TV’s Masaharu Morimoto.Photo courtesy Morimoto
Iron Chef Morimoto, with his stern visage and poetic imagination, is utterly compelling, as television owners from Kyoto to Kentucky now know. But how closely does the menu of his vast West Side restaurant, Morimoto, hew to his work on the small screen? Sometimes, rather closely.
Last winter, Iron Chef fans convinced Morimoto to add the dramatic smoked-salmon gnocchi, rolled sushi style with squid-ink dough, after he prepared it onscreen. And soon after he used liquid nitrogen during a show, the omakase bar began giving frozen cotton candy as a palate cleanser.
Morimoto’s “tofu battle” with Patricia Yeo on Friday inspired a rush on the vegetarian standby. The restaurant creates fresh tofu tableside, using tempered soy milk, and serves it with a sauce of finely grated carrots, mitake mushrooms, soup stock, and fresh lobster. Morimoto’s soy was sexy even before he glorified it on TV, but this weekend he actually ran out of the stuff. Fear not, couch potatoes — he has already restocked.