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This was our first Disney dining experience. During our arrival day to Disney World, our room was not ready yet. We headed for lunch to Morimoto Asia located in Disney Springs.
Morimoto Asia is a Fine/Signature Dining restaurant in Disney. It usually takes 2 table service credit per meal from the Disney Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan. However, for lunch, it only requires 1 table service credit.
Morimoto Asia is headlined by famed Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef reputation. Morimoto has several other locations including New York, Chicago, Hawaii, among others. This location however is the chef’s first “pan-Asian” restaurant, featuring flavors from across the continent with a focus on Thailand, Korea, Japan, and China. Being fans of the TV show Iron Chef and Asian cuisine, we cannot wait to try it.
Once in Disney Springs, we parked in the Lime Garage. From the garage, you exit and walk straight ahead until you cross the bridge. The restaurant sits by the end of the bridge.
Morimoto Asia is located in the overhauled 2-story building where the Springs Bottling Company sign is.
Outdoor seating is available in the 2nd floor balcony if you want to enjoy your meal and the Orlando weather.
Morimoto Asia Street Food is located in the side of the entrance and sells quick bites from the Morimoto Asia menu. If you want to use Quick Service credits, this is where you’d find their counter service options.
We were greeted by the host as soon as we walked in. We were late for our reservation by 10 minutes but they are gracious enough to check us in.
The foyer is decorated with bamboo plants. Everything is black with some bold applications of red and white for contrast. The decor is very Asian contemporary. It is very interesting to see the white counter top of the reception desk as a huge white wave that continues on to the main floor lounge and to the upper floor lounge.
Allot at least 25 minutes when leaving from your resort to Disney Springs. Even if you are nearby Disney Springs, you would still need time to find parking and walk to the restaurant.
Just behind the reception desk, next to the sleek looking stairs is the ground floor lounge where you can try their selection of alcoholic drinks and some starters. It features Asian-inspired cocktails as well as any bar classics you like since it’s a full bar.
The second floor is accessible via the stairs. They also have an available elevator for those who want to get to the upper floor. In the second floor, you would find another lounge area and more dining spaces. Another interesting feature here is a huge Connect 4 game.
You can also access the outdoor seating here in the balcony. The view of Disney Springs is really great in here.
The sushi bar is in the upper floor. Not to worry, all of the sushi is also available to order if you’re in the main dining areas.
As soon as they walk you in to your table, long sparkly chandeliers hang from the high ceiling in the main dining hall. They almost look like they’re rain. The walls are adorned with black and white photography as well as Japanese characters. The bathrooms are located by the wall with photos.
The restaurant is beautiful and massive in space. Luxurious might even be the term to describe it. Thanks to the rain chandeliers.
Different table settings can easily accommodate any group size. You can notice from the room layout that you would have to go around the hall to get to the other side of the room, for instance, a bladder break.
The far wall to the left features a glass wall where you can watch the staff prepare food in the open kitchen.
The hostess seated our party next to that room. We watched the staff prepare the food while ogling over the marinating ducks. Impressively, it does not smell like you’re next to the kitchen.
Most of the workers were nicely groomed and courteous. Our server was knowledgeable with the menu. She was very helpful with suggesting which food to try and which ones are included in the Dining Plan. However, it did take a long time to be waited since we were seated nor in between courses (appetizers, main course, desserts). Even if we had the Deluxe Dining Plan, I think the service could be quicker in between courses. We were sitting there waiting for our server to give us the dessert menu. It took us nearly 3 hours to eat lunch. By the time that we are done eating lunch, we are headed to our dinner reservation in the Polynesian Resort. We did not have enough time to wander around Disney Springs.
There was an instance during serving of the Japanese Ramune watermelon float that our server dropped the cap/stylet to poke open the bottle. She asked if it’s okay for her to use it to open the bottle after being on the floor or would I rather have a new bottle served. She asked nicely, however, being a restaurant and charging around $30 per entree, I expect to be served clean food. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. I requested a new bottle and she obliged. I just think that shouldn’t even be a question.
Being a party of 6, the final bill included 18% automatic gratuity of the price of meal. For table service restaurants, account for gratuity out of pocket even if you have the dining plan.
For this trip, we booked 2 rooms under the Free Dining promotion. Staying in a moderate resort, a room typically comes with a free Disney Dining Plan. However, for 2017, they downgraded the free meal plan for moderates to the Quick Service Dining Plan. We updated one room to the Deluxe Dining Plan to cover our table service reservations. Being in the Deluxe Dining Plan, one credit entitles a person to an appetizer, an entree, a non-alcoholic beverage, and a dessert. As I mentioned, Morimoto Asia typically charges two (2) table service credits. We went for lunch so each meal will only cost us one (1) table service credit.
The menu features flavors from across Asia with a focus on Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese cuisines. So, the choices are not entirely unfamiliar or too experimental.
