With Japanese drummers, a Chinese lion, and a traditional Sake toast, Walt Disney World officially opened Morimoto Asia as the newest addition to Disney Springs, the shopping and dining district formerly known as Downtown Disney.
In attendance at the new restaurant’s grand opening were the Iron Chef himself Masaharu Morimoto as well as Walt Disney World president George Kalogridis and, donning his own chef outfit, Mickey Mouse.
Later, Morimoto filleted a huge tuna before turning it into a 60-foot long sushi roll with the assistance of attending press and VIPs along with Mickey.
The super fresh sushi was served as an entree to all in attendance at the grand opening between samplings of the new restaurant’s signature drinks, appetizers, and desserts.
Among the best starters and dim sum served at the grand opening were the tuna pizza (deliciously crunchy) and shumai (perfectly steamed).
Naturally, all the sushi served at Morimoto Asia is made fresh and is perfectly prepared. The main kitchen is downstairs, open for diners to see (check out that row of ducks!), and a sushi bar is located upstairs as well.
Only a small sampling of the restaurant’s premier entree were served, a wonderfully succulent peking duck. The cuisine of Morimoto Asia is definitely not the same as his namesake restaurant in New York. That NYC restaurant serves gorgeous takes on classic Japanese fare – some of the best food (and priciest) I’ve ever eaten. The new Disney restaurant broadens the scope to encompass all of Asia, blending cultures and cuisines together for a different sort of heightened dining experience. (I will no doubt return soon to try a few of the entrees separate from this event.) The restaurant’s decor is elegant, but welcoming. Private rooms are available for parties and VIP arrangements, sectioned off by curtains or sliding frosted glass panels with a distinctly Chinese flair.
Though he doesn’t speak English well, Chef Morimoto was kind and happy to take photos with his fans at the grand opening.
Morimoto Asia is now officially open at Disney Springs , replacing the former Mannequins night club in the former Pleasure Island.