Living in Orlando has its perks; namely, the booming craft beer industry and all the great restaurants! This past weekend, Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs teamed up with Central Florida breweries to offer up fun pairings. It was a great way to sample the delicious food from Morimoto Asia, chat with local brewers, and just kind of mingle with other enthusiasts!
Even better, all proceeds went to the Children’s Home Society of Central Florida!
It was held in the upstairs area which holds the sushi bar and private dining space; at night, this also becomes the Forbidden Lounge for after hours cocktails and food specials. Upon entering, you’re given a lanyard with a punch card and a tasting glass with the event logo. There were eight stations, each with a small plate made right in front of you and a beer to complement the dish.
Honestly, all of the food was amazing. There was okonomiyaki (Japanese seafood pancake), wee little poke bowls, peking duck in a crispy wonton taco shell, Morimoto sticky ribs, chashu pork quesadilla, churros with a Nutella-filled pipette, spicy tuna handroll, and beef yakitori. I enjoyed everything but the okonomiyaki and poke bowl were hands-down my favorite.
As far as beer, there were some of the local greats: Crooked Can Brewing Company, Coppertail Brewing Co, Redlight Redlight, Cask & Larder, Bowigens Beer Company, Two Henrys Brewing Company, Hourglass Brewing, and Red Cypress Brewery. Some of the standouts for me were Two Henrys’ pear cider (not too sweet but fruity!) and Bowigens’ 7 Layer Milk Stout. My least favorite? Sadly, it was the Round the River Bend saison from Hourglass, which was disappointing since I’ve enjoyed everything else I’ve had from them.
On that note, I did have a few gripes. The venue turned out to be an awkward space for so many people; it’s a loft area upstairs that’s open to the restaurant below so crowds would bottleneck in the thinner hallways, making it hard to access some of the stations. Lines criss-crossed all over the place, so it could be a bit difficult to get to the exact station you wanted. The punch card had sixteen slots; you would get a punch at each station so you could visit any combination of stations sixteen times. Simply put, you could go twice ’round the world, even though this was sold as an unlimited event. (Fortunately, this didn’t appear to be strictly enforced…)
All in all, we did have a blast and, after chatting with some event folks, we’re looking forward to next year’s event!