Last week Morimoto Asia opened at Disney Springs to much fanfare, and I had the pleasure of attending the media preview the night before, in conjunction with The Disney Blog.
The evening began with a ceremony attended by several Disney VIP’s as well as Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who not only sang for us, but conducted a traditional sake ceremony involving breaking open a cask with mallets before serving us all with the contents.
He also conducted a masterclass in how to trim a 100lb Hawaiian big eye tuna. Then when the tuna was sushi ready, it was used to make a 60ft long maki roll. It took the hands of many to roll all at once, and even Mickey Mouse pitched in.
We were served samples of several menu items and it was hard to find fault with anything. My favorite was the Orange Chicken with a sauce that was fresh and bright, not sweet and cloying like some places. My guest enjoyed the Shrimp Tempura – and she’s not even a shrimp fan! – as well as the Korean short rib. Both of us enjoyed the vegetable sushi, too.
And desert was wonderful, as well. Everything from the mochi-mochi with edible flowers to the mm parfait featuring a chocolate creampuff with hazelnut chocolate crunchies, was just the right amount of sweetness to end a meal.
Prices at Morimoto Asia are reasonable for the quality of the food. It is quite possible to have an enjoyable meal for around $30 per person (not including alcohol).
Morimoto Asia is located in the building that formerly housed Mannequins nightclub (for those of you who remember Pleasure Island) but nothing but the core remains. The bi-level interior features an understated elegance with lots of glass walls and long crystal chandeliers that help to diffuse the light. Seating varies from rounded booths carved out of dark woods to lounging sofas and knee-height tables. There are fully-stocked bars on both levels. A glass-sided staircase connects the two levels, as does an elevator in the back corner.
I really enjoyed my visit and can’t wait to come back to try a full meal.
Morimota Asia is open for dinner starting at 5pm nightly. For full menus, or to make online reservations, visit morimotoasia.com.
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