Fri Nov 10 2006
Last night, I tagged along with the ladies from the Check Out section to the Uniqlo opening party in Soho. I expected to encounter waifs, hipsters and other fashion/media/PR acolytes scoping out clothing from the Japanese retailer—and each other. What I didn't bargain for was fodder for a food lover. On the second floor of this astoundingly large tri-level space was the night's true star, Iron Chef Morimoto. The evening's planners retained the services of the raw-fish king, along with a supporting cast of Uniqlo-jacket--sporting sushi chefs and helpers. Revelers crowded the raised platform where the makeshift open kitchen was set up. Morimoto, with his signature specs and ponytail, carved up heavy slabs of deep-pink tuna, which must have cost the equivalent of three months' rent in the West Village. Waiters passed around absurdly generous portions of what tasted like toro: sliced and sprinkled with fresh peas and pecorino on toast, chopped up tartare-style in seaweed funnels, rolled into seasoned rice for maki. The fish was so delicate, it seemed to melt on contact with the tongue, and once there, tasted of iron and buttery flesh. Not bad for a fashion party.