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“Good fun!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Morimoto Waikiki

Morimoto Waikiki
The Modern Honolulu, 1775 Ala Moana Boulevard., Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815 (Waikiki)
+1 808-943-5900
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Ranked #78 of 1,945 Restaurants in Honolulu
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Waikiki
Cross street: Hobron
Transit: Morimoto Waikiki is on the Red Line for the Honolulu Trolley, exit Discovery Bay. If taking TheBus, the following lines are avaiable 8, 19,20,23,24,42 and E, The Country Express.
Description: Famed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto brings his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients to his newest restaurant, Morimoto Waikiki. With a focus on top-quality fish and fresh ingredients, everything is prepared in-house from ingredients flown in from Japan four times a week. Our seasonal and ever-changing selection of raw fish preparations feature the best seafood as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables from supporting farmers. Our refreshing and vibrant ambiance is the perfect backdrop for the remarkable culinary experience that is Morimoto Waikiki. Welcome.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Good fun!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

We enjoyed our meal here! Not the world's best Japanese but excellent sashimi, good service although not exceptional and a fun Hawaiian twist or Japanese twist to local dishes which made the experience worthwhile. Request an outside table.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chad y, Manager at Morimoto Waikiki, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
We appreciate your compliments! Thanks for getting in touch. Glad you enjoyed your meal and the fun Hawaiian vibe at our restaurant. I hope you'll join us for another meal the next time you're visiting Honolulu.

Take care,
Chad, General Manager
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744 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    432
    167
    75
    46
    24
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
“Heavily sought after dining experience - Impossible for me to tell why!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

Just wanted to share.

Morimoto Waikiki came with such high recommendation and reputation that we decided whilst staying at the Modern (I had also heard about it when staying at the nearby Trump Hotel earlier) to enter the restaurant from the hotel's pool area (which is right out side its front doors) to make a booking. I did have a t-shirt on and board shorts but was not dripping water and had a towel with me - clearly tourists - clearly spur of the moment decision. It was about 4:30pm (I think), it was clear we didn't want to eat immediately (they don't start service then anyway).

The look of disdain from the female front of staff member (I will add that at that time there was no one there eating and were obviously busy getting ready for start of evening service) was clear then was followed by an unwillingness to acknowledge my presence, raise a smile, or even acknowledge that the booking had been made except by turning her back on me. It was like a smack in the face (no acknowledgement at all, no "thank you", no "we look forward to seeing you tomorrow, etc"). The attitude was so very palpable (I am not someone who looks for a lot of pomp or praise either). I had just had a lounge and float in the upper deck pool and was relaxed.... not expecting this disdain at all..... I was not alone remember so I checked my perceptions against another's.

I thought the mood might lighten up when I asked if I could make a booking for later the next day. It didn't. So very sour, I felt like I must have been the scum of the world. I even remember it now, 1 week later. I have only had 1 worse experience at one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants in Tokyo.

I had felt that clearly I broke some kind of convention - I even looked for a sign out the front that might say that patrons shouldn't enter to make bookings or be in swimwear.... The restaurant does have a casual business dress standard for dining (not clearly stated at the time but I later researched this). The restaurant is in a hotel which is full of tourists right?! I felt like a true scum. Maybe I was having my man periods or something.... it is not normal for me to be so very sensitive.

I still feel so bad about it that I feel like I have to provide some context even now. (I am relatively small, no tats, early 40s, part Asian, perfect English, etc). We were staying in a ocean front suite many floors above the restaurant....we holiday 3 times a year internationally...We have eaten at Ramsey's restaurant in London, Nobu in Dubai, and some of the best in Tokyo and Australia.

Of course, I have met attitude before (staff have their bad days, right?!, as do we all) but never from the best. We are used to paying $200+/head for top experiences/food (not including wine) but good service has to be part of the equation otherwise what is the point if you are only going to feel like crap anyway, right?!

Location is OK but no notable views from the pool deck (the nearby Sorento's Top of the "I" has a much better ocean view from the dated but well run "Ilikai hotel"). Locally, Mama's fish house on Maui shows how it can be done - from the integrated valet, booking service, good service, views, to the good food. Tighten up and you will fly right.

Naturally, we caucused on the topic and decided not to eat at Morimoto's - maybe you have to be a president to get good service (but that's never a consistently good restaurant - trust me - I have the money to be elite too, maybe the problem here is that nobody can tell how much money you have when you are in your boardshorts). For me, good food can quickly turn very ordinary if accompanied by poor service - not worth the investment.

To be fair, I am giving this an average rating because I am not really rating the dining experience and some people rate the dining only. I don't think it is really fair to the restaurant either as I just don't know what eating there is really like. I trust the reputation others have given on the experience here. Unfortunately for me, bad service will never get me to the table, I have that attitude that no food can be that good. Too many good restaurants in the world to warrant this abuse and reputation. Hence, it is impossible for me to rate the dining experience.

This is only the second restaurant I have ever walked from - I like to try everywhere. Personally, Morimoto's is not a name I can afford to remember or recommend. I wish them no ill. Just wanted to share that I never made it to the table to experience the dining and food.

Reputation got us to this door. Female staff member turned us off. We move on to the next door. C'est la vie.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chad y, Manager at Morimoto Waikiki, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
The last thing we want is for our guests to leave disappointed, so I sincerely apologize that we missed the opportunity to impress you with a fantastic dining experience. Above all, we want you to feel taken care of, and I'm sorry if your interaction at the host stand made you feel anything other than that. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention, and I plan on taking your feedback and using it to improve our guests' future experiences.

All the best,
Chad, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ewa Beach, Hawaii
1 review
“Excellent from start to finish”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014 via mobile

From the moment we entered morimotos we received excellent service from our seating accommodation (overlooking the pier), food (every dish cooked and prepped to perfection), and not to mention the manager (Megan) even came over to our table to check on us through out our evening dinner. We will be definitely be back again!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chad y, Manager at Morimoto Waikiki, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
Dishes cooked to perfection, excellent service and a great view? We aim for excellence, and it sounds like we hit the mark! Thanks for the great recommendation, and I hope you'll join us for another meal again soon.

Take care,
Chad, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Exceptional service, excellent food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2014

Beautiful restaurant in the lovely Modern hotel on Waikiki beach. We were a family of four and we each enjoyed the personable, knowledgable service. Although we enjoyed some bites more than others (just a taste thing) we were very glad to have been adventurous and let our server guide us through the menu. The bacon foam gyoza was AMAZING! as was the Duck 3 ways. We would definitely return and will eat at Morimoto restaurant in other cities as well

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chad y, Manager at Morimoto Waikiki, responded to this review, May 23, 2014
Great food and excellent service are what we're aiming for, so it's wonderful to read your review. Thanks for the recommendation, and I hope you'll enjoy another meal with us the next time you're in Honolulu!

Take care,
Chad, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Incredible meal at Morimoto's”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014

We enjoyed the Oma Kase option at Morimoto's; some of the most delicious food I've ever eaten. I couldn't more highly recommend a visit to this great restaurant.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chad y, Manager at Morimoto Waikiki, responded to this review, May 22, 2014
Some of the most delicious food you've ever eaten? We're flattered to hear that, Dan -- thanks for the great recommendation! I hope you'll join us for another meal the next time you're in Honolulu.

Mahalo,
Chad, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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