Morimoto Asia ~ A Bucket List Must for the Foodie in You

The redesign of Downtown Disney into the creation of Disney Springs brought an influx of new restaurants to enjoy.  The bucket list for the Disney foodie has grown immensely over the last year and I myself have been salivating on a regular basis as I feverishly read and memorize menu after menu from these new eateries.   One such restaurant on my newly revised bucket list has been Morimoto Asia, which is located at The Landing on Disney Springs.   During a recent, rather quick excursion, down to my favorite place on earth “sans kiddos,” hubby and I decided it was the right time to experience some out of this world Pan-Asian cuisine.

Morimoto Asia is the first Pan-Asian restaurant unveiled by the famed Iron Chef,  Masaharu Morimoto, known as one of the most innovative forces in Asian cuisine.  The menu for his new restaurant includes a variety of Korean, Japanese and Chinese dishes, as well as boasts a vast selection of specialty cocktails and sakes.

I made a 4 PM reservation, which is apparently considered lunch. My husband’s brother, quite the expert in the kitchen himself, and his beautiful wife were to meet us for this culinary adventure, so while we waited for them to arrive (I had us there relatively early), the gracious staff let the two of us take a self-guided tour of the restaurant so I could snap some photos for this post .

~DESIGN~

The restaurant layout is exquisite.  The 20 foot chandeliers are elegant and breathtaking and I appreciated the openness of the two floor interior.

Photo taken by T.M. Brown
Photo taken by T.M. Brown

The open, yet glassed-in, exhibition kitchen lended itself to a certain vulnerability,  but served confidence to the customer as one could watch the grace, ease and dedication of the culinary masterminds preparing meals.

Photo taken by T.M. Brown
Photo taken by T.M. Brown

There are two bars, one on each floor.  On the second floor, there is a much more casual, informal atmosphere, including an area with floor cushions and a large Connect 4 game, something I anticipate my boys would enjoy when they eat here in the future.   There is also a sushi bar and lounge located on the second floor, which just happens to include its own private entrance.   The restaurant also offers a private dining space for special occasions.

When our party of four was finally together, the staff was responsive and ready to seat us immediately.   The dining area holds both U-shaped booths and independent table settings throughout the first floor.   Though I would have rather been seated at a booth out of personal preference, we were placed at a center table for four, which ended up working out well.  It was a little crowded when the food arrived, but it served its purpose.  The ambiance was comfortably professional and most of the Guests were parties of adults (not to say this is not a family restaurant – many of my friends with littles have enjoyed eating here and look forward to returning with their families).

Our server was Danielle, a down-to-earth, very personable young woman .  It took her a few minutes to get to us, but once she did, she was helpful with all the questions we threw her way.  She ran through some her own recommendations, though there were so many we had to slow her down at one point (insert chuckle) – but that’s to be expected when everything on the menu is so good!  Of course, I can’t speak enough to Danielle’s patience level.  She answered every question we asked her and she waited until she knew we were satisfied with her answers.

Our server, Danielle, with the boys ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown
Our server, Danielle, with the boys ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown

  ~FOOD and DRINK~

Hubby and I perused the specialty wine and cocktail list and, since we were without the littles, each of us ordered one of the signature drinks.  I particularly enjoyed mine (on the right), the Tom Yam Siam (Ketel One vodka, coconut rum, lychee, lime juice, simple syrup, lemongrass and chili pepper) as I am a huge fan of coconut rum concoctions.  Hubby had the  Red Panda (Cruzan rum, fresh raspberries and lime, pomegranate juice and ginger beer) and was quite satisfied with his choice.

Photo taken by T.M. Brown
Photo taken by T.M. Brown

The food itself was prepared well, our meals arriving hot and fresh.   Plating was attractive.  Prior to our primary course, my sister-in-law had ordered a spicy salmon sushi as an appetizer (salmon, spicy mayo, scallion with choice of white or brown rice) .  Over the years, she has had opportunity to eat some of what she would consider the best salmon sushi around, so her expectations were somewhat high. She liked this plate, but was not quite sure if she loved this one.

Spicy Salmon Sushi ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown
Spicy Salmon Sushi ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown

For their actual meal, my brother and sister-in-law had ordered a Morimoto lunch set, which consisted of: Miso soup and house salad (which arrived as an appetizer), a California roll with choice of white or brown rice, a choice of entree (orange chicken, Kung Pao chicken, braised Black Cod, or a vegetable tofu medley) and dumplings and pickled seasonal vegetables.  Their main entree choice was the orange chicken and both felt it was bursting with flavor.

Salad and Miso Soup ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown
Salad and Miso Soup ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown
Morimoto Lunch set ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown
Morimoto Lunch set ~ photo taken by T.M. Brown

Hubby and I chose to order the Morimoto Peking duck (minimum of two guests; carved house-roasted whole duck, served with steamed flour pancakes, apricot sweet chili and hoisin miso), as it has been one of the most talked about dishes among our many Disney friends. I will say this – the duck was succulent, absolutely tender and cooked to perfection! The flavor of the crispy skin was everything I had hoped it to be.  The accompanying pancakes were warm and soft, the perfect hug for the meat, and the two dipping sauces were extremely complementary.  We also shared an order of pork egg rolls. Though I loved the duck, the egg rolls were a hit for me!  They were THE best egg rolls I have ever had.  They were deep fried and thick enough to hold tight, but packed with meat and veggies.  I could have eaten those all day long. No joke!

