Review: New Late Night Menu and Forbidden Lounge at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs

Morimoto Asia arrived in Disney Springs in late September of 2015.

Even though this Signature Restaurant is still a relatively new spot, at this point it could be considered one of the more established restaurants in the area given the many additions to dining options in Disney Springs since that time.

But Morimoto Asia has still gone through several changes of its own since opening. For instance, Morimoto Asia Street Food has since hit the scene, offering the restaurant’s signature Pan-Asian cuisine in a Quick Service fashion.

Even more recently, they’ve created an option custom-made for all you night owls out there enjoying the newly revived nightlife of Disney Springs with a new Late Night Menu!

And nighttime is an especially good time to visit Morimoto Asia. Because even though it’s a remarkably beautiful restaurant no matter the time of day, it’s especially pretty at night when the script on the outside of the building is brightly illuminated.

Morimoto Asia at Night

Morimoto Asia at Night

The late night menu is available each night starting at 10 PM, and is served exclusively on the second floor of the restaurant.

Upstairs Sushi Bar at Morimoto Asia

Upstairs Sushi Bar at Morimoto Asia

And even though it has some options all its own, it still features the famous cuisine of Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Chef Morimoto

Chef Morimoto

We recently attended a “Sneak Peek” tasting event where Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinaha explained the menu has “izakaya”-styled eats, meant to be enjoyed by shoppers who want to enjoy some food and drinks after a productive day.

Morimoto Late Night Menu

Morimoto Late Night Menu — click to enlarge

But before we sampled the new late night bites, we were also given the chance to try the newest selection of seasonal adult beverages made for summer sipping, like the Summer Watermelon Punch.  Citrus vodka and fresh watermelon are combined to create what is by far the sweetest of the new drink options.

Summer Watermelon Punch

Summer Watermelon Punch

Also making its debut for the summer is the Beijing Bourbon Tea featuring blood orange liqueur, Bulleit Bourbon, and house-made black tea. It’s topped off with fresh mint.

Beijing Bourbon Tea

Beijing Bourbon Tea

I really loved the flavors of this one, but it is STRONG… so consider yourself warned! ;-)

My personal favorite was the Korean Ginger Heat: Knob Creek bourbon, ginger liqueur and peach with a Korean fire spice tea. A slice of lemon and a Korean red pepper make up the garnish.

Korean Ginger Heat

Korean Ginger Heat

And as you may have guessed from the name, this one is spicy but the flavors go together beautifully.

And for all you beer lovers, the Morimoto Summer Ale is a buckwheat ale.

Morimoto Summer Ale

Morimoto Summer Ale

As expected for a summer ale, it’s very light so it’s a great choice for these hot summer days.

And now… onto the Late Night EATS! The first item we tried was the Ahi Poke. This recipe comes from Chef Yuhi’s hometown in Hawaii. Large pieces of rare tuna are mixed with a soy ginger sauce, sesame seeds, onions, chives and red pepper strings.

Ahi Poke

Ahi Poke

For a light plate, it’s packed with a lot of terrific flavor.

Adventurous eaters might be tempted by the Iidako Karaage, which is a dish of fried baby octopus.

Iidako Karaage

Iidako Karaage

I have to admit I had a hard time with this one… I’m not a huge fan of the chewy consistency of octopus (or the appearance). But I loved the seasoning of the batter, and the spicy mayo was a great touch.

One of my favorites from the night was the Kurobuta Sausage Bao: two Berkshire pork sausages accompanied by lettuce, cucumber and whole grain mustard are served on delicious steamed buns.

Kurobuta Sausage Bao

Kurobuta Sausage Bao

I appreciated the fresh, summer-friendly flavor of the cucumber and the way it mixed with the smokiness of the sausage.

Kurobuta Sausage Bao

Kurobuta Sausage Bao

Another standout favorite were the Chicken Wings! The batch of four are topped with an incredibly flavorful spicy garlic soy glaze and finished with red pepper strings.

Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings

Though glazed, somehow they remained both crispy and juicy.

Another izakaya option is the unique batch of Portobello Mushroom Fries. These battered and fried thick-cut pieces of portobello mushroom are HUGE, and the mentaiko mayo served on the side is a favorite of Chef Morimoto himself.

Portobello Mushroom Fries

Portobello Mushroom Fries

Portobello Mushroom Fries

Portobello Mushroom Fries

Also great for sharing is the Shichimi Spice Edamame. This deceptively simple edamame dish is actually quite flavorful since the shichimi mixed with sea salt give it a nice kick.

Shichimi Spice Edamame

Shichimi Spice Edamame

It was an extra special treat to be able to try the Menchi Katsu Sliders. Here’s a fun fact to know right off the bat: the two burgers, which are a mixture of pork and beef, are fried in the same grease as Chef Morimoto’s Signature Peking Duck.

Menchi Katsu Sliders

Menchi Katsu Sliders

They are then topped off with Japanese barbecue sauce and cabbage slaw.

Menchi Katsu Slider

Menchi Katsu Slider

Another fun fact: these are the same burgers that won Chef Morimoto the People’s Choice Award at the 2016 SOBE Burger Bash. At $14.00, it’s on the pricey side for two sliders. But I honestly think this is one of those dishes that everyone should splurge on at least once.

Before we wrapped up our “late night” (the Sneak Peek event itself wasn’t super late :) ), we also had a bite from the Noodles section of the menu: the Tonkotsu Ramen. And can I say how fun it is to have a late-night ramen option?! The Tonkotsu is made with egg ramen noodles, pork broth, mushrooms, pickled ginger and a large portion of roasted pork belly.

Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen

But the most impressive thing about it (and this may give you an idea of how flavorful this dish is), is that it takes THIRTY-SIX hours to prepare. And the proof is in the… umm, noodles ;) , which tasted incredible.

