Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is one of Walt Disney World Resorts hidden dining gems. We’ve been there a couple of times for dinner and enjoyed the Indian-African fusion cuisine thoroughly. When the opportunity came to grab a table for lunch we quickly made reservations.
Upon entering the restaurant we immediately saw one of the benefits of dining at lunch, you can see directly out to the savannah shared by Jambo House and Kidani Village. For much of the year, it’s dark out by the time dinner seatings start, so you don’t get to see the animals walk right by the restaurant while you’re dining. Giraffes, Cranes, Ostriches and more all passed by while we dined. That very much adds to the charm of Sanaa.
Speaking of charm, service was outstanding from the greeting through to the delivery of the check. My only quibble was with the pace of delivery. Our appetizers took a long time to come out and then our entree followed almost immediately. Due to the nature of Sanaa’s ‘little plates’ feel, I didn’t mind it too much, it was must more flavors to consider and they made up for it with an extra portion of appetizer.
We started with the Indian Style Bread Service and opted for Naan Bread and Onion Kulcha along with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Cucumber Raita, and Mango Chutney for accompaniments. The hummus and raita worked perfectly together for a savory and cool mixture to balance the spicy foods, while the Mango chutney worked to augment every dish throughout the night and we savored every use of it. Definitely don’t miss ordering the bread service.
We also tried the Lamb Kefta Kabobs with Mint Chutney starter. Ours came with a side of spicy carrots, which I initially tried on its own. It was a little over the spicy limit for my tastes, but when you combined all three elements of the appetizer, it balanced out nicely. Think of the Mint Chutney like a chimichuri sauce you get the idea.
For our entrees we both selected items from the “Slow-cooked in Gravy” section. Served in a trio of dishes, you’re encouraged to dump them out on the the plate below and soak up all the delicious gravy along with your protein choice. The Spicy Durban Chicken was perfectly seasoned and not all that spicy (at least compared to the carrots). We both enjoyed the very tender and tasty beef short ribs as well.
To this point we were totally satiated and would have left Sanaa having finished one of the most satisfying meals we’ve ever had on property. But it turns out the best was yet to come.
For dessert we both ordered the relatively new Banana Kulfi Sundae. Kulfi is a type of rich frozen ice cream molded into a little bowl for warm chocolate sauce. It’s served strawberry dipping sauce, spiced cashews, and a slice of dried pineapple. Now you’re thinking to yourself, this doesn’t sound like it goes together. But oh nay nay, it’s like a symphony of seemingly discordant elements that magically work together on the plate to play your taste buds like a Mozart Aria. Yes, we enjoyed it that much.
We left Sanaa totally satisfied and wondering if Disney could somehow figure out how to open other Sanaa’s around the nation and let more guests experience the magic. Maybe partner it with a concept like a Disney quality Day Spa or Fitness Club. We know it would be huge hit.
Sanaa is, in the opinion of my wife & I, just about the best restaurant on property!
Lucky for us, it’s far enough “out of the way” that it’s not overly popular. :-)