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.
The late night menu is available each night starting at 10 PM, and is served exclusively on the second floor of the restaurant.
And even though it has some options all its own, it still features the famous cuisine of Chef Masaharu 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I appreciated the fresh, summer-friendly flavor of the cucumber and the way it mixed with the smokiness of the sausage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They are then topped off with Japanese barbecue sauce and cabbage slaw.
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.
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!
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.