Holland America’s Koningsdam has introduced an exciting dining experience with ‘Morimoto by Sea,’ a restaurant created in collaboration with the renowned Chef Masaharu Morimoto. As a recent guest on the Koningsdam, I had the opportunity to dine here and am eager to share a candid review of the experience.
First Impressions: The Ambiance of ‘Morimoto by Sea’
The restaurant’s decor is a seamless blend of sophistication and contemporary design, setting a pleasant backdrop for the meal ahead. Assuming the layout is similar across the fleet, our group was seated inside Tamarind, an arm’s length away from the Nami Sushi bar.
Tamarind was also the venue for our Holland America holiday cocktail preview.
Starting with Sake: The Morimoto Sake Moriawase
We kicked off our meal with the ‘Morimoto Sake Moriawase,’ a selection of four Chef Morimoto sakes, complemented by a classic Sapporo beer. This pairing was a delightful introduction to the flavors that awaited us.
Exploring the Appetizers
Our appetizer selection included the ‘Morimoto Fresh Tuna Pizza,’ ‘Tempura Calamari Salad,’ ‘Pork Gyoza Dumplings,’ and a ‘Sushi Plate.’ The Tuna Pizza was an interesting take on traditional flavors, while the Gyoza Dumplings were notably enjoyable. The Tempura Calamari Salad was decent, and the Sushi Plate, while visually appealing, was as expected from a high-end restaurant.
Choosing the Main: Angry Lobster Pad Thai
For the main course, I opted for the ‘Angry Lobster Pad Thai,’ though there were at least a handful of other entrees I was eyeing. This dish was a standout, offering a unique and flavorful twist on the classic Pad Thai.
Our group tried various dishes, each finding something to their liking. The menu’s diversity meant there was something for everyone.
A Theatrical Dish: Ishiyaki Buri Bop
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One of the more memorable moments of the meal was the tableside preparation of ‘Ishiyaki Buri Bop.’ It was both a visual and gastronomic treat, blending the theatrics of cooking with the flavors of the dish. I highly recommend it.
Dessert: A Mixed Bag
The dessert course featured items like the ‘Dark Chocolate Sphere,’ ‘Baked Tofu Cheesecake,’ ‘White Chocolate Lime Ganache,’ and a ‘Sorbet Trio.’ The Baked Tofu Cheesecake was my favorite, offering a unique flavor profile, while the mango-yuzu sorbet in the Trio was refreshingly good.
Wrapping Up: An Honest Take
‘Morimoto by Sea’ offers a diverse menu that caters to different tastes, with some dishes standing out more than others. It’s a noteworthy addition to Holland America’s already top-tier eateries and worth a visit for those seeking new culinary experiences at sea.
Note: The restaurant carries a cover charge of $55 per person, plus an additional 18% gratuity.
Morimoto by Sea Menu (as of 11/18/23)
- Morimoto Fresh Tuna Pizza – anchovy aioli, kalamata olive, red onion, jalapeno
- Tori Ramen Noodle Soup – soy egg, bamboo shoot, hot broth poured at the table
- Tempura Calamari Salad – quinoa two ways, white miso dressing, mixed greens can be served without calamari on request
- Pork Gyoza Dumpling – scallion ginger sauce
- Sushi Plate – nigiri salmon, hamachi, hotate, maki roll ebi tempura, dungeness California, salmon shikai maki vegetarian can be served on request
- House Fried Rice – egg, shrimp, chicken, scallion, vegetables
- Steamed White Rice or Brown Rice
- Wasabi Mashed Potato
- Wok Seared Bok Choy
- Steamed Vegetables with Tofu – ponzu and gochujang-aioli
- Crispy Fried Whole Market Fresh Fish – sweet tamarind chili sauce, pickled vegetables
- Chicken Teriyaki and Chicken Oyster Satay – sautéed vegetables, teriyaki sauce
- Ishiyaki Buri Bop – fresh Pacific yellowtail, white rice, cooked tableside in a hot stone bowl
- Angry Lobster Pad Thai – Maine lobster, rice noodles, Thai red curry sauce Japanese Vegetables Curry fried tofu, seasonal vegetables
- Grilled Beef Tenderloin Steak – sweet potato tempura, Japanese-style gravy sauce with mushroom
- Shrimp Three Ways – panko, tempura, grilled with yakisoba, tartar, gochujang aioli, tonkatsu sauce
- Dark Chocolate Sphere – ganache, marshmallow, hot white chocolate sauce
- Baked Tofu Cheesecake – brûlée style, mango passion sauce, blueberry sorbet
- White Chocolate Lime Ganache – coconut foam, mango sorbet, rice pudding
- Sorbet Trio – lychee, mango-yuzu, blueberry