Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Morimotos Asia, Lunch Review

One of the newest additions to Disney Springs is the elegant restaurant by world famous Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto, Morimoto Asia.  I had the pleasure to acquire a walk-in lunch seating recently and was impressed by the elegant decor, breath-taking food presentation, and VALUE for the quality of the meal.  There were a few slight glitches, but overall, this restaurant is another shining star to add on the list of newcomers to Disney Springs.
 The Food
We each ordered the Morimoto Lunch Set $26.00 which includes: Miso Soup, House Salad, Choice of California Roll with White or Brown Rice, Choice of Orange Chicken, Kung Po Chicken, Braised Black Cod, or Vegetable Tofu Medley, Dumplings and Kimchi. Substitutions are permitted for an additional charge.
The Lunch Set is an EXCELLENT value for both the quality and quantity of food included. It is also the best way to sample a wide variety of menu options. Ordering each item from the Lunch Set separately would bring a much higher price tag.

Morimoto Lunch Set Miso Soup (white miso broth, silken tofu) and House Salad (mixed lettuces, morimoto kabosu vinaigrette)
The soup was warm and flavorful with that distinct saltiness of miso. The Salad was lightly dressed with what seems to be a soy and ginger type vinaigrette as well as some thinly sliced radishes.  Both were delicious and could serve as a light lunch with nothing further on a hot Florida day.  My only difficulty was the size of the lettuce pieces. Some were very large. When dining with only chopsticks, smaller pieces would have been preferred.

Lunch Set Spider Sushi Roll $4.00 upcharge (tempura soft shell crab, spicy mayo, cumber, asparagus), Kung Po Chicken, (carrots, shimeji mushrooms, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, cashew nuts, stir fried with spicy szechuan sauce), Kimchi, Mini Egg Roll (I believe this was vegetable), Dumpling (pork or chicken, we were told "Chef's Choice." I believe ours was pork) and Shumai (pork, shrimp, mushrooms).
The Spider Roll was my favorite item and definitely worth the upcharge over the California Roll. It was in rather large pieces due to the size of the crab, and a bit difficult to eat, but the flavor was outstanding. 
I'm not typically a fan of spicy food. However, I took a chance on the Kung Po Chicken and was happy with the heat level. It was not overwhelming in the slightest. You can also see the attention to detail in the pretty flower designs of the carrots (right-handed chopsticks with left-handed photography skills). It was an excellent entree choice. 
The egg roll was a nice addition that was not listed on the menu. The wrapper was very light and crisp but slightly greasy for my personal taste.  We were never told what the dumplings were other than "chef's choice."  I deducted what they were from the menu options and general flavor. Neither of us were a fan of them. They weren't "bad," they just didn't seem to compare to the quality of the other items.
For my husband's Lunch Set, he chose California Roll with White Rice (crabstick, avocado, cucumber), Orange Chicken (tempura chicken, Chinese broccoli, wok-tossed with a sweet Florida orange sauce), Kimchi, Mini Egg Roll, Dumpling, Shumai.
The orange sauce on the Orange Chicken was so unique. It had an amazingly bright orange flavor. It was delicious and like nothing I've ever tasted before. Just be certain that you LOVE orange flavor when ordering it. You are sure to be surprised and woken up by the fresh flavor!
The California Roll is good but rather standard and sadly, made with imitation crab.  I suggest substituting for one of the more unique sushi roll options (see Spider Roll above!)
We were very full after the Lunch Set.  I could not even finish all of mine (that's why I bring the Hubby with me). But after watching some of the desserts coming out of the kitchen for other guests, we had no choice but to order something.  
Upon reviewing the "Desserts for Two" menu, my head was spinning over what to choose. EVERYTHING looked scrumptious.  We decided on the Churro Fondue $13.00 (housemade churros, Nutella, vanilla cream) because CHURROS AND NUTELLA!!  Do you really need to go any further than churros AND nutella when you see it on a menu??!
Sadly, this is where my heart was broken...twice.
Notice the lovely thick vanilla cream, the specially designed Morimoto Asia tube filled with Nutella love, and the crispy sugar dusted huge churros?  Unfortunately, upon first bite, they were raw inside.  Determined to try them, we notified our server and after a 25 minute wait, were given a second order. Alas, the second order was thicker, oddly shaped, and had an even MORE RAW interior. At that point, we cut our losses but were given the two tubes of Nutella as parting gifts. (One other point is that this is advertised as a dessert for two. However, there were no side plates given. Just with the one bite we tried of each, our table was coated in sugar crystals.  Individual plates would be helpful here.)

The Service
My experience with the service was very good. The staff, from the time we entered, was exceptionally friendly and willing to tell us all about the design of the restaurant and answer any questions that we had.  Our server was very knowledgeable about food and very gracious.  Our water glasses were filled at least six times by three different servers. The tables around us were cleared and set with great care for additional guests. BUT, our lunch took OVER TWO HOURS including the 25 minutes for the second dessert. Now, I am at Disney enough that I am rarely in a hurry when dining. I enjoy lounging. But, that was a long time for lunch.  I am not sure if that is typical because we did see other tables come and go while we sat.  The delay may have been simply small glitches in service. For example, when our dinner plates were cleared, we were not asked if we wanted the dessert menu or our bill.  They were cleared and our server then went and started filling water glasses around the room.  We asked for dessert menus when he filled our glasses again. Perhaps just an oversight?
Overall the experience was lovely and I wouldn't hesitate to return.  We were so busy enjoying our meal that we didn't notice the slow service until the dessert issues. I highly recommend trying Morimotos Asia for lunch. Especially if you would like a reasonably priced sample of a variety of food. 
I'm looking forward to a return visit sometime for dinner and FINALLY getting those churros!

The Decor
I will leave you with some photos of the decor.  Morimotos Asia has two levels. The bottom level has a dining room, bar, open kitchen (see Peking Duck display), and patio.  The upstairs is only open for dinner and includes a bar/lounge, sushi bar, outdoor upper deck patio, and private dining room.

*Morimotos Asia is handicapped accessible. There is an elevator to the second floor. 
*Various discounts are accepted. Be sure to ask your server.
*Find Jeanie on Twitter @PrincessPapers, Facebook @ThePrincessPapers or @JeanieGallo and as a regular correspondent on The Disney Dream Girls Podcast, on Twitter @DisDreamGirls.
*For your next Disney Vacation, contact Katerine at www.ImaginationsVacationsbyKatherine.com and let her know the Princess sent you!

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