I love Restaurant Week in Hawaii. I get to try different restaurants at a reasonable price and the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head benefits. What a win win situation. Since I was out of town for most of Restaurant Week, I ate at two different restaurants on the last day. Morimoto Waikiki, the restaurant of the famous Iron Chef, was my choice for lunch.
Located in the Edition Hotel at 1775 Ala Moana Bouelvard or the ewa side of the Ilikai Hotel, Morimoto Waikiki has an airy, contemporary feel. Moss green is the color scheme. You even see moss growing in glass in the reception area and in dining tables. Seating is inside or outside under umbrellas.
LS and I decided share our entrees. Based on the recommendation of Martin, our waiter, LS ordered the braised black cod and I ordered the kakuni don (ten hour pork belly). Our entrees ($27) came with miso soup, rice, a salad, dessert, and coffee or tea.
The food was served on a tray and at first glance did not look like much. The mixed salad had a light kaboso vinaigrette which was not overpowering and brought out the flavors of the greens. The miso soup was good but did not taste like any other miso soup I’ve ever had. Our favorite entree hands down was the kakuni don which is very similar to the Okinawan pork roast. The pork was tender and tasty, not overpowering. The sauce was so good with the perfectly cooked rice. Although, the serving looked small, approximately 3 ounces of meat, it was enough.
The braised cod was about 5 ounces and had a sauce similar to the pork. The braised cod was flaky. LS liked eating the fish with the ginger.
One of my friends was sitting at a table next to us. LA ordered the sashimi, tempura, sushi combination and her husband ordered the lobster melt sandwich. They said that the sashimi, tempura, sushi combination was excellent but the lobster melt sandwich was so so. The sandwich had a lot of lobster but needed more cheese.
Dessert was the a tofu cheesecake – kuromitsu and a peanut butter fondant-milk chocolate cremeux. Both desserts were light and not sweet. I preferred the tofu cheesecake and LS liked the peanut butter fondant.
The experience at Morimoto Waikiki was very enjoyable. The service was friendly and helpful and the food very good. When we left, both LS and I were satisfied, not stuffed. I definitely would return to Morimoto again for a special occasion. For reservations, please call 808) 943-5900.