Yes, they’re cute. However, feeding the zebras is frowned upon in this establishment. This has been a dining review many years in the making. As frequent visitors to the famed dining with animals establishment, this is our first official Sanaa review. Why you may ask. We were wondering the same thing. It’s one of those things you thought you did years ago, but it turns out you never did. You know what we’re talking about right? Good, we thought so. Now that we’ve built up an appetite, it’s finally time for our first Sanaa review!
Dining at Walt Disney World or any Disney park is like none other. Not just because the chefs are amazing, trust us they are supremely talented, it’s because of the unique dining environments. On the bottom floor of Disney’s Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is Sanaa. With giant windows showcasing the majestic animals on the resorts private savanna, guests can enjoy an African inspired meal while watching the animal roam. You’re so close, it feels like you could reach out and feed the zebras a bite of your meal. But, don’t do it. We know you want, we do too, but it’s frowned upon. Plus there’s glass in the way.
This is one of the dining locations where an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) is strongly encouraged. However, as we mentioned in our trip review about dining during COVID, Sanaa does offer the waitlist option. If you’re looking for a table by the windows we would recommend taking one of two routes. First, would be to dine early, before the normal dinner crowds arrive. The second is to be willing to wait a little longer. When arriving at the host stand, ask to be seated by the windows and say you’re willing to wait.
Enough said. Ok, this is a Sanaa review so we should elaborate. Sanaa has a variety of different appetizers available like samosas, and which are very good. The deep-fried samosas bursting with earthy flavors, but the star of the plate are the accouterments, as the tamarind and mango chutney brings a sweet rich flavor to the dish. However, if you’re going to Sanaa you’re going to want to try the bread service. With five different types of naan and 15 dipping sauces, there is something for everyone. We’ve yet to get the bread service and have someone in our party not enjoy it.
The first time around we recommend not making any changes (if possible), it’s a great way to find out which options are your favorites. Then, in future trips, you can mix and match. A couple of our all-time favorites are the garlic-ginger naan, paneer paratha (cheese naan), then the tamarind chutney, and mango chutney. However, we do enjoy them all and usually end up getting the standard bread service. What can we say, variety is our spice of life!
If the bread service doesn’t fill you up, no worries, there’s more great food on its way! The next stop on our Sanaa review is the main course. While the bread service usually gets the limelight for the restaurant, the main courses definitely hold their own. For the most traditional African dish, you’ll want to go with either the potjie inspired or one of the biryani plates. More often than not you’ll find Nate opting for the potjie inspired. A potjie is an African meal where food is cooked outside in a clay pot, similar to a Dutch oven. Sanaa’s take on the meal includes the choice of one protein, one plated-based side, and basmati rice. Nate’s favorite combination is the butter chicken with cilantro-coconut vegetables. With tender chunks of chicken and a rich savory sauce, the butter chicken just melts in your mouth.
The past couple of times around Serena went with the market fish, salmon. The perfectly cooked salmon is served with Sukama Wiki (greens), and Geelrys (biryani rice). These two sides steal all the spotlight. While the fish is fantastic, it’s the Sukama Wiki that makes the dish. Collard greens are combined with onions and spices to create a vegetable side dish loaded with depth and flavor. Not to be outdone is the Geelrys or better known as “yellow” rice. Cooking basmati rice with raisins, turmeric, brown sugar, and other spices, you get this truly unique slightly sweet yet savory rice dish.
Did you say you still had room? Who are kidding there’s always room for dessert! Are we right or are we right! Closing out our African inspired meal is Kheer. The best way we can describe this dish is African rice-pudding. The coconut cooked rice is drizzled with a little fruit puree then topped with cashew streusel and saffron-poached fruit. You get subtle sweet notes from the coconut and cashew streusel that are well-balanced by the more savory flavors of the pouched fruit. It’s the perfect dessert if you’re looking for something less sweet. For anyone that enjoys rice-pudding, this is a must-try dish.
Always solid! There’s reason why every Sanaa review raves about the food. While the bread service is out of this world, the overall menu is well-done. It’s so good, we’ve even gone there and not got the bread service. We know right? But, we’ll share that experience in an upcoming Sanaa review. Oh yeah, when it comes to feeding the zebras, don’t worry you’re going to want to save all this food for yourself!
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