Disney Springs is quite the place these days. The former Downtown Disney has been renovated and repackaged into a wining, dining, entertainment Orlando hot spot on an impressive scale.
Cirque du Soleil has its own theatre, there’s free live street entertainment, free parking and a host of quality venues for shopping and eating.
Amongst this esteemed company, Morimoto Asia is right up there. Its bang-on trend pan-Asian cuisine, presents quality authentic food so excitingly frenzied, you could almost believe you are in a restaurant in south east Asia.
It’s early evening and Morimoto Asia is already heaving. I’m lucky to get a table right in front of the open plan kitchen where it’s all going on. Japanese master chef Masaharu Morimoto knows a thing or two about running an efficient kitchen. It’s like watching a magic show, where an almost balletic chaos of chefs are preparing everything from sushi to miso to wagyu. Seemingly in minutes, all kinds of wonderful dishes are materialising in front of my eyes and then whisked away by waiting servers.
Waiter Jeff is quick to point out “Everything you see here is made and prepared in our kitchens, even that rack of Peking Duck.”
The menu is dizzyingly large, almost as large as the two storey restaurant itself.
“You might want to try the dim sum Kakuni pork bao; steamed buns, braised pork belly, lettuce, spicy mayo $10, they are really very good”
Faced with too many choices, I take up Jeff’s offer, and also a bowl of Singapore Laksa noodles with creamy coconut and spicy curry, rice noodles, chicken meatball, soy marinated egg at $17.
Meanwhile, the ballet continues unabated. It really is a hot bed of Asian styles, some Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and a whole lot of Japanese.
The Bao arrive crammed with melt-in-your-mouth pork and lettuce followed by a huge bowl of steaming laksa.
It is all impressively magnificent.
The table next to me are attempting to devour a sushi and sashimi pagoda; a huge tower for three people which includes chilled whole lobster, oysters on half shell, shrimp cocktail, five pieces of nigiri and ten pieces of sashimi for $100.
Jeff appears and suggests a dessert.
“Let’s wash this down with our trio of home-made ice cream”
That might sound a little western to you, but green tea, sweet rice and ginger are not three flavours you might readily find in Baskin Robbins.
Taking a quick peek behind the scenes in the kitchen, I bump into Executive chef Yuhi Fujinaga who tells me there is no room for errors in his food factory.
“We might get over 2,000 covers a night here, so every soul in this kitchen knows his or her role perfectly. We have different stations for each type of food, so what might look chaotic when you first look is actually all carefully choreographed.”
Morimoto Asia is hands down impressive. Living proof there is a massive difference between fast food, and great food delivered fast.
Just make sure you book first.
All images aprt from restaurant overview (c) Andy Mossack
Tell me more about Morimoto Asia, Disney Springs
Morimoto Asia, Disney Springs
1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830