The dishes at Namaste Café were chosen to reflect some of the best cuisine to be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I remember thinking, “Cool… now, if only we could get a little of Sanaa’s fabulous bread service, we’d be set.”
But I didn’t really think it would happen. I just didn’t think the setting was conducive to it.
Well, apparently I was wrong, because IT HAS ARRIVED… kind of! Introducing, the Namaste Café Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari!!
Now, we’re talkin’!!!
Before we “dip in,” I should let you know where I found Namaste Café, because the Food Trucks are still moving all around Downtown Disney as they await their ultimate destination in the upcoming Food Truck Park. On this most recent visit, I found it right outside of the World of Disney Store in the Marketplace.
A few standing tables like this were propped nearby.
But there is some pretty great seating just across from World of Disney, right by the water.
I needed stronger shade for my photos, so I took my dish to some additional seating by the currently-under-refurbishment Margarita Bar.
No matter where you find your choice of the four Disney Food Trucks, it’s much easier to find some sort of table nearby, which is a big improvement over the early days.
Okay, that’s out of the way – back to the food! There are some pretty major differences from the official bread service, of course: at Sanaa, the service comes with your choice of three breads, and you select three from a variety of nine accompaniments (unless you choose to get all nine accompaniments at the Sanaa Lounge – Hello!!).
With the Dipping Safari, you receive two slices of Naan bread, two Samosas, and three pre-selected accompaniments.
On my visit, the dipping sauces included a Cucumber and Yogurt Raita, Hummus, and Coriander Chutney.
So, now that we’ve gone over the components, let’s break this down a little further, starting with those Samosas, which are the size of flippin’ baseballs!
Okay, so… no, they aren’t actually the size of a regulation MLB baseball 😉 . But still, compared to the smaller ones I’m used to from Mr. Kamal’s and Tusker House, they’re huge! The filling is the same potato and pea mixture.
It is so nice to see a vegetarian option at the Disney Food Trucks; something that has really been lacking since they opened last year.
I found that these samosas were unusually spicy compared with those I’ve enjoyed before. Like many Disney foods prepared for a variety of palates, it wasn’t “blow you away” spicy, but it definitely had a real kick, which I loved — especially in this case, because I was able to cut the spice with the Cucumber and Yogurt Raita.
The coolness of the yogurt and cucumber along with the mild hint of mint was the perfect pairing with the heat of the samosa.
Honestly, this match was so great that I could’ve stopped right there. But since we are on a “safari,” there is more exploring to do… Next up, the hummus!
Really, it’s just a simple hummus. Which — if you like hummus — that’s not a bad thing at all! Cool and slightly garlicky (hooray!), I preferred this with the Naan bread.
The Naan here, you’ll notice, isn’t the pillow-y, bubbly Naan like you’ll find at Sanaa or Landscape of Flavors. It’s thin, but super soft, nicely charred, and I loved how mine came hot off the grill.
I remain impressed with the fresh quality I’ve experienced with every Food Truck dish I’ve had so far.
Finally, we have the Coriander Chutney.
I should note that, when I placed my order, the Cast Member asked if I wanted the Dipping Safari as it comes (which I did, so I could sample everything for you). So, it seems you can customize. If you’re not a fan of – oh, say cilantro, like AJ 🙂 — you’ll want to lay off the Coriander Chutney.
I love the stuff, so I’m always happy with a big ‘ol pile of cilantro, garlic, and spice!
The consistency on this one, though, wasn’t what I’d hoped. No matter how I mixed it, the oil remained separated. I know Disney can do chutney, though, since this is similar to the excellent batch I sampled with the side of Naan at Landscape of Flavors, so I remain hopeful for this one in a future batch.
Whew! I gotta say, I was happily stuffed when it was all over! There is a LOT to this… oh, and I still haven’t mentioned the slaw! It’s the same mix of pickled cucumber, radish, golden beet, onion, and carrots that accompany the Butter Chicken and carries a crazy amount of kick. It was more of an afterthought in this dish for me — just a garnish, but I did like the option for even more spicy heat here.
Should you choose to go on your own Dipping Safari, may I make a suggestion? Consider bringing a mint along for after to counteract all this garlicky goodness… your traveling companions will appreciate it 😉 .
Well, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I do believe I’ve found a new favorite Disney Food Truck item. I thought nothing would top the Hand-dipped Corn Dog at Fantasy Fare for me, but the Dipping Safari has managed to do it. Granted, I adore anything even remotely resembling Sanaa’s Bread Service. So, if you’re like me in that regard, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you choose to hit up Namaste Café on your next trip to Downtown Disney!
Would you like to try the Dipping Safari? Please let us know with a comment!