Chef’s top tables: Masaharu Morimoto

One of the key drivers in the global spread of Japanese food, Masaharu Morimoto restaurants are located in Mexico City, Bangkok, Las Vegas, Dubai and beyond

 

Chinchikurin, Hiroshima

Hiroshima, my hometown, is famous for its okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese pancakes) and there are countless eateries that pay homage to this fabulous dish. I think Chinchikurin is one of the best. They’ve recently made their way to the US and I hope that they will continue to spread this ‘taste of home’ widely abroad.

Favourite dish: The okonomiyaki is a must-try, but they also have really good spicy dipping noodles.

Ginza Kyubey, Okyo

In my opinion, this is one of the best sushi restaurants in Japan – it’s outstandingly good. While it’s a prestigious and traditional restaurant, you do not feel compelled to follow customary sushi eating rules. And the ambience is very warm and welcoming. If you ever stay in Tokyo, go to Ginza and try this place, just make sure you make a reservation.

Favourite dish: Everything I’ve tried.

Morimoto Napa, Napa

Napa is known for its great food and wine and it attracts foodies from far and wide. I feel flattered that my restaurant and food is well received there, and it’s one of my favourite places, too. When I created the menu for Morimoto Napa, I wasn’t necessarily trying to match it with wine varietals, I just did what I always do, which is to try to capture the characteristics, the culture, and the history of the location and absorb them into my dishes. And as a result, they just happen to go great with wine. Napa is a special place for me. It keeps giving me new inspirations.

Sushi at Morimoto Napa
Sushi at Morimoto Napa

Favourite dish: Tuna Pizza is one of my signature dishes, and this approachable dish is suitable for everyone, even those who have never tried raw fish before.

ON MY BUCKET LIST

I would love to try Kamimura in the ski town of Niseko in northern Hokkaido, Japan. It offers contemporary French cuisine inspired by the region’s natural beauty and local ingredients.