The menu has 2 pages in it but doesn’t suggest which ones are included in the dining plan or how many credits they require. I would have find it helpful. The menu catered more towards those who pay out-of-pocket. This took a lot of our time since we really don’t know the value of the meals we were staring at until our server comes back to us.
For example, we learned that the Peking duck meal costs 2 credits because it is meant to be shared by 2 people.
And if you are wondering if there’s any kid-friendly options available, they have them as well.
We each started off with a starter. The serving is bigger than we expected. Like seriously, I could have skipped using another credit and just have another person eat off the appetizers.
So we ordered different appetizers to try them and since they are a lot, everyone pretty much had a taste of each.
First off is the Morimoto Spare Ribs Appetizer portion. Our server suggested it. I’m happy we listened. This is my favorite among them and I want one now. Seasoned with cilantro and hoisin sweet chili glaze, it has a very good sweet, salty, and spicy flavor that is not overpowering. Although, it is enough to make you keep coming back for more! It has a crunch to it yet the meat falls off of the bone as you bite it. It is basically the same as the main entree but came with three (3) ribs instead of six (6) or twelve (12) ribs. Out of pocket, it will cost you $14 per plate.
Another appetizer we ate was the Tuna Pizza. It’s made with crispy tortilla, tuna sashimi, tomato, jalapeño, and anchovy aioli. Imagine eating nachos with fresh tuna on it. The jalapeño peppers also adds a nice kick to it.
The last appetizer we had was the Spicy Yellowtail Sushi Roll. It comprises of spicy hamachi, japanese yellowtail, spicy mayo, scallion with choice of white or brown rice. It wasn’t spicy as the name entails which is okay with me. My husband likes hot and spicy food. He was disappointed it wasn’t as spicy as he hoped they’d be. Otherwise, the sushi tasted great. You can taste the savory flavor from the hamachi and yellowtail tartare. No chunkiness in this sushi. Just a pretty light feeling as it unfolds in your mouth. It is something that I would definitely order again if I come back.
It’s finally time for the main dishes.
The Morimoto Buri-bop was one of our most anticipated meals to try. We read great reviews about it. The entree did not disappoint. It’s a $30.00 dish that included Korean style yellowtail rice bowl, served in a hot clay pot, finished with egg yolk, prepared table side. We enjoyed the little trivia snippet the server was sharing with us as he preps the food. The hot clay pot cooked the ingredients as the server prepped it.
Orange Chicken was a familiar meal to try for $24.00. My husband and my sister both ordered it. The chicken breading was great and crispy. We were not fans of the sauce, however. We thought the sauce had a bitter taste to it that was too distinct. This is served with Chinese broccoli.
My grandmother went for a soup. She chose the Duck Ramen which was made with egg noodles, duck meat, scallion, and boiled egg. Not much of a steal if you are on the dining plan since it just costs $16.00. However, it is a great portion for a tasty meal if paying out of pocket.
I ordered the L.A. BBQ Kalbi, a $28.00 meal comprising of marinated and grilled boneless short ribs, house kimchi and gochujang sauce. I am not a fan of kimchi but I could say that the flavors of this dish came together so well that I ate the whole thing.
By this time, we are so full. However, we can’t pass on the opportunity to dig in into the dessert menu!
Mochi Mochi was a great treat to be had. For $14.00, you get a not-so-overwhelming dish that was smooth to the mouth. It is made up of annin tofu, coconut mango soup, fruit boba, frozen mango, lemon-yogurt powder. My son loved the boba balls! This can easily be shared by 2-3 people.
The Churro Fondue was what you would expect from a warm serving of housemade churros, nutella, and vanilla cream. No disappointments here. By the way, the nutella is served in an ointment tube.
Chocolate Cream & Crunch had a nice mix of softness and crunchiness. Very flavorful treat of oreo tempura, mandarin orange jelly,dark chocolate gelato, and hazelnut chocolate crunchies that you can enjoy for $14.00 as well.
The $13.00 dessert Cream Caramel was an interesting one. It had yuzu caramel sauce, black sesame whipped cream, and black sesame air cake. Don’t be deterred by the black mold looking garnish. This actually tasted good. It reminded me of creme brulee.
We also tried the Melon Cream Soda Float which is made up of melon flavored Japanese soda “Ramune”, vanilla gelato, and boba pearls.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was excellent. The food was great too. I recommend dining here for lunch. For 1 table service credit, it gives you great value to your dining plan during lunch. For out of pocket spenders, the price range is wide enough to cater everyone. The speed of service leaves a lot to be desired. Will we dine here again next time we’re in Disney World? Sure, if we have nowhere else to be afterwards.
For more info like menu or hours, you can visit Morimoto Asia’s website.
Have you dined in this restaurant? How was your experience? Share in the comments below.