To the pounding rhythms of the Japanese drums and the ceremonial breaking of the sake barrel, Morimoto Asia – the first-ever collaboration between Patina Restaurant Group and Japanese master chef Masaharu Morimoto — opened to a media preview Tuesday at Disney Springs, a reimagined shopping-dining-entertainment district at The Walt Disney World Resort. The event featured culinary displays from Iron Chef Morimoto that included breaking down a 100lb Hawaiian big eye tuna that was used as part of a 60-foot long maki roll. Chef Morimoto received help from several of the event’s guests in making the sushi roll, including a very special guest, of course none other than Mickey Mouse.
In onstage ceremonies Tuesday night, Chef Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group CEO Nick Valenti were joined by Walt Disney World Resort executives including George A. Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World Resort; Maribeth Bisienere, Senior Vice President, Disney Springs; and Keith Bradford, Vice President, Disney Springs.
Morimoto Asia occupies The Landing, one of four neighborhoods in Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia opens to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 30 for dinner service at 5pm. Its menu features cuisine from across Asia, a first for Chef Morimoto.
“I believe that food has the power to bring people together and these are some of my favorite dishes from all over Asia,” said Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. “My team and I are so excited to welcome everyone to Morimoto Asia!”
“We are committed to providing exceptional pan-Asian cuisine and an unmatched dining experience to the guests of Disney Springs,” Valenti said. “This opening marks our ninth restaurant with our partners at The Walt Disney Company, and we are thrilled to be here at the new Disney Springs.”
The eye-filling, two-level showplace includes lounges, dining spaces, open terraces, a sushi bar and cocktail areas and an exhibition kitchen that allows diners direct sight lines to the culinary action. New York City-based STUDIO V did the design for Morimoto Asia, featuring a three-story glass corner, dazzling grand stairway, cascading chandeliers, ribbons of illuminated glass bottles plus Japanese accents and a sweeping, 270-foot sculptural bar that dramatically ties the upper and lower levels together.
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