While much of Disney Springs has yet to open, already Morimoto Asia is emerging as the culinary star of the new shopping and dining district at Walt Disney World. A move from the Patina Restaurant Group and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will help cement that standing by installing a new executive chef, Yuhi FUhinaga, with the culinary chops to delivery the big flavors and unique cuisine one expects from one of the top Pan-Asian restaurants in the world.
Known for his modern cooking style, Chef Yuhi Fujinaga draws inspiration from his Japanese heritage and upbringing in Hawaii, where he learned to cook from his grandmother. From her, he learned that the quality of the ingredients is as important as the technique in which used to prepare them. Over the years, he has developed techniques that keep the food simple, yet full of flavor.
“I met Chef Morimoto as a young chef in Hawaii, where I grew up. We bonded quickly over our love of fresh fish, big flavors and new cooking techniques,” said Chef Yuhi. “Through working alongside him at a variety of events throughout the country, I have been inspired by him and his approach to cooking and am thrilled that it’s come full circle.”
Previously, Chef Yuhi was Executive Chef at Patina Restaurant Group’s New York City-based, Sea Grill. A protégé of Chef Ed Brown, who established the restaurant as one of the top seafood destinations in the city, Chef Yuhi has also worked at New York’s Bar Basque. He lived and worked in Spain at the esteemed Echaurren with Chef Francis Paniego, at Casa Solla with Chef Pepe Solla, and at Gaminiz with Chef Aitor Elizegi. He held posts at the Michelin-starred restaurants Eighty-One and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House.
“Being a great chef comes from within and I know Chef Yuhi is dedicated and passionate to creating inspirational, world-class dishes,” said Chef Masuharu Morimoto. “I am confident that he will continue to showcase his talent and vision to our guests at Morimoto Asia.”
The Morimoto Asia menu is an eclectic take on some of Chef Morimoto’s favorite Asian flavors including L.A. BBQ kalbi ribs, pad Thai, Peking duck, Chinese-inspired sticky ribs, sweet-and-sour whole fried fish and Singapore laska noodles. Chinese dim sum includes items such as dumplings, shumai, shrimp har-gao and grilled chicken bao.
The restaurant also includes an intimate 14-seat sushi bar offering unique ocean seasonal specialties from Japan and around the world. A variety of specialty sushi rolls, sushi platters and seafood towers featuring highlights from the raw bar are also offered to guests not seated at the sushi bar.
If you’re looking for a great opportunity to see some of Morimoto Asia’s unique cuisine, consider signing up for the next Craft Beer Dinner. Chef Yuri will work with Crooked Can Brewing Company to create an intimate five-course craft bear pairing dinner and debut the new seasonal brew, Cherry Blossom Kolsch.
Price is $85 per guest all -inclusive. The menu and parings are below.
Spring Collection of Shellfish Ceviche
Alaskan king crab, Washington State mirugai, Maine Uni, salmon roe, bean thread noodle
Crooked Can Cherry Blossom Kolsch
Duo of Duck
Morimoto Peking duck served with flour pancakes, hoisin miso, apricot-chili, and scallions
Consomme soup, daikon, carrot, foie gras
Crooked Can Bock Humbug
Trio of Chicken Satays
Chicken skins, yuzu-kosho, Himalayan salt; Boneless chicken wings, spicy garlic glaze; Chicken thigh, peanut sauce, cilantro
Crooked Can McSwagger’s Amber Ale
Domestic Wagyu Sirloin “Ishiyaki”
Grilled at tableside with kimchi fried rice cake, smoked soy, fresh wasabi
Crooked Can Stout
“Taiyaki” Japanese style pancake stuffed with sweet azuki beans
Served with matcha gelato
Crooked Can Cloud Chaser Hefeweizen
This event is one night only on Thursday, March 3rd, Dinner starts promptly at 7 p.m. RSVP at the phone number below.
Morimoto Asia is open Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant’s second floor Forbidden Lounge late-night menu is served daily from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
For more information on Morimoto Asia visit www.morimotoasia.com or call (407) 939-6686 (MOTO).