Since its earliest days, I’ve always enjoyed a stop at Yak and Yeti Restaurant.
Yak and Yeti Restaurant
Yak and Yeti is located in Animal Kingdom’s Asia (you’ll pass it on the corner on your way to the Maharajah Jungle Trek) in the fictional village of Anandapur. Like Tiffins and Restaurantosaurus — and pretty much any restaurant in Animal Kingdom — theming is key here, with decor that is immersive and memorable. While you dine, you are surrounded by images and icons of Asian culture. Even the brightly painted exterior mimics that which you might see on the colorful village streets of Northern India or Nepal.
And as for the food? It’s also usually — dare I say it? – consistent here. Consistently GOOD. If you’ve been reading DFB for any length of time, then you’ll know that is a compliment I rarely bestow, as it’s so rarely earned in any Disney World Table Service restaurant.
So… I headed to Yak and Yeti ON MY BIRTHDAY, because I reeeeally wanted those firecracker shrimp on my special day. Did my most recent visit likewise measure up?
Once you’re on the right continent in Animal Kingdom, the bright purple stucco exterior that makes up Yak & Yeti Restaurant is accented by arched windows, intricate corbels, and beautifully carved doors.
The backstory here is that the owner of this building in Anandapur is a man named Arjun, a former merchant who’s turned his opulent home into lodging for travelers. These details account for the eclectic mix of statues, wall hangings, and furniture. The bar area you see below features examples of these details.
There is seating both downstairs and up, with tons of framed images and elaborate mirrors everywhere you look.
This is the view looking down into a first floor seating area from the upstairs. It’s such a warm contrast of colors, with a massive carved art piece on the far wall.
Statues reflect gods and idols from a variety of religions, like this take on the Buddha.
You’ll definitely want to take some time to wander the restaurant before you leave. It’s a really cool place.
But at some point, you’ll want to look away from the decor and peruse the menu. It’s Asian fusion or pan-Asian, as you might expect from an Anandapur merchant who’s traveled the world. Crowd favorites like Wok-Fried Green Beans and Pot Stickers are good bets for those who desire something familiar. Among the items I’ve tried before are the Chicken Tikka Masala (YUM!) and Honey Chicken.
Menu photos give you a colorful idea of what some of the newer items look like. Sriracha Fish Tacos and a Korean Fried Chicken and Waffle put a North American twist on Asian flavors.
And Sriracha Seafood Mac and Cheese and Grilled Ribeye Steak take guest favorites and give them nudge toward Asia (just a wee bit ).
If you’re so inclined, there are tons of drink options here. We checked out the Wine and Sake list, but you’ll find many other specialty drinks as well. And since you’ve traveled allllll the way to Asia, you might as well linger over a drink, right?
Although the Small Plates menu features plenty of tempting choices, there’s really only one choice for me, and that’s the Firecracker Shrimp. Now, you may be thinking, “Wait. I remember this dish. Didn’t you have it the last time you went to Yak & Yeti, AJ?” And the answer is: YEP! Like I said, it was my BIRTHDAY. And on my birthday, I go eat all my favorites.
This is a TON of crispy fried shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce. And once you get started on these, too? You’ll be done for. The Asian slaw underneath and the pungent green onion really do elevate the dish (and give you something to mop up any residual, yummy sauce).
Don’t miss it!
Having enjoyed a tried-and-true, it was time to try a more recent addition to the menu. Lucky for me, one of those recent additions is a Mac-and-Cheese entree: the Sriracha Seafood Mac and Cheese, featuring well-prepared shrimp and scallops and a wallop of sriracha sauce generously drizzled over the top. The cheese sauce is made with a strong and creamy havarti, which is able to stand up to the hot sauce.
Garnishes include parmesean panko bread crumbs, julienned vegetables, micro-greens, and cilantro (which you can go ahead and remove if, like me, you just CAN’T when it comes to cilantro).
I’d heard a few bad reviews of this dish, but for it it was A-OK. The vegetables and micro-greens in the dish are a welcome contrast to the heavy mac and cheese. It all comes together wonderfully!
I also went with the Soy Glazed Ribeye. This lovely steak is seasoned with a peppery soy sauce, then topped with a warm shitake mushroom and pepper relish. Underneath the large steak is corn and edamame succotash. There was tremendous balance in this dish between the carefully seasoned steak, the complex relish, and the fresh succotash.
Sadly, you can’t see the wasabi mashed potatoes which are plated behind the steak. But that spiced-up starch offered a terrific foil for the richness of the other flavors.
And overall this steak was a KILLER. I loved it. The spices and flavors were on point and I ate MUCH more of it than I’d intended.
I rarely leave Yak and Yeti without ordering dessert. The Fried Wontons are always a big winner and that mango pie, tho… but hadn’t had the New York Style Cheesecake in a while. The sauces are a Mango and Strawberry Coulis, and it’s further topped with Whipped Cream.
This was probably the only “meh” of the meal. It’s fine, but it’s no Junior’s. Definitely go with those Cream Cheese Won-Tons or the Mango Pie.
Nosh or Not?
You’ll want to make a reservation at Arjun’s place if:
- You love Asian-fusion cuisine and want to try this Disney version of it.
- You have an affinity for East Asian art and decor and would like to immerse yourself in it.
- You’re looking for a respite from the heat and want a seriously great Table Service meal in Animal Kingdom that doesn’t require the same bucks as Tiffins and Tusker House.
You might want to skip this dining experience if:
- You or your traveling party aren’t big fans of Asian cuisine, or crave more familiar fare.
- You’ll be spending most of your Animal Kingdom time tackling the lines in Pandora and don’t want to worry about an Advance Dining Reservation.
Yak and Yeti is a terrific table service dining option in a park that’s in the middle of a food renaissance. And while you might find yourself spending a bit more time in Pandora (and a bit less time in the other lands), Yak and Yeti is totally worth the beautiful stroll over to Asia. Plus, you’ll be queuing up for Expedition: Everest anyway, right?
Although, now that I mention it, perhaps you should plan to eat at Yak & Yeti after you take on the Yeti !
Are you a Yak and Yeti fan? Tell us about your experiences at this unique restaurant in the comments below!