Sanaa is almost a year old (!!), and it’s settling in nicely with a couple of new menu items and one of Disney World’s most incredible views. Amanda Tinney from DisneyEveryDay.com dined at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s newest restaurant recently and was kind enough to share this rockin’ report. Take it away, Amanda!
Sanaa means “Work of Art” in Swahili, which is fitting because the food artists at Disney’s Kidani Village are crafting unique dishes for Disney Guests in their flagship restaurant… Sanaa. As the menu professes, Sanaa is “The Art of African Cooking with Indian Flavors.”
I had the privilege of dining here last week during a lunch meeting. I consider myself an adventurous eater, but I had my doubts once seated and presented with the menu. Luckily, I was dining with friends who had experienced Sanaa previously, and I let them take the lead when ordering appetizers.
We started with the Indian Style Bread Service ($8.99), which gave us a choice of three breads and three accompaniments. For the bread, we selected Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha. The Naan was the mildest of the three, and the Paneer Paratha was the spiciest.
For our accompaniments, we chose the Red Chile Sambal, Cucumber Raita, and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. The hummus was outstanding…smooth and robust. The cool cucumber raita was perfectly paired with the spicy Paneer Paratha bread. I was too much of a chicken to try the hot sambal. Maybe next time. Overall, I think the bread service is a winner.
We also ordered the Appetizer Sampler for Two ($14.99), which came with potato and pea samosas, lamb kefta, and roasted cauliflower. I was so busy talking with my companions and eating the bread that I only tried the lamb, which I would describe as a flavorful meatball.
The main course selection was a tad bit difficult for me. I was wavering between two different dishes. I settled on the section of the menu titled African Cooking With Indian Flavors and selected Today’s Sustainable Fish ($18.99), which was served with seasonal vegetables in a light curry broth.
The broth in this bowl was delicious! I wish that I could have drank it straight from the dish. I wonder if my friends would have been embarrassed… . The veggies were cooked perfectly. The fish was (it pains me to have to say this)….meh. It looked like salmon but had very little flavor, so I have to give it a rating of meh.
My companion’s dish, on the other hand, was savory and delicious. It was the menu item that had lost out when I was wavering in my decision. This, my friends, is “THE” dish to order when dining at Sanaa.
What you see above is a dish from the section of the menu titled Slow Cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well Seasoned. You get a choice of two items served with basmati rice or five grain pilaf ($18.99). On the right is the Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce and on the left is the oh-so-savory and delicious Beef Short Ribs. If I had it to do over again, I would order this plate and choose the beef short ribs x2. They were that good. The meat was fork tender and the gravy tasted more like a gravy-barbecue sauce hybrid with a hint of cinnamon. The chefs truly created art when crafting this dish.
We couldn’t leave without trying dessert, so we asked the server to recommend the most popular dessert item and he brought us the Chai Cream ($5.49). This was a surprise hit for me. I do not like the consistency of puddings or custards and avoid these types of food items altogether. This dessert was like an intensely thick mousse. It was extremely creamy and had a touch of cinnamon. It was garnished with chocolate and a wafer thin snickerdoodle’ish’ cookie.
…but let’s face it…the true pleasure in dining at Sanaa is the VIEW….oh the view is magnificent. Here’s what we witnessed from our table…
Have you eaten at Sanaa? If so, what did you order? What did you think?
Thanks again, Amanda!
Disney Food Blog readers, stay tuned for some great Sanaa wine list recommendations tomorrow! You can also see my Sanaa review from the restaurant’s opening days — luckily, I got the short ribs! For more information and links to full menus for Sanaa, click here.