After driving through a huge Florida rain storm to get to Disney Springs, we were pleased that the weather had cleared as we arrived for our anniversary dinner at Morimoto Asia. This restaurant has been on our list of must-dos since we first heard about it.
We checked in at the front desk at 7:10 for our 7:30 reservation. We were seated immediately at a table for two upstairs along the glass railing overlooking the downstairs dining room. This was a great location. It was less crowded than downstairs, and we had a great view of the whole restaurant.
Before arriving, we had reviewed the menu and selected what we wanted to eat and drink. However, when we looked at the menu, and then talked with our server, we found out that the drinks we were expecting to order (Singapore Sling for Kathy, a Morimotini for me) were no longer available. Instead, we both chose the Momo Mai Tai. It was a very tasty, and potent, choice. We did manage to order the four appetizers we had planned.
Momo Mai Tai
Wicked Dolphin Dark Rum, Cruzan Light Rum, Passion Fruit, Blood Orange, orgeat, Pineapple
Rock Shrimp Tempura
Signature tempura rock shrimp, spicy gochujang aioli
Crispy tortilla, tuna sashimi, tomato, jalapeño, anchovy aioli
Morimoto Spare Ribs
Pork ribs, cilantro, hoisin sweet chili glaze
Kakuni Pork Bao
Steamed buns, braised pork belly, lettuce, spicy mayo
Yuzu caramel sauce, black sesame whipped cream, black sesame air cake
The architecture and atmosphere at Morimoto Asia is amazing. Well-conceived modern Asian design with interesting seating and decorations. It was fun just to look around at everything. The ambiance created a perfect setting for us to share our celebratory anniversary experience.
After we sorted out our drink order, we ordered the first three appetizers (minus the Pork Bao). Once the other appetizers arrived, we realized we wanted the Pork Bao too and added that to our order. Sharing small plates over a couple yummy drinks is one of our favorite ways to dine. And this was the epitome of this kind of dining.
I could not share the shrimp, but Kathy was blown away by the great flavors of this signature dish from Morimoto. The tuna pizza, another signature dish, was full of flavor and texture, enhanced even more when our server brought us some soy sauce to drizzle on it. Wow!
The spare ribs were the ideal sticky, Asian-style ribs we love so much. We could have eaten more of these. And the savory steam buns were filled with flavorful pork belly and a mayo with some kick.
Kathy asked me which appetizer was my favorite, and I didn’t have an answer. They were all incredible.
We were unsure if we wanted dessert, but since we wanted to linger, we decided to share an order of the cream caramel. We had a bit of a wait for the dessert to be delivered. The cream caramel itself was rich and delicious. The black sesame whipped cream and air cake added a bit of an odd savory flavor, but nonetheless, this was a nice ending to a marvelous anniversary dinner.
We’ve had some incredible dining experiences in our 21 years of marriage, and this ranks up there as one of the best.
Thoughts by Kathy:
As fans of all those cooking shows on TV, we were really curious about Morimoto’s food. And then when Deb Wills talked about the new late night cocktail menu and how, in her younger days, she might have downed them all – lol – well, we just had to experience this. And I know exactly what she means. Really cool vibe – kind of like an updated contemporary 70s Disco – at least like the one I used to frequent several nights a week. All that was missing was the dance floor. Oh, and maybe some disco balls.
The food was amazing and even the Mai Tai had a special flavor of its own. Rich couldn’t help me with the Shrimp so I took some of it home and had it for lunch the next day – yum!
We didn’t announce our anniversary, unlike our birthdays. Last year was the big 20th anniversary cruise and we wanted to play it a little more low key this year.
This was our first time at Disney Springs at night and it is so fabulous – very Vegas in a good way and now trumps Downtown Disney at Disneyland.
We stopped by Art Smith’s Homecoming, which we’re hoping to check out later this fall when we might be more in the mood for a bigger meal. It looked quite inviting and I’m sure it’s delicious, but I don’t really eat fried chicken any more. Still, we do want to try it.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming
Outside seating for street fare, Morimoto’s
Entrance to Morimoto Asia
Floating staircase leading to upstairs dining
Table for two seating along the upstairs rail
Morimoto’s Mai Tai – delish!
Rich enjoyed his Mai Tai
Kathy enjoying her Mai Tai in lieu of Singapore Sling, which is no more
Signature dish – tuna pizza
Signature dish – shrimp tempura
Ribs, appetizer portion
After our meal, we strolled around Disney Springs to take a look after dark, stopped to listen to a band, and then a night time view of Morimoto’s all lit up – really cool!
Evening entertainment Tuesday-Thursday
The Boathouse at night
Morimoto’s all lit up