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  "Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto Opens Second Wasabi Restaurant
at a Taj Hotel - the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi 
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Delhi, India, July 31, 2008: Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi recently unveiled Delhi's first contemporary Japanese restaurant, Wasabi by Morimoto. Created by "Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto, this is the second Wasabi restaurant to open at a Taj property, following the success at Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai. 

Chef Morimoto captivates taste buds by bringing out many undiscovered facets of Japanese cuisine to create a fresh, new taste. The diverse menu created by Chef Morimoto and celebrated Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces' Chef Hemant Oberoi features:

  • A wide range of delicacies from soups and salads to noodles and entrees 
  • A large seafood selection flown in from Tsujuki, Japan and from other markets around the world 
  • An extensive selection of sushi and sashimi such as Botan Ebi, Aji and Tamago 
  • Hot appetizers, such as the chef's special Morimoto tempura, complement cold appetizers, such as Morimoto sashimi, white fish, and salmon carpaccio 
  • Vegetarian specialties include the mixed vegetable wok sautee teriyaki, newspaper vegetable beggar's purse (asparagus and shiitake mushrooms) and Ishi yaki veg bop (vegetable on rice prepared at your table in hot river stone bowls) 
  • The tepanyaki menu features a vegetarian array of Tofu Saute and Yaki Soba and non-vegetarian specials of jumbo shrimp and king crabs 
  • Desserts such as Sesame Panacotta, Azuki Zenzai and Wasabi Crème Brulee 
Designed by Theo Nicolau from EAD, London, Wasabi has a contemporary ambiance with its modern décor comprised of different textures and fabrics. The 54-cover restaurant provides a variety of diverse dining experiences: 
  • An impressive repertoire of Japanese sake with a separate Sake Bar 
  • A dramatic Teppanyaki counter, creating a vibrant display of theater in iron showmanship 
  • In the Omakase Menu, the chef prepares the menu that he wants to make for the guest, creating an interactive meal entirely unique and independent of the set menu 
  • The private dining room is set in the alcove of the restaurant and enjoys its own exclusivity while still appreciating the vibrant energy of the venue 
About Chef Morimoto

Once upon a time, "play ball," meant just that for Masaharu Morimoto. As a high school student in Hiroshima, Japan, Morimoto was well on his way to becoming a professional baseball player until a shoulder injury ended that career. Fortunately, for himself and us, he dreamed of a dual career as a sushi chef. Today, the expression is "action" and it's heard regularly on the set of the wildly popular television program, Iron Chef, where Morimoto holds the title of Japanese Iron Chef.

Chef Morimoto received nearly eight years of culinary training in Hiroshima at a restaurant specializing in sushi and traditional Kaiseki cuisine. At the age of 25 Morimoto opened his own restaurant in Hiroshima. Morimoto soon distinguished himself from his peers by infusing European and Western cooking techniques and ingredients into his preparations. Five years later, Morimoto sold the restaurant and purchased a round-trip ticket to the United States seeking to further explore and define his unique Japanese fusion. Although Hawaii, California, Louisiana, and New York were all on the itinerary, Morimoto abandoned his travels and his plans to return to Japan. He immediately settled in Manhattan.

Morimoto spent the next few years working in some of New York City's most notable Japanese restaurants. Then in 1993, Morimoto joined restaurateur, Barry Wine of Quilted Giraffe fame, as the executive chef at the Sony Club, the exclusive dining arena for Sony Corporation's executive staff and visiting V.I.P.'s. Morimoto's dream to present his Japanese fusion in a western setting was realized.

Within a year, Chef Nobu Matsuhisu recruited Morimoto to open New York City's Nobu restaurant. He was subsequently promoted to executive chef at Nobu. Since 1998, chef Morimoto has combined his passion for cuisine, competition, and performance as the Japanese Iron Chef on the wildly popular television show, Iron Chef, produced by Fuji Television. In November of 2001 Morimoto opened his first restaurant in the United States in the city of Philadelphia with another to follow in New York.

These days, as the Japanese Iron Chef and owner chef at Morimoto Restaurant, Morimoto's exciting new restaurant in Philadelphia, he divides his time between Tokyo, New York, and Philadelphia. "Going to a restaurant is like going to the theatre," says chef Morimoto and no other restaurant experience exemplifies these sentiments like Morimoto. Chef Morimoto is indeed a master performer. Compared to running his restaurant in Philadelphia, Morimoto says cooking on TV is "10,000 times more stressful because the Iron chef is never supposed to lose."

If Morimoto's past is any indication of what the future holds, "Play ball, Morimoto-San!" (http://www.chefmorimoto.com)

About Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest groups of hotels, comprising 60 hotels in 42 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Rajput palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. The Taj, a symbol of Indian hospitality, has recently completed the centenary of its landmark hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house.
 

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Contact:

Babs Harrison
212-851-8425
http://www.tajhotels.com/
 

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Also See: Taj Hotels, Preserving India's Heritage One Hotel at a Time / Nov 2002
The Pierre, New York’s Landmark Hotel on Central Park and Fifth Avenue Will Close For a Year to Renovate 200 Guest Rooms; Taj Hotels Spending Up to $100 million on 77 Year Old Hotel / November 2007

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