Friday, February 3, 2012

Foodie Friday- Jiko!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to 3 fantastic restaurants: Boma - the Buffet, Sanaa -African with an Indian flare, and Jiko - a signature restaurant and one of the hidden dining gems at Walt Disney World.  During our June visit, we dined at Sanaa - and apparently, I never did a review.  Shame on me!!  Anyways, we really liked our experience. The food was fantastic (we are big fans of Indian food) and if you're not a huge fan of Indian cuisine, I will tell you it was mild compared to what I eat at my local faves.  The best part of Sanaa is the view...  We saw this while we ate:

Jiko was our 'date night' after the half marathon.  Even before I realized I wouldn't be running, I wanted to celebrate the race - and that my parents would still be around to watch Noah - by going out for a fancy dinner.  I showed Adam the menus for California Grill, Artists Point, and Jiko and let him choose - Jiko stood out to him!

We headed to the Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge a bit early to look around and see the animals.  We visited Kidani Village in June for the first time and this night included our first steps inside the Jambo House.  The first impressions are stunning - it's dark, but almost enchanting with extremely large chandeliers, statues, and African decor.  Definitely a beautiful hotel!
We first headed downstairs and out back to see what animals were roaming the 'Savannah.'  We saw warthogs, tons of birds, and even a few giraffes, among other animals.  We both admitted that we would have loved to share the animal viewing with Noah, but accepted that he would see animals later during our Animal Kingdom days! 
After viewing, we checked into Jiko and were seated in under 10 minutes.  In case you've not noticed - even with an ADR, they give themselves 30 minutes after your ADR time to seat you, so sometimes you might have to wait.  Luckily, in January, waiting isn't too common!  Though at Sanaa I had specifically asked for a window view and had read to do the same thing here, we weren't too concerned with our view and headed back to seat near the kitchen.  Unlike Kouzzina, it's not open, but we could peak in on occasion!

We started with the "taste of Africa" house made breads and 4 different dipping sauces:

We definitely splurged on our Jiko meal - we both had appetizers, entrees, and desserts.  Not our usual way to eat, but we (I) didn't mind.
Centered -  4 Taste of Africa Dips, Right - Crispy Bobotie

To see a full menu, check out AllEars.Net - my favorite site for Disney menus. The Crispy