While our tasting included dishes primarily from the Izakaya section of the new Late Night offerings, it’s worth noting that there are several Sushi (of course!) and Dim Sum items on the menu. While the prices are a little high for the smaller portions, I think this menu offers late night guests a terrific chance to try this signature dining experience at what is still a lower price point. One thing is for sure… it would be hard to find these kind of flavors and ingredients on another late night menu!

New Late Night Menu and Forbidden Lounge at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs

Will you be trying the new late night menu at Morimoto Asia? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to Morimoto Asia for including us in this Sneak Peek! See more on our disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. Mike V says

    Gosh this looks delicious…..
    As an outside visitor to the area (New Jersey) just cannot figure a scenario that I’d be in the Springs after 10.
    Guess i’ll just have to drool…..

  2. Keith says

    Finally some true epicurean options for late dining. Given how many Disney people are often out late, I never understood the dearth of quality late dining options around property. Morimoto seems to be doing everything right!

  3. Keith says

    Also…what’s with all of the negative comments regarding the appearance of octopus, ants, whole fish, etc? You’re supposed to be a professional culinary reviewer….knock it off! It makes you appear to be a Disney mommy-blogger.

  4. Lisa says

    I like the honesty of the Blog and being true to what reviewer likes or dislikes. Keep up Disney Food Blog :)

  5. Hannah says

    Keith…..this is not a National news channel with unemotional news stories….it’s a BLOG. They give reviews and if they want….they are welcome to their opinion. I, for one, appreciate it. I am also welcome to go to the places and have my own opinion but maybe I don’t want to waste my valuable Disney vacation going somewhere I may not enjoy. Besides…it’s their BLOG. Enjoy your day.

  6. says

    Thanks, Keith! Agreed that Morimoto is a fantastic addition to the Springs, especially the higher-end late-night options. And as to our squeamishness, we’re certainly all entitled to our opinions, and I admire your adventurous spirit when it comes to trying all the things. And I always, always appreciate you continuing to read this blog even though we don’t see eye to eye from time to time. ;-D You’re one of my favorite fellow Disney food lovers because you tell it like it is — good or bad — and give us good constructive criticism that we take very seriously.

    As I’ve said before, I’m not a trained culinary expert (far from it, though I’m learning more and more every day) — my goal for this blog has always been to showcase photos of what’s available at Disney restaurants so that people who have to book relatively expensive meals 6 months in advance have the advantage of knowing what the food will look like when it comes on their plate versus seeing Disney media pictures only. My review is purely my opinion and that of my team members, and should be taken completely subjectively, as should, I believe, all food reviews, professionally trained or not.

  7. Gloria says

    I don’t often comment on the DFB but I do check in once a day. I appreciate your and the DFB Team’s honest reviews. Of course I realize the reviews are your opinion; however, I keep them in mind when planning my Disney trips. Thank you!

  8. Sandra says

    Keith, writing a blog about food and reviewing eateries doesn’t mean you can’t express personal opinions, pet peeves, or dislikes of particular ingredients. (See: Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post who often adds personal notes to his professional restaurant reviews).

    I personally would never eat octopus knowingly, as I respect their intelligence. I also respect the rights of
    adventurous eaters or those whose culture includes octopus or insects as dietary items to eat, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like something or feel compelled to try it.

    I like reviews here because I feel more like I am getting the perspective of a real person who is not speaking to the select few who might want a hard-to-get reservation at a pricey place. We’re going on vacation, often with kids, so having an honest review and personal reflections helps me decide if I want to spend time and money on a particular place, if my selective eaters will be comfortable, etc.

    So while the noodle and dumpling dishes look good, and my son would eat the wings and sliders, octopus would definitely be out for me. Art Smith’s new place is more to my family’s taste. :)

  9. Patricia C says

    Keith — if you want to read reviews from trained culinary experts, go read the NYT or subscribe to Saveur. This is a (wonderful) food blog by great people that we can actually relate to, and while I don’t always agree with their reviews of food because my tastes may differ from theirs, I always appreciate the honesty. Just because the writer doesn’t prefer ANTS on his/her drinks, or isn’t into octopus, doesn’t mean he/she is saying the dish is terrible! It qualifies the review by prefacing anything being said about that particular dish with the fact that the reviewer isn’t partial to an ingredient in the dish. To tell an honest writer to “knock it off” is not only rude but super condescending. Maybe this isn’t the blog for you…

  10. Sally-Ann says

    Hi AJ and team. If you have had octopus and it has been chewy then it was probably over cooked. Should be soft and “melty” I don’t always agree with what you write but I always use you as a guide and I always enjoy reading your posts, so thank you for making food fun

  11. Mike V says

    I also appreciate your reviews and keep up the great work.
    I am not some food snob that needs some unreadable blurb that just confuses me.
    I just love food and live by the motto, Live to Eat don’t Eat to Live
    You write and communicate your meal how I would explain my meal.
    There’s always a whiner in the group and looks like you found one above.
    Thanks for your reviews!

  12. Kimberly says

    This is great news. We often go to Disney Springs later in the day/evening, and it’s nice that a sit-down place will still be open—and one of our favorites, too. I wish more restaurants would offer late-night options. And I agree with AJ about the octopus. Although I am a very adventurous eater and usually prefer anything over American food, I have an irrational fear of octopus (live), so eating them doesn’t appeal to me. Besides, in your photo, the one on the end is looking at me! Gah!

  13. Laura says

    Hmmm we were here recently and it was completely dead upstairs….But we enjoyed the cocktails, atmosphere, and giant Connect Four game stashed in a corner. Hope it picks up because it’s as great addition to DS.

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