The newest addition to Disney Springs is Morimoto Asia, and this Wednesday was opening day for Chef Morimoto and his staff.
Springs Bottling Co.
The story of Morimoto Asia, as well as many of the other venues in Disney Springs, starts with the concept of a small, waterfront town. This town has gone through many changes over the years and the current location for Morimoto Asia used to be known as the Springs Bottling Co.
This old warehouse seemed to be a focal point for the town of Disney Springs as it entered the industrial age. The decor inside Morimoto Asia pays tribute to its history with exposed steel, an open layout, and concrete floors. The industrial structure is met with a beautiful decor that has turned a once cold warehouse into an inviting dining location.
The exterior of the building is industrial, yet elegant. I loved taking photos at dusk.
Full size: http://i.imgur.com/bb40JGz.jpg
Duck being prepared and Chef Morimoto looking over his kitchen.
The focal point of the room are the large chandeliers.
There are two bars. One downstairs, and one upstairs.
Really cool light fixture that runs through the bar upstairs and runs to the front check-in desk. Of course they were made of bottles.
Full size: http://i.imgur.com/8lx9gnM.jpg
The outside, second floor, patio.
A few more photos.
Full size: http://i.imgur.com/kEKN6IG.jpg
Chef Morimoto has created his first ever pan-Asian menu. Having paid completely out of pocket, I feel that prices are reasonable compared to other Walt Disney World fine dining locations.
We arrived, without a reservation, at 7:45pm and were told that they would begin allowing walk-ups at 8pm. Sure enough, we were seated just before 8pm on the ground floor of the two story restaurant, near the kitchen. We ordered the Crab Rangoon, Kakuni Pork Bao, Spider roll, Duck “Nasi Goreng”, and finished with the Chocolate Cream & Crunch.
Crab Rangoon ($10) – crab and cream cheese spring roll, apricot sweet chili sauce
The elongated spring rolls made this a wonderfully easy starter to settle in. Almost a standard spring roll, taste wise, until you dipped it into the apricot sweet sauce. This sauce made the appetizer. It wasn’t too sweet, and the apricot paired wonderfully with the spring roll. I wasn’t able to identify much of the cream cheese, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter as long as they don’t change the apricot sauce.
Kakuni Pork Bao ($8) – steamed buns, braised pork belly, lettuce, spicy mayo
Our only dim sum dish of the night was the Kakuni Pork Bao. The pork was nice and soft throughout with a slight crunch on the outside from the cooking. The steamed buns were equally soft and tasty. Just like the crab rangoon, the sauce is what makes this dish. The spicy mayo lives up to its name. The modest amount of mayo does the trick and will offer a nice kick with every bite.
Spider ($12) – tempura soft shell crab, spicy mayo, cucumber, asparagus
The only dish of the night without a distinct flavor was the Spider sushi roll, and that might have been my own fault for not utilizing the spicy mayo. Having just completed the dim sum, I elected to forgo the mayo and enjoy the crab. That said, the crab was good and I was happy with the amount each roll contained. If you go with the spider, enjoy it with the spicy mayo!
Duck “Nasi Goreng” ($18) – Indonesian style duck fried rice, shrimp chips, mango papaya slaw, sunny side up egg
This dish was the highlight of our meal (minus dessert, but more on that in a bit). The duck was unbelievable! I enjoy duck whenever I can and adding fried rice into the mix worked perfectly in my opinion. The duck was soft and packed with flavor. The egg on top was also cooked perfectly. I will find myself back at Morimoto Asia in the future and I will also find this dish in front of me. If you like duck, I recommend it for your visit.
Chocolate Cream & Crunch ($14) – oreo tempura, mandarin orange jelly, dark chocolate gelato, hazelnut chocolate crunchies, and chocolate cream
Dark chocolate gelato, hazelnut crunchies, mandarin orange jelly, and oreos. What more could you want? There is actually a chocolate cream hidden under a layer of orange jelly, and the pairing is delicious. I love the fact that you get the jelly and chocolate cream in every bite. I’ve never had oreo tempura or even considered it, but I will never look at oreos the same. While the dessert was cold, the oreos were as warm as cookies fresh out of the oven. Even those of you who don’t like oreos will love this dessert. If you don’t like them, feel free to pass them my way!
Staff and Chef Morimoto
Being opening night, it would be understandable if the staff was stressed or even still learning the ropes, but that wasn’t the case. From the front of the house all the way up to Chef Morimoto himself, everyone was in high spirits and things seemed to be running smoothly. A manager came over and we enjoyed some small talk in between dishes. He said that they had four trial runs while seating over 300 people in each run to prepare themselves, and it showed. Our waiter, Dimitri, was very knowledgeable and helpful when guiding us through the menu. Even Chef Morimoto was out to mingle with guests and take pictures!
Disney Springs just keeps getting better. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Morimoto Asia and found the dishes to be some of the best on property. If you enjoy pan-Asian food, I would highly suggest you fit Morimoto Asia into your upcoming Disney vacation.
Morimoto Asia review