As we had announced in an article in the August 2017 issue of Travel+Leisure India, Chef Masaharu Morimoto was coming to Delhi to celebrate his restaurant’s tenth birthday celebrations. Japan’s ‘Iron Chef’ came, and as expected, he also put up a culinary extravaganza at Wasabi by Morimoto at The Taj Mahal, New Delhi. By Shibani Bawa
During the two days the 45-cover restaurant was fully sold out and many enthusiastic gourmands in the capital had to be turned down regrettably. But for those who had made their reservations well in advance Chef Morimoto conducted masterclasses in the art of rolling sushi where he taught them the nuances and technique of making spicy tuna rolls. We attended the Chef Special Omakase lunch, a four course meal. The sushi platter came with nigiri and rolls by the masterchef himself, including his signature roll with tuna, tamago and crunchy cucumber. Its taste lived up to its pretty appearance.
Next up was the “mizuhiki” wrapping salad. “Wrapped up happiness,” Chef Morimoto called it, informing us that this is a common part of celebratory meals in Japan as he guided us to slide the threads tied around a transparent wrap off instead of untying them. What lay within was a refreshing mix of baby carrot, daikon, baby lettuce, asparagus, smoked salmon, Caesar dressing served with toro tartare. The Surf and Turf that followed was absolutely delicious. A beautiful fillet of cod braised with signature sweet ginger soy and roasted duck with miso sauce. And desserts were a collection of chef’s choice.
Our takeaway included a signed copy of the menu that will serve as a tangible remembrance of this meal. But one that’ll remain in our memory is the ease and joy with which Chef Morimoto took to the mike and sang a Japanese song. Although he didn’t translate it for us, he sufficed by saying that it was a happy song.