According to the story of the Yak and Yeti, the restaurant is the center of a bustling boutique hotel in the foothills of the Himalayas. Adventure travelers seek out this location for rest and rejuvenation before moving ahead on their path, and the hotel’s owner, Arjun, is delighted to showcase the hodge-podge of antiques and decor he’s collected on his trips through Southeast Asia.
So, imagineered with exotic touches from the proprietor’s travels, Yak and Yeti succeeds as a well-themed restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Asia area. The surrounding architecture, decor, room configuration, and even light fixtures transport guests to that relaxing and beautiful hotel restaurant in the middle of exciting Anandupur, India.
You’ll have to build in a bit of time on your visit to Yak and Yeti to just…look. Peek your head into each and every room. Check out the gorgeous artifacts, the decoration, the unique wall-painting, and the stunning…and mismatched…light fixtures.
Suggested Table Request
Here’s a little tip: make a late lunch reservation at Yak and Yeti at around 2:30 or 3:00pm and request a table upstairs by the windows.
When the Jammin’ Jungle Parade comes around the bend a little after 4:00pm, you’ll have the best (and most air conditioned!) view possible!
The menu at Yak and Yeti is Pan-Asian, but even picky eaters will find things they like here. Adventurous eaters can sample the Dim Sum Basket for Two or the Malaysian Seafood Curry. Those who prefer more recognizable tastes can stick with the ribs or the burger.
While you’re waiting for your table, stop by the full-service bar — quite beautiful — but don’t forget that you’ll have to sip your drink through a paper straw! Plastic straws (as well as plastic drink lids and balloons) are prohibited in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to ensure the animals’ safety.
Speaking of drinking, I started my visit with a brand new cocktail!
The Shaved Ice Martinis were new on the scene at that time, and I after careful deliberation, I chose the citrus version. It was delicious — very tangy with Citrus Vodka, Midori, Sweet and Sour, and Pineapple Juice. (C’mon, Disney; more of these great drink introductions around the World, please! :-D)
We started our meal with a couple of appetizers as well: the Dim Sum Basked for Two and the (ever-beloved by Disney guests) fried green beans with a thai chili dipping sauce.
The beans were crispy and delicious (though, sadly, I’ll still take fries any day).
The Dim Sum Basket for Two was not only gorgeous, it was actually quite good! It includes Pork Pot Stickers, Shrimp Siu Mai, Cha Su Bao (barbecued pork buns) and Pork Siu Mai steamed on a banana leaf. The dipping sauce is soy lime. I highly recommend the pork buns and the pot stickers!
Entrees continued the positive experience. We ordered the ribs with hoisin BBQ sauce, chicken fried rice, and sweet chili slaw; and the crispy honey chicken with broccoli, carrots, and honey sauce.
The ribs were fantastic. Very flavorful (though the BBQ sauce didn’t taste all that Asian-inspired), fall-off-the-bone tender — but not mushy. I easily could have polished off the whole rack.
The honey chicken was akin to what you can expect from a high-end Chinese chain restaurant (like P.F. Chang’s). The chicken wasn’t overdone or tough, and the sweetness wasn’t too strong. Plus, we got our veggies!
Dessert was what I was really looking forward to, though. There are several that have already made Yak and Yeti famous, and you won’t have to worry about finding any tired creme brulee and lava cake here. The ice cream sundae is massive, but we chose instead the Mango Pie and the Fried Cream Cheese Won Ton skewers with pineapple and vanilla honey drizzle.
The Mango Pie was different from anything I’d ever had. A cream pie, it’s light, sweet-tart taste is perfect for a hot Orlando day; and the portion size is generous, so there’s definitely enough for two.
The same is true of the portion size on the cream cheese won tons. And what a fantastic and inspired dessert. It’s fun, it’s different, and it’s…enjoyable! The cream cheese has only a hint of sweetness, and the won tons aren’t “greasy” fried at all. The effect of this dessert is a light, sweet dish that won’t leave you weighed down — especially if you share.
I had been here once before, when it first opened, and was impressed with the food and service. It seems to have continued to be a decent place to dine, though I do hear some negative reviews from time to time. For us, it’s one of the better table-service eateries in Animal Kingdom, and we’ll gladly switch back and forth between Yak and Yeti and Tusker House depending on whether we want full-service or a buffet.
Once again, the atmosphere at this place just adds to the intrigue, and the opportunity to get such a great Parade view is a great reason to stop in.
What are your opinions of Yak and Yeti? Let us know in the comments section below!