price was not a huge concern. I wanted this meal to be about the experience since we were celebrating our first wedding anniversary. With that said, no matter what the price, the food was not very good. I was so disappointed!
I ordered the $120 tasting menu and my husband got the rock shrimp tempura and the seafood toban yaki. 5/8 courses of the tasting menu were raw fish. I had hoped for a little more variety, but they kept bringing out raw fish. Some were good, some not so good and it all started to taste the same after a while. They did bring out a half a lobster, but the spices were overpowering and the lobster was dry. The rock shrimp tempura was good, but just like bang bang shrimp from Bonefish Grill and a local restaurant by us has the same, both for a much lower price. The seafood toban yaki was barely edible. I thought it had way too much salt and a funky flavor. We also ordered a side of wasabi fried rice and we both took one bite and didn't touch it, it was gross, not edible. DO NOT ORDER!
However since it is Morimoto, I would suggest going there once to satisfy curiosity. Mine is satisfied, so I will never go back. The service was good, attentive and our waiter remembered to wish us a happy anniversary and took a picture for us.
Our bill was $220 (without tip). I had a diet coke and my husband had 3 Sapporos. Would have been much happier at Midtown Continental for $80.
Hit-or-miss – I have been to Morimoto three times. The first two times I was with my parents and had two excellent meals, including the tasting menu. However, my third trip to Morimoto was with my friend. The waiter all but ignored us for the entire meal, probably because we both look about 25. Instead our waiter lavished all of his attention on a table who was spending more money on Pellegrino water, cocktails, and multiple appetizers. We had only ordered two appetizers and two entrees, which apparently is not enough to warrant any attention. We went for 10 minutes without water, and when our meal was delivered my friend had no fork with which to eat her meal! Our waiter was so inattentive that we had to flag him down to get a utensil. He did not ask how us how our meal was until after we had finished eating. I had ordered the ishi yaki bop rice dish with king yellowtail and, although it was tasty the first time I?d had it, it was dry this time. Overall this place is hit-or-miss, depending on your company (and how much the waiter thinks you will spend and tip). Although I had two good meals, I will not be returning.
Mixed – I don't eat Sushi, but my boyfriend does and loves the Iron Chef. It's definitely overpriced in some regard. My boyfriend ordered the "Chef's Choice" he loved every single dish, but left there hungry and starving (that stinks when you spend over $100+ for your meal). We had to get room service late night in our hotel (a cheesesteak). I had some mixed fizzy drink, which was very good! The waiter was strange, very theatrical and knowledgeable but served us well. We had a 6P reservation and the place was initially empty, but filled up rather quickly. Don't go this place hungry, you will leave still hungry. I had the steak and it was okay, nothing great, but I didn't expect it to be great, since it's a sushi place. Just have realistic expectatons when you go, oh and the lighting fixtures on the tables look falic.
Not Worth The Trip – On 09/29/2008 we drove from Baltimore to Philadelphia for a 5:30pm reservation on a Monday night. Upon arrival we were the only people there except the staff. We were seated and started out with a Morimoto Soba Ale and a non-alcoholic pineapple cocktail. We decided on three $120.00 Omakase and $85.00/$65.00 drink paring. We recieved a complimentary dish(About the size of a quarter) with a tiny peice of lobster and sauce, which was very tasty.
The first course was tuna tartar with caviar/scallions which was very tasty with a glass of wine.
The second course was three oysters with jalapeno/lime which were very good with glass of Sake.
The third course was red snapper with a citrus type sauce with a glass of wine.
The fourth course was yellowtail with sea urchin/grasses/sauce with a glass of Sake.
The fifth course was a half lobster(eight spice) containing about four bites of lobster with a glass of wine.
The sixth course was Kobe beef(Unk what part) that was just plain bland with glass of red wine.
The dessert was some type of cake with some drops of glaze, trully forgettable.
Overall for the cost it was certainly not worth the trip from out of town or the $120.00 per person cost for the food. The total cost for our meal was $585.00 plus tip. The best part of the trip was leaving and driving to Geno's Steaks and getting three cheesesteaks to fill us up for $22.50.
The Omakase is still the thing to get! – I've eaten here over a dozen times and I still love it as much as the first. If you're going to dine here, get the omakase and be sure to get the $120 because the $80 one will just get you the pedestrian stuff you see on the menu. I was here last night and the place was packed (on a wednesday!). If I didn't make my reservation for 8:15 I would've had to make it for 9:30 as all the spots were booked. I love the toro tuna tartare, the yellowtail carpaccio, the oysters, the kampachi salad, the 8 spice lobster, the kobe beef sirloin, the sushi, and even my apricot pound cake. Yeah, can you tell this is what I had last night? Awesome awesome!!! Five stars all the way.
Too expensive – I have a hard time believing Morimoto himself actually came up with the dishes this place serves. Every sauce is over sweetened and is simply lacking in flavor. The sushi is good however it is not worth $6 a piece. The ishy yaki buri bop is basically a $30 bowl of fried rice, $45 if you want a few ounces of fake "Kobe" beef in it. For the amount of money they charge, this place is too noisy, too cramped, and the level of service is not there. A wet table, a cracked water glass and the lunch truck (break-apart) chopsticks is unacceptable for this price. If you are drawn to "hip" (neon lamps and phallic candles) ambiance and have a disposable income, you may like this place. Otherwise it's not worth it. I've had enough of this Stephen Starr nonsense.
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