Where to Eat: Lunch at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs

October 20, 2015, 4:34 PM · Chef Masaharu Morimoto is one of the most renowned chefs in all the world. People might recognize him from the Japanese television show Iron Chef or the American version. Besides appearing in head-to-head cooking battles with Bobby Flay, today the Michelin-rated chef owns and tends to his multiple restaurants. His newest one, Morimoto Asia, just opened in September for dinner, and now is serving lunch, which my family and I got to try.

Morimoto Asia

When you walk in, you’re not only greeted by a group of friendly staff, but you’re also greeted by the grandness of the place. The restaurant is a big and open, two stories. Large crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling. The restaurant has two bars, one on each level. There are private dining areas on each floor. The very modern restaurant has a nice flow, as it is easy to find and get to your seat. The entire kitchen is viewable, but protected by a wall of glass. The menu features a multitude of dishes, mixed drinks, beer, and a wine list that features Morimoto’s signature sake.


I went straight for the Morimoto Soba Ale ($8). The beer is served on draft and made with soba, Japanese for buckwheat. It’s gold in color and had a smooth, almost sweet, taste. This light beer went down quickly so I couldn’t wait for my appetizers. Highly recommended.

The manager said Chef Morimoto spent weeks at the restaurant training his chefs. That made me very excited so I popped open the menu and immediately ordered a few appetizers for the table. We ordered the Rock Shrimp Tempura ($16), Kakuni Pork Bao ($10), and Edamame ($6).

The Rock Shrimp Tempura is described to be a tempura-battered rock shrimp with spicy gochujang aioli. Rock shrimp are smaller sized prawns found in the waters of southeastern United States that have a taste comparable to lobster. As soon as the tempura batters touches your mouth, it melts. The gochujang aioli was not as spicy as I expected, and the shrimp was fresh and full of flavor. This was best dish out of the entire meal.

Kakuni Pork Bao

The Kukuni Pork Bao is a piece of braised pork belly with lettuce and spicy mayo, in a steamed bun. The pork belly seemed to be braised in a dark hoisin like sauce which was full of flavor. The mayo had a little kick, but the lettuce was unnecessary so I took it out. The bun itself was soft and fluffy. A very good dish.

Edamame was your typical steamed soybeans in a pod with shaved sea salt. A nice little snack.

For our main dishes we ordered the shrimp tempura roll ($10), duck Caesar ($15), and Peking duck ($48).

Shrimp tempura roll

The shrimp tempura roll was great and neatly rolled. The roll had the perfect amount of rice and included fresh asparagus, avocado, and spicy mayo. I cannot wait to try more of their sushi next time.

Duck Caesar salad

The duck Caesar was far from your normal Caesar salad. Other than romaine lettuce, it had pieces of roasted duck, red onion, tomato, orange segments, candied walnuts, and Morimoto’s take on the Caesar dressing. I loved the candied walnuts along with the orange pieces. The amount of roasted duck in the bowl was a bit skimpy, but I guess paying $15 for a large-sized salad is the reason behind it. I very much enjoyed Morimoto’s Caesar dressing because it had a nice egg yolk flavor to it. Overall, very good.

Peking duck

Now my biggest disappointment of lunch was not the Peking duck itself, but the time it took to arrive. It took just over 30 minutes from the time we finished our appetizers to receive my dish. My fiancée and her mom all got their dishes 15 minutes beforehand too. I understand this is one of the first days they were serving lunch, but a whole 30-plus minutes is unacceptable. The manager did apologize.

As far as the Peking duck, it was absolutely delicious! The Peking duck is prepared in house as you can see the roasted ducks hanging in the kitchen. The duck takes over 24 hours which includes brining, flavoring, and roasting the duck. The meat was separated from the bone and nicely prepared on the plate. Accompanying the duck were steamed flour pancakes with apricot sweet chili and hoisin miso dipping sauces. The skin was thin, crispy, and very tasty. Although I love Peking duck, I would gladly wait for someone to bring this down from New York, which isn't often. The price for amount of meat (probably a little less than half a duck) is not worth it.

Overall, yes, we would come back. After the obvious disappointment with my Peking duck, all of the other food was reasonably priced for a fine restaurant, and I would like to explore more of their sushi. I would definitely order the Rock Shrimp Tempura again and check out their steaks on their dinner menu. And of course, their sake.

Disney World annual passholders get a 10% discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages (for up to three guests) at lunch, starting November 1st. Tables in Wonderland also is accepted.

Replies (11)

October 20, 2015 at 5:28 PM · Whoa, I love Japanese beer, and it's so hard to find a place that serves authentic Japanese beer with truly local food.
October 20, 2015 at 6:11 PM · Jeff, for those of us on a budget that may not be able to afford a full meal of fine dining, what would you suggest as a must-do appetizer(s)?
October 20, 2015 at 6:05 PM · Rock shrimp tempura and get a side of rice with it. It's a decently sized appetizer and the rice can fill you up the rest of the way. The tuna sashimi pizza is supposed to be popular ($15). Or try a couple sushi rolls.
October 20, 2015 at 6:05 PM · they can always improve the service and timing of courses, but glad to hear the food was good. I'm interested to try the restaurant but will probably wait a bit to let them figure out any issues.
October 20, 2015 at 7:40 PM · Jeff, what did Morimoto do to remedy the situation for not properly timing food delivery? Generally, an apology is sufficient, but when you're paying $48 for a lunch meal a manager's apology is unacceptable.
October 20, 2015 at 8:53 PM · They do have other items on the menu that are priced a bit better. The Lo-Mein is priced quite reasonably, and is pretty fantastic. There are several other items that dont hit the wallet nearly as bad as the peking duck.
October 21, 2015 at 3:55 AM · You kill a bird for people to cook it than eat it, no one bats an eye. You train a whale to do flips and tricks, everyone loses their minds.
October 21, 2015 at 8:56 AM · There is no reason to feel that 30 minutes to get the Peking duck is taking too long. They are taking that long to cut and present. Years ago, you had to reserve them 24 hours in advance. Now, you can get them without much wait. The mistake is you're paying $48 for an individual serving size. Usually, they are served family style and you get all the duck meat and you get many more steamed buns or pancakes (at least 10) and it can serve 2 to 4 people. A more traditional Chinese restaurant will cut off the skin of the duck in front of you and process the rest away from you. The bones are cooked into a soup (this is more rare today). The duck meat can be served in pieces with bones in a separate dish or shredded and stir fried with vegetables (also rare). At minimum, you should get more pancakes with green onions or cucumbers and the rest of the duck meat.

Another thing, in the photo, the duck was cut up incorrectly. They should cut only the skin off to use between the pancakes. Then the duck meat is served separately.

It seems like the extra duck meat went into the duck Caesar Salad. Hey, that's your duck meat.

Morimoto was very good as Iron Chef. It does sound like his menu is unique although expensive.

October 21, 2015 at 10:39 AM · Very interesting to know about the preparation Anon. I'll have that in mind when ordering Peking duck somewhere else. Yeah, it probably did go in that Caesar...

Matt, unfortunately nothing else was done.

October 21, 2015 at 2:10 PM · One of my favorite restaurants here in Philadelphia is the original Morimoto. Does the Disney Springs restaurant have a chefs choice menu?
October 21, 2015 at 2:39 PM · Sorry Jaiden, but not even on the dinner menu. It would be a great suggestion though.

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