I do have one complaint- just one.   We are a smart foursome, but even WE were caught up in reading the amazing menu options that none of us saw that the Peking duck was $27 PER PERSON!  We had no idea that we had spent $54 on that one entree until our bill was delivered.   Delicious?  Absolutely!  Worth $54?  Not quite so sure. At the same time – oh, my gosh!  It truly was am amazingly flavorful dish and all the reviews I had read and heard prior to our reservations were on point!

~SERVICE~

The wait staff at Morimoto Asia were very accommodating.   They were patient as we waited for our party to gather, patient with our questions as we mulled over the menu and they were extremely patient as we spent over an hour just sitting there catching up with each other (it had been some time since we had visited).  We were never given an evil eye, never harassed to purchase more food and never once visited by the manager in an attempt to scurry us out for the next group of customers.    I think they even kept our water glasses full.   We were very comfortable, satisfied with our meal and are glad to now have opportunity to cross this one off the foodie bucket list.

FYDI: For Your Dining Information

NOTE ABOUT DINING PLAN AND TABLES IN WONDERLAND:

Though we were not utilizing it this time around, Morimoto Asia does participate with the Disney Dining Plan.  I’ve gone ahead and copied the entitlements below, but you can also find this information on the Walt Disney World website, or by clicking here.  Make sure you take note of the changes being made between 2016 and 2017.

Dining Plan Type

2016 Entitlements Required
Lunch Dinner
Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan N/A N/A
Disney Dining Plan 1 2
Disney Deluxe Dining Plan 1 2
Disney Premium Plan 1 1
Disney Platinum Plan 1 1

Dining Plan Type

2017 Entitlements Required
Lunch Dinner
Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan N/A N/A
Disney Dining Plan 1 2
Disney Deluxe Dining Plan 1 2
Disney Premium Plan N/A N/A
Disney Platinum Plan N/A N/A

Morimoto Asia also participates in the Tables in Wonderland (TiW) program, which is how we chose to save this trip.  This is a program exclusively offered to Florida Residents, Disney Vacation Club Members and Passholders and provides the holder to the following:

  • A 20% discount on food and beverage (including alcohol) at over 100 participating restaurants at the Walt Disney World® Resort. This discount is valid for a party of up to ten Guests, which includes the TiW member.
  • Complimentary Resort Valet, as well as Theme Park, parking for dining purposes.

It must be noted that an 18% gratuity is added to your bill for TIW members, no matter what the quality of the service.  To be honest, our experience has been that our server usually deserves it and more.

~In Conclusion~

Photo taken by T.M. Brown
Photo taken by T.M. Brown

If you have a craving for Pan-Asian cuisine and enjoy an elegant dining atmosphere, Morimoto Asia needs to find its way onto your foodie bucket list.   I will certainly find myself visiting this dining option again and enjoying some spectacular egg rolls and a Tom Yam Siam.

FEEDBACK: Have you been the to redesigned Disney Springs?  What restaurants have you visited and what are your favorites?  I would love to hear where you think I should make reservations the next time I visit.

Until the next set of footprints  ~ T

You can find more of Footprints’ Disney food-related reviews at the links below:

 

27 thoughts on “Morimoto Asia ~ A Bucket List Must for the Foodie in You”

  1. I’m so glad you posted this! I live in Orlando and have been curious about Morimoto since it opened. The prices are a little high for what strikes me as fairly basic dishes, but I keep reading all these rave reviews that make me want to give it a try. If nothing else, I know I’ll enjoy the beautiful dining room and those cocktails! The lychee one sounds divine. Thanks for the review!

    1. That’s what captivated me, too ~ the rave reviews…not to mention its association with Mr. Morimoto himself! I agree, the prices are high on some things, but it’s one of those places that I personally had to experience at least once. I hope you have opportunity to enjoy a meal there at some point in the near future. Let me know if you end up trying the Tom Yam Siam and what you think of it! I would definitely order that again if I had the chance! Thanks so much for the read!

    1. Can you believe that I have never had sushi?? I’m so embarrassed! LOL. In any case, thanks for the read, Amy, and I hope you get to cross this one off your bucket list in the near future!

    1. It was rather delicious, to be honest. Definitely one of those things we are glad we did, but may not do again. It was certainly cooked and prepared to perfection! Thanks for the read, Dave!

    1. I’ve never been to his restaurant in NYC! You just have me another place to add to my bucket list. Here’s hoping you can experience Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs soon!!! Thanks for the read, Jolina.

    1. I agree, Barbara! Disney really does know how to “serve” up a good foodie selection! I hope you have opportunity to visit WDW in the near future. Always a magical place to be.

    1. Hi, Juliette! Pan-Asian simply means that it “crosses” or blends a variety of Asian cuisine. They offer selections from Korean, Japanese and Chinese cultures drawing anyone who has an appetite or palate for these delicious dishes. The Peking Duck is amazing!!! No doubt you will enjoy it! Thanks for the read!

    1. Don’t let that one price deter you from an amazing experience!! There are so many options that are sooo delicious. If you are craving Pan-Asian cuisine, don’t let yourself miss out 😉. I actually hope you keep it on your list. Thanks for the read!

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