Now franchised across the US, as well as Japan, Mumbai and New Delhi, Morimoto is not your typical Japanese restaurant. Its founder, Iron Chef America Masaharu Morimoto, is known for harmonizing Japanese ingredients with other food cultures (his training spans classic kaiseki cuisine in Hiroshima and New York’s Nobu), and here in Bangkok is no exception.
Even the decor blends cultures with its stylish, wood-paneled booths, Scandinavian-influenced furnishings, wavy ceiling and, at its heart, a sushi bar where diners can see through to the kitchen.
A lot of the time, Morimoto’s cultural flavor mix works well. His tuna belly tartare with four varieties of wasabi, seaweed pasted, sour cream, guacamole and soy sauce (B650) and “Ishi Yaki Buri Bop” (a take on Korea’s hot-stone bibimbap featuring yellowtail fish, B590) perfectly blend Japanese-style sashimi with new flavors and presentation. The tartare is truly addictive thanks to the sweet, sour and salty flavors, while the bibimbap features fish lightly cooked by the hot stone, delicious rice and scent of yuzu citrus.
Not everything is so successful, though. A cooked fine de claire oyster with uni (B590) is ruined under the weight of foie gras and a dense teriyaki sauce, while the shrimp tempura with creamy gochujang sauce and wasabi aioli (B320) and Indian-inspired organic half chicken in a curry dressing (B550) are both forgettable.
Better work takes place over at the bar, where mixologist Shingo Gokan (from Shanghai’s Speak Low, second place in Asia’s Best Bars 2016) pours out deliciously fresh creations like the Yuzu (B380), which features shochu, yuzu, shiso and plum salt. Desserts are also both playful and tasty. Their s’more (B350) sees a shard of hardened kuromitsu sugar syrup served with a slightly salty, smoked soy-infused chocolate mousse, melted Graham cracker ice cream and toasted marshmallow. Clever and delicious!
Prices here also aren’t too crazy, and clearly seem to be winning over the international clientele, most of whom sit in front of the sushi bar enjoying a soundtrack of ‘60s-70s easy-listening hits.
This review took place in December 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.