723 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Iron Chef Morimoto's first American restaurant is quite the setting visually. The restaurant itself is located by Old City and has this sleek modern decor that made it feel like a blend of retro club and every other place in Japan. The menu is a mix of Japanese and other Asian influenced foods. I am here for the omakase so let's bring it on...
So as it goes, we ordered the Classic Omakase ($100 per person) and also got the Duck Duck Duck because I need to satisfy my duck craving any chance I can get. The Omakase is roughly about 7-8 courses that feature several apps, a couple entrees, and dessert.
1. Hamachi Yellowtail Tartare - Small but nice and smooth. The soy base on the bottom definitely adds to the flavor without being overpowering.
2. Red Snapper Carpaccio - The fish was very thin and the taste was mild while being pretty meaty.
3. Sashimi Salad - Thick cut slices of salmon and Japanese swordfish. The swordfish was thick like a steak. Very good while the salad was light in dressing as well.
4. Udon Ramen - The small soup was good, but a bit odd this late into the omakase. There were thin slices of chicken thigh meat as well. Noodle was done well.
5. Palette Cleanser - Just a quick spoonful of a sweet tonic with a jelly.
6. Japanese Diver Scallop - Perfectly seared scallop atop a butternut puree. The scallop was light but still buttery.
7. Pork Belly Kakuni - Braised Pork Belly over oyster congee. Beautifully braised piece of meat. Pretty fatty though, but really liked the perfect base of congee.
8. Sushi Sampler - Just a sample of 5 sushi pieces with some tuna maki. Bluefin tuna, snapper, and orange clam were the highlights, but it was merely OK.
9. Dessert - For dessert, they offered a pumpkin and chocolate Bavarian style cake. The pumpkin filling was good, but the chocolate base was way too hard.
The Duck Duck Duck ($33) was seared duck breast with duck confit fried rice with a fried duck egg atop the rice. The duck breast was cooked a wonderful rare and had wonderful duck flavor. The duck confit fried rice was more sticky than fried, but had nice chunks of duck confit. The fried egg was runny and wonderful for the rice. It is easily my favorite dish in Philadelphia and quite possibly one of my favorites ever.
The prices off their a la carte menu are actually very good. The omakase is a bit pricey for the portions, but they do bring you enough plates to have a good try of everything they offer. The place is meant for a higher end dress code, but I'm sure they get enough tourists to let it slide by. I just had a nice pair of jeans and a button down and was good to go. The service is excellent and the ambiance is ideal for any romantic date. If you can't get lucky after a meal like this, cut your losses brother. It's not going to happen.
Ambience: A+ | Service: A | Price: B | Food: B+