Sometimes the best things in life are not so much found as discovered. This was the case for me with Sanaa, the table service restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village. While Sanaa has been around since 2009, I only discovered it a few years ago on a trip with friends. And life has never been the same since!
Finding Sanaa can be a bit of a challenge. Off the beaten path does not begin to describe it! First you must make your way to Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, a feat in itself as resort to resort transportation at Walt Disney World is ummm… we’ll go with challenging. Once at Kidani Village, take a moment to enjoy the gorgeous lobby and head to the back, towards the large windows overlooking the Savanna. Then head down the stairs. At this point, you will think you are going the wrong way. Hang in there – you are almost there! Just around the corner you will find the welcome desk, adorned with gorgeous baskets, and armed with smiling cast members wearing traditional African garb waiting to greet you.
As you make your way to your table, take a moment to look around at the incredible collection of artwork from Africa and India. The restaurant overlooks the resort’s Sunset Savanna so if you are enjoying breakfast, lunch or an early dinner, you may catch a glimpse of gazelles, giraffe, zebras, and more.
Finally, it is time to get to the best part. The food! Sanaa serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu features a blend of African and Indian-inspired dishes. The food is fantastic but there is really one reason I make the trek to this restaurant – THE BREAD.
The Indian-Style Bread Service features your choice of five breads and with nine accompaniments – Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha, or Paneer Paratha. Accompaniments – Cucumber Raita, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, or Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle. (My personal favorites of the sauces are the Cucmber Raita, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and the Red Chile Sambal. But try them all!)
If you still have room after eating ALL THE BREAD, I recommend the Potjie Inspired Meal. This includes your choice of one dish from two menus – The Journey and The Harvest. The Journey options are Goan Seafood Curry, Butter Chicken, Braised Beef, or Spicy Durban Shrimp. The Harvest menu offers Aloo Masala, Chickpea Wit, Lentil Dhal, Paneer Tikka, or Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables served with scented Basmati Rice. I usually order the Butter Chicken and the Paneer Tikka. The portions of each are small so you can enjoy both without feeling too full. Ir if you have filled up on Naan, I recommend splitting this with a friend!
Other popular items include Tandoori Shrimp (lunch only), Berbere-Braised Lamb Shank, and African-Isnpired Biryani with Chicken.
Hopefully you have saved room for dessert as these are not to be missed! Coffee lovers, take a deep breath. This one is for you. The Kenyan Coffee Petit Entremet includes Kenyan Coffee-Chocolate Mousse, an Espresso Financier, Vanilla Crémeux, Caramel, and a Kenyan Coffee Crumble. Another unique option is the Spice Trade Candy Bar. Not your typical Hershey Bar, this one is Coconut, Apricot, Caramel, Pistachio, Cashew Bar coated with Milk Chocolate, topped with Chai Cream, Pistachio Crumb, and Apricot Gelee.
Sanaa also hosts a special event for the animal lovers in your life – Dine with an Animal Specialist. Offered at lunch on select days, guests join one of Disney’s Animal Specialists for a four-course lunch, where they can ask questions and learn more about caring for the wildlife at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Lunch os followed by an up close and personal experience with one of the animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge! Each lunch is only for up to 12 people so reservations are required. Call 407-WDW-DINE to make your reservation!
Sanaa is well worth the trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. (DPP Tip – consider using Minnie Van Service to get there easily!) Tell us in the comments – what are your favorite “out of the way” spots at Walt Disney World?