While visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, we had dinner with friends at one of the hotel's signature restaurants, Sanaa. Located in the Kidani Village section of the resort, Sanaa is still relatively new, having opened about eighteen months ago as part of the Disney Vacation Club expansion. I was intrigued by Sanaa from the start, as their menu branches out from much of the cookie cutter dining at Disney, by blending flavors of Africa and India. Being a fan of all things curry, I was curious to see how well Disney could pull off this style of menu.
After a pre-dinner beverage in the restaurant's lounge, we were soon seated at our table, located right in the center of the dining room. There we were greeted by our server Vann, who was excellent throughout our entire meal, although oddly enough, we later learned his name wasn't actually Vann.
The featured appetizer at Sanaa is the "Indian Style Bread Service." There are four options for bread, as well as about a ten sauces to accompany, and one can select three of each to form the dish. We opted for the Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha, paired with the Roasted Bell Pepper Humus, Red Chile Sambal, and the Mango Chutney. We enjoyed trying each of the different breads with each sauce, attempting to figure out which one paired best with the other. It was an excellent choice to begin our meal, especially when dining with friends, as there was plenty for the four of us to share. We had inquired with both the bartender and our server "Vann" as to what entree they recommended, and it seemed like a good sign when both suggested the "Slow Cooks." This entree featured four different meats, from which you get a choice two, prepared in various curry sauces and paired with rice. I opted for the Shrimp in Green Curry and the Chicken in Red Curry, and both were fantastic. Granted, the dish was not nearly as spicy as perhaps it should have been, but given this was Disney, it's understandable that a bit of authenticity has to be compromised in the interest of serving the masses. When it came time for dessert, I was a bit disappointed with the offerings. Usually when I pick up a dessert menu there is at least one item that makes me say "Wow!" Well, that wasn't really the case here. There were plenty of great options, but nothing really jumped out at my taste buds. I opted for the chocolate cake and strawberry sorbet, which I promptly substituted for vanilla ice cream. It was a good fix, but certainly nothing to write home about....or blog about for that matter.
We enjoyed our dinner at Sanaa, if for no other reason than it gave us an excuse to check out the new Kidani Village. Given it's location and the style of menu, I have a feeling that this restaurant will struggle to stay busy. In fact, it wouldn't even surprise me to see it reimagined down the road. Our experience was a good one, however, and the cuisine was a nice departure from the unremarkable food found in some of Disney's restaurants.
Enjoy Your Stay