Morimoto Asia is a table-service restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs. The restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Morimoto of Iron Chef fame. Morimoto Asia serves, you guessed it, Asian foods, primarily Chinese and Japanese fare. This restaurant does take part in the Disney Dining plan, costing guests 1 credit for lunch or 2 credits for dinner. The restaurant does also offer a 10% discount for annual passholders. We recently had lunch at Morimoto Asia and this review will cover that experience.
Disney World is full of restaurants that take guests to a different place. Much like the parks themselves most Disney restaurants are made to take you to a different environment instead of just a really nice restaurant. That trend is broken at times in Disney Springs, most notably by Disney Springs. Instead of dining with dinosaurs or eating at a drive-in theater, Morimoto looks like an upscale restaurant you may find in New York, Chicago or LA.
Since the more modern, upscale restaurants are somewhat out of the norm in Disney World going to Morimoto is still does feel like a bit of a different environment than everywhere else guests have been eating. I certainly felt this once we stepped inside Morimoto Asia.
There are two floors in Morimoto Asia, with the downstairs being more for dining. Upstairs also has some tables along with a few bars. The kitchen here is out in the open and fun to watch if you are seated nearby. Despite it’s somewhat dark and square appearance on the outside, the restaurant is very warm and vibrant inside. Of course, this was lunch and I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled the lights down a little bit in the evening.
The first thing to catch my eye when I walked in were these beautiful, silver chandeliers. They are the centerpiece of the room and help enhance the straight, sharp lines in the architecture. As you can somewhat see, the back wall of the restaurant has portraits. This keeps with the very modern theming.
Here’s the view from out the other side of the table, with a better look at the upstairs seating and the giant windows. There were orchids all around the restaurant that added some color. The wood finish on the booths looked a step above what I’m used to as well.
What you think of Morimoto Asia’s atmosphere will be largely dependent on how you feel about modern architecture. If you enjoy that look then you are likely to be impressed. Even if you’re not a fan of that style I think you’ll find parts of Morimoto Asia breathtaking.
On to the food! Here’s link to a menu. At the time we were here for lunch the restaurant offered a ‘lunch set’ or prix fixe menu. I’m not positive that is still offered but I think it is. Three of the four in our dining party ordered from that menu. Because I’m not sure that this is still offered, I’ll look at each individual item.
My meal started with the Miso Soup. This was a step above other Miso Soups I’ve tasted thanks in large part to the broth. The flavor was rich and hearty, somewhat similar to a chicken broth but stronger. I’m not much for tofu but this wasn’t too bad. I did like the onions in the soup, as they enhanced the flavor without be overpowering. This was a nice way to start the meal.
Melissa started with a salad that was very fresh and light. The dressing was quite bitter so making it through the entire salad was difficult. It’d be a nice item to share to start but I preferred the soup.
For her entrée, Melissa had Orange Chicken, dumplings, an egg roll, and white rice. The Orange Chicken had a great flavor to it, closer to a sweet and sour sauce with a little kick. The chicken was lightly breaded, which I prefer so that the dish isn’t too filling.
I enjoyed the dumplings but don’t remember them standing out over other dumplings I’ve tasted. They are a nice little addition. I really enjoyed the egg roll, as all the flavors were balanced well and the outside crisped perfectly.
I ordered the Branzino for my entrée and this came with a California Roll. The sushi was very good and something I’d go back to Morimoto Asia for. The restaurant has an extensive Sushi Bar and I’m sure you could have a great meal just with that. I liked that the Prix Fixe menu gave me the option of trying it. While I’ve just recently started liking sushi so my experience is limited, this is the best that I’ve had.
The Branzino was delicious, as well. As you can see the sea bass was breaded and fried, topped with vegetables and served over a sweet and sour sauce. The fish was cooked exceptionally well, very juicy and flavorful. The breading was a little more hearty than on the orange chicken but not overly so. Sweet and sour sauce held the dish together with the needed sweetness. I really enjoyed the Branzino and would recommend it.
My mom also ordered shrimp (pictured above) and we all liked this dish, as well.
If you couldn’t tell, I thought the food at Morimoto Asia was delicious. Like The Boathouse, there are prices from $15 all the way up to $40. Unless you really don’t like Asian food then I think the restaurant offers enough variety that everyone will enjoy it.
In Disney terms, I think the restaurant holds value. I would go for lunch, as the menu is slightly cheaper and offers close to the same thing as dinner. If you’re looking to save some money then order on the cheaper side of the menu. It is close to what you would pay for some counter-service meals and much higher quality.
Overall, Morimoto Asia is one of the better restaurants I’ve tried at Walt Disney World. The modern flare is a nice change for the resort and the food left nothing to be wanted. While I don’t think it is the best restaurant on property, it is in the upper echelon and a must-do for those that like Chinese or Japanese food.
Overall Rating – 9.5/10
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Categories: Restaurant Reviews