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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dining at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

The giraffe is part of the view while dining at Sanaa
During our stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, we made sure to have dinner at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas--Kidani Village.  Guests staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge can walk to Kidani Village or take the shuttle that transports guests to and from the two resorts.  Guests coming from Disney Springs or one of the parks by bus, be sure to get off at the Kidani Village stop, as the buses make two stops--Kidani Village and Jambo House.

Since we were staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we took the shuttle a few minutes prior to our reservation and arrived in plenty of time.

When we arrived at Kidani Village, we were greeted warmly by a native drummer.  The lobby of Kidani Village is much smaller than Animal Kingdom Lodge's Jambo House.  Sanaa is located on the bottom floor of the lobby so take the stairs downstairs or an elevator.  Signs are posted for both.
At the bottom of the stairs, we checked in for our reservation and then had a few moments to wait in a nearby sitting area.

Our table was located right by the window!  Nothing like dinner and a nature show!

The menu features African cooking with Indian flavors.  But as anyone who has dined at Sanaa knows, the most important part of the meal is the Indian bread service.

Guests can choose bread service with breads and 3 accompaniments for $13 or breads and all 9 accompaniments for $15.  We went all out and tried all 9!

The breads include traditional naan, garlic ginger naan, spiced naan, onion kulcha, and paneer paratha.

The accompaniments include red chile sambal, cucumber raita, coriander chutney, mango chutney, tomato-date jam, garlic pickle, spicy jalapeno-lime pickle, roasted red pepper hummus, and tamarind chutney.

The cast member serving the bread service will tell you which accompaniment is which.  I want a print-out that has the names on it.

Our favorites were the mango chutney, tomato-date jam, and tamarind chutney.

The husband at Potjie, which features scented basmati rice and choice of sides such as braised beef and roasted okra.

I ordered the fragrant duck featuring duck breast with spiced confit, baby root vegetables and five-grain pilaf.

The boy ordered Braaivleis, a South Africa Braai sampler plate featuring three grilled meets and seasonal sides.

For dessert, the husband ordered the chocolate-orange tart featuring chocolate mouse, candied blueberries and orange gel.

Our experience at Sanaa was a mixed bag.  After we were at our table it took SEVERAL minutes for us to be recognized by a cast member for water, menus, etc.  We watched the table behind us order and get their meals before we were even approached.  I asked another waiter to let our waiter know we were at the table.  When our waiter finally did arrive, he said that he hadn't received an alert that guests had been seated.  He apologized and we got the bread service for free.

The food was spicier than we were used to and we should have been prepared.  The bread service, though, was a hit.  It almost makes a meal!

Our table was one of the best in terms of view of the Savannah and the animals.  Every few minutes a new wave of animals would meander by and one of the birds came right up to the window.

Sanaa services breakfast from 7:00 am to 10:00 am but it is a quick service meal with limited menu items.

Lunch is served 11:30 am to 3:00 pm and dinner 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm.  I'm not sure how many animals guests would see after dark, although, knowing Disney, there may be lights.

The meals are reasonably priced.  We used 1 Dining Plan Table Service Credit for each of our meals that included dessert.

We are glad we dined at Sanaa, and if we were going to do it again, breakfast might be our choice, although the bread service calls us back.

Sanaa is the location of a special event "Dine With Animal Specialists" featuring a 4-course lunch with animal specialists to learn about the animals right outside the window and then an up close encounter with radiated tortoises, an endangered species being cared for at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Reservations for this event are highly encouraged.

When we checked into Animal Kingdom Lodge, we were given a list of events located throughout the resort.  One was a free tour of Sanaa that included information about the art and ended with bread service.  This is an intriguing offer, so be sure to check out the information for specifics.

Click here to take you to the Sanaa website.

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