Nicola and I zoomed along the highway, whimpering as our last Hawaiian sunset began to splash across the horizon. Our final feast in Oahu would take place at luxurious meets trendy The Modern Honolulu, located a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. After tossing our keys to a handsome valet we skipped up a long staircase which immediately and splashed into the hotel’s sun soaked pool.
The Modern Honolulu is perhaps best known to Food Network fans as the home to one of Iron Chef’s most celebrated personalities. Morimoto Waikiki is Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s exquisite Hawaiian gem. Honouring the seamless integration of Japanese and Western ingredients Chef Morimoto is known for, Morimoto Waikiki highlights the best seafood from Hawaii and Japanese waters as well as seasonal raw selections, fruits and vegetables.
Inside Morimoto Waikiki, dining is theatre. Guests can experience Morimoto’s vision in a breezy dinning room which overlooks a bustling open kitchen or opt to perch on a chair at the restaurants sleek sushi bar. Thomas Schoos designed the space to balance the simplicity of Japanese design with Hawaiian organic elements. The white interior is cool and crisp, electrified by the greens of live moss and the purples that command attention from larger-than-life orchids on a massive mural. Lucite box’s hang overhead, displaying structural pieces of coral. The expansive bar, cocktail tables and deep sofas reveal spaces for sipping sake spiked libations while outside the patio reflects the ambiance of a fire pit and offers a jaw dropping view of Ala Wai yacht harbour.
Highlights from my Iron Chef inspired feast in Honolulu include spicy jalapeno muddled Pear Yuzu Gimlet, edible art a la Toro Tartare, melt-in-your-mouth A5 Nigiri with topped with seared foie gras, Crispy Whole Fish with pickled papaya and crispy Peking Duck with pico de gallo and sweet hoisin.
1) Pear Yuzu Gimlet | pear vodka, lime, jalapeno, yuzu
2) Toro Tartare | kindai tuna, nori puree, maui onions, wasabi, sour cream, morimoto guacamole, rice crackers, dashi soy, yamamomo
3) A5 Nigiri with Foie Gras
4) Crispy Whole Fish | mapotofu sauce, pickled papaya, daikon, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, lime
5) Peking Duck – whole duck dried and seasoned for two days, pico de gallo, hoisin