Barack Obama and Shinzo Abe to dine on fusion food with Hawaiian twist

WASHINGTON (AFP) - High politics will dominate Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the White House on Tuesday, but there will still be time for some haute cuisine.

At a state dinner Abe, US President Barack Obama and hundreds of other guests will tuck into an array of food that links Japan and the United States, with a touch of influence from President Obama's home state of Hawaii.

For starters guest chef Masaharu Morimoto, star of Iron Chef, will rustle up his fusion take on a salad classic - the "Toro Tartare and Caesar Sashimi Salad".

"The salad is wrapped in a clear acetate and tied with Mizuhiki cord emulating a gift to be opened," according to the programme.

Then a consomme will be given a twist with bok choy and Wailea hearts of palm and bamboo shoots from Hawaii.

"This is served with a crisp Hawaiian pineapple tempura topped with a sliver of cured ham from Virginia."

The main course will be roasted American wagyu beef with Spring vegetables.

For dessert the American-style cheesecake will get a spin with the addition of silken tofu and soymilk and a selection of seasonal berries from Florida.

All the dishes will be served on a new 11-piece State China Service, which was designed by Michael Smith in consultation with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Instead of opting for the traditional primary red or blue normally seen, the First Lady opted for a blue "inspired by the waters" off the coast of Hawaii - a "Kailua blue." The food will be washed down with sake - Dassai's 23 for a toast - a Freeman 2013 "Ryo-fu" Chardonnay and a 2010 Morlet Pinot Noir.

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