On Wednesday, Orlando’s newest celerity chef inspired eatery opened its doors to guests at the Walt Disney World Resort. On Tuesday I was given a sneak peek at this beautiful new space that used to be the home of a nightclub with a revolving dance floor.
Goodbye Mannequins. Hello Morimoto Asia Orlando!
The media event itself was filled with about as much fanfare as you would expect from the Disney brand. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto was on hand for photos and was joined by Chef Mickey. There were calligraphers hand drawing Japanese characters for guests and a roaming oragami artisan. Chef rolled a sixty foot sushi roll and there were Japanese ribbon dancers and drummers to entertain guests.
But the real attraction for me was the amazing service and food provided throughout the evening.
We started the night with a sake toast served in tiny wooden boxes called sake masu with the Morimoto logo stamped on them.
The restaurant is stunning with it’s 36 foot ceilings and hanging beaded glass chandeliers. Of course I would expect nothing but the best from the Patina Restaurant Group who designed the space. They were also the group that reimagined the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
This view was taken from the private dining room on the second level of the restaurant.
Throughout the evening servers passed around signature cocktails. I had the opportunity to try the Shirayuri (White Lilly) which was a beautiful cocktail made from shochu, calpico and yuzu served with a twist as well as the Lemon Grass Mojito made with cachaca and lemongrass syrup.
The White Lilly was a delicately balanced drink which was a stark contract to the aggressive Lemon Grass Mojito and each offered up its own merits based on your own personal taste.
The wine list was rather extensive. My favorite pour of the night was the Kim Crawford “Loveblock” Sauvignon Blanc. We were also allowed to sample the Morimoto Soba Ale which was a nice sessionable beer.
The second story bar was decorated to complement the Disney Springs theming. Morimoto Asia’s story is that it took over a former bottling plant. You can see this story carried over into the glass jar lighting which looks to be moving along a conveyor belt here.
From what I’ve seen posted online, folks are mainly anticipating the sushi at Morimoto Asia. I get it, and it is good, but there are other dishes that the eatery is doing very well. Take for instance this Duck Cesar (roasted duck, romaine lettuce, tomato, orange segments, walnuts & Morimoto Cesar dressing)
Or these dumplings which come filled with pork, chicken and even veggies.
Morimoto Asia is also doing Shumai offered with chicken or pork & shrimp filling.
The artistry with which everything is prepared is nothing short of amazing.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Morimoto Asia in the newly reimagined Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. I’m already planning to return.
Morimoto Asia Orlando is located in The Landing at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island) and occupies the space formerly known as Mannequins Dance Palace.
Morimoto Asia Orlando
1600 Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
Open 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.