Japanese Dinner: Sampling the food of Morimoto & Nobu- 4/7/12

Table Set up The guests Sampling the food Action in the kitchen

Tonight we are sampling the food of Nobu and Morimoto!  I am presenting 4 dishes from Nobu and 4 dishes from Morimoto and since I am co-hosting with Maily, she is also serving 2 dishes for a total of 10 dishes.  Portions will be very small so that everyone can enjoy all the dishes.

It is going to be a feast so without further ado let the battle begins and at the end of the party all of us will decide which cuisine will reign supreme!

Let's start!

1st course: Clam Mojito by Nobu

Starting with a Clam Mojito from Nobu.  Great way to start dinner where everyone so that everyone will grab the shot glass and say "Cheers" to create a little ambiance.

Nobu is a Japanese chef known for his fusion cuisine blending traditional Japanese dishes with South American (Peruvian) ingredients.

Classic Mojito is a blend of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint but Nobu put his own twist by switching rum for sake and adding a few drops of light soy sauce and the end result is a fusion between Japanese and South America.

Click on LINK to see preparation


2nd course: Oyster salmon roll with shiso leaves by Nobu

This dish is very simple to make but it is packed with lots of flavors.

Basically, a fresh oyster is rolled in a piece of shiso leaf and salmon gravalax then serve with a ponzu soy sauce and decorated wit a few strips of fresh ginger.


The recipe called for smoked salmon but since I love homemade Gravalax I decided to substitute for it.

I enjoyed the taste of the fresh oyster against the salmon gravalax and the ponzu sauce tied the whole dish together.

This got a lot of rave reviews!  but let's wait until the end to see the favorite dish of the evening.

Click on LINK to see preparation

3rd course: Black cod in butter lettuce wraps by Nobu

This dish is a Nobu's classic.  Nobu often do this dish at public tasting events and it sells out faster than any other restaurant's offering.

The cod is seared and then slather with a Nobu-style Saikyo Miso and served with wrapped in a butter lettuce and it is often served as finger food.

On top of the dish is fried Kataifi (shredded phyllo dough) and gives the dish a good crunch but the star of the dish is definitely the seared cod.

I loved the taste of the cod and the special Miso marinate gave the fish an intense and deep flavor.

Click on LINK to see preparation


4th course: Hamachi sashimi by Maily

Since there are 6 more courses to come Maily purposely only gave us a small portion!

Fresh Hamachi sprinkle with fleur de sel, olive oil, a splash of lemon, enoki mushroom, and scallions


Hamachi (young yellowtail) can be as rich as toro, smooth and buttery with a deep smoky taste, but not overpoweringly here it is presented very simply to let the Hamachi be the star.


5th course: Tuna Pizza by Morimoto

I have been to Morimoto's restaurant twice and I have seen people eating this dish but I never got a chance to order it.  I always though I should give it a try so here we are!
The pizza dough is made with a crispy tortilla smeared with BBQ eel sauce and then topped with fresh Tuna and Salmon gravalax (because I have some left over from the 2nd course), and a sprinkling of colorful jalapenos, baby tomatoes, black olive.  Then the whole pizza is decorated with an anchovy aioli!

Simply Delicious!


We all loved the pizza!  We have a few extra slices and the kids asked if they could have the extras!

Click on LINK to see preparation


6th course: Tuna tartare with 5 type of garnishes by Morimoto

I had this dish at Morimoto and I simply love it so tonight I am re-creating it for my friends.

At Morimoto it is served inside a rectangular box and serving with an array of sauces of various colors and flavors so that people can play and mix and match according to their own taste.

Click on LINK to see the presentation of this dish at Morimoto Napa (the dish is in the middle of the page so scroll down a bit to see).

Morimoto does not give out a recipe for it but I figure it out on my own..
My garnishes are: guacamole, sour cream, sea weed sauce, salmon row, and rice crackers (I forgot to serve wasabi).

The tuna tartare was served on a bed of ice, 5 types of garnishes and a bit of ponzu soy sauce. 


7th course: King Oyster Mushroom with Pistachio Purée by Maily

This is the only vegetarian dish of the evening but the King mushroom has been described as being umami, with the flavor and texture of an abalone.

Here it is served on a bed of Pistachio puree which is so yummy, and pickled radish and Jerusalem artichoke.

Colorful and very flavorful dish! Might look simple but the pistachio puree was very time consuming to make!


8th course: Fried soft shell crab with cucumber salsa by Nobu

Originally the fried soft shell crab supposed to be paired with cactus salsa but once I prepared the cactus it was so slimy that it just gross me out so I threw it away and replaced it with a cucumber/avocado/tomato/red onion salsa and served with a Ponzu ginger soy sauce.



Out of all the dishes this one is probably the most common and basic dish and it is probably a safe dish to serve without any fanfare!

Like Phuc said it is tough to go wrong with fried stuff and since I did serve cactus salsa I felt the dish did not offer something special.


9th course: Crispy duck with port reduction by Morimoto

aka: duck, duck, duck..

Crispy duck with port reduction is also known as duck, duck, duck! 3 times the word "DUCK"?  YES, and here is the reason why it is called that way:

1-Duck= roasted duck, 2-Duck=Foie Gras 3-Duck=duck's egg  - CAPICHE?

I had the pleasure of eating this dish at Morimoto in New York and I really enjoy it so here I am cooking it for my friends!

Click on LINK to see the dish at Morimoto New York (scroll all the way down)


View of the filling inside a croissant

roasted duck, slides of cucumber, and generous piece of canned Foie gras.

Served with fried duck's egg and a port reduction sauce.

Click on LINK to see how I prepared this dish!

10th course: Shrimp tempura by Morimoto

Unfortunately I did not get to serve this dish for the evening because everyone were too full but not to despair the dish will not go to waste!  We have another dinner party the next evening and so I brought this dish.  Since it is a new day and everyone was starving by the time this dish hit the table, it was gone in a few minutes.  A lot of people like this dish but we did not rank it this evening.

Click on LINK to see presentation at Morimoto.


You can not really see it on these pictures but the shrimp tempura are mixed with two separate sauces: wasabi aioli (green-ish) and Spicy mayonnaise (red-ish).

Some people like the wasabi aioli better and some like the spicy mayonnaise better.  I personally like the Spicy mayonnaise better.

The shrimps came out crispy and the sauce were outstanding!

Click on LINK to see preparation of the dish


Now that we went through the whole menu you might ask: Whose cuisine will reign supreme?

Nobu or Morimoto? 

You will have to wait to see the answer on the next page....

Next.. Action in the kitchen



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