Hawaii Hospitality - March/April 2014 - (Page 15)

NEW RESTAURANTS M o ri m o t o M a u i Andaz Maui at Wailea * (808) 243-4766 Chef Masaharu Morimoto F ollowing the success of his first Hawaii restaurant, Morimoto Waikiki, as well as locations from Miami to Mumbai, internationally renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto launched Morimoto Maui last November to rave reviews. The setting is superb- oceanfront at the sleek new Andaz Maui at Wailea hotel- but it's Morimoto's exquisite dishes that elevate the experience to divine. His onsite superstar is Executive Chef Greg Harrison, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu who has worked with some of the most celebrated chefs in the country. Chef Harrison tells us that the foundation of exceptional cooking is always fresh ingredients. "We search the Islands to get the best quality and freshest ingredients possible for our dishes, including produce, Lunchtime lobster roll seafood and beef. We even source miso locally. Currently we're using opakapaka, a local snapper, for one of our fish entrees that was developed especially for Morimoto Maui, and our Maui onion soup features the famous sweet Maui onion." That being said, the restaurant will also call on Morimoto's vendor at Tokyo's famed Tsujiki Market when it needs seafood not available in Hawaii, or if it will be of better quality from Japan-even ordering it from Europe if necessary. Chef Morimoto's signature is the omakase, or multi-course tasting menu. "I wouldn't call my omakase kaiseki," he says of the special array of dishes, "although it definitely influences my culinary style. My omakase has a 'cadence,' just like kaiseki. Unlike a typical tasting menu, each dish is served in different portions; I take into consideration the texture, flavor and taste for each course so the entire meal has a rhythmic flow. "Rather than seasonality, most of the courses have influences from other cultures," he adds. "And each time you return and order it, new items will be created and tailored for you. We've had guests come back for multiple omakase meals and receive a whole new selection every time." Morimoto's menu allows you to be yourself-to eat what you love, fancy or simple. Chef Harrison's favorite dish at the restaurant is the ramen. "It's a subtle combination of flavors, including chicken, scallions and udon noodles. I find it intensely satisfying." Pair the meal with a Chef Morimoto branded beer or sake (try the junmai sake, aged in Japan for 5, 10 or 30 years), sit back and enjoy. "I wasn't sure at the beginning if I should open a second restaurant in Hawaii, in such a small state," Chef Morimoto confesses. "But Maui has a completely different clientele and environment, so I realized it might be worth the challenge. I'm glad I did." Morimoto Maui Open Daily Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Cocktails/Sushi Lounge: 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Dinner: 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. -Stacy Pope Selection of omakase dishes "Road to Matcha" dessert www.hawaiihospitalityonline.com 15 http://www.hawaiihospitalityonline.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - March/April 2014

Walk the Talk
Na Poe Paahana Awards
Travel Pono
News Briefs
HRA Employee Excellence Awards
New Restaurants
Big Island Hospitality
Talk Story with GEORGE SZIGETI
Association News
Food & Beverage SuperStars, Part two
Featured Department: Food & Beverage

Hawaii Hospitality - March/April 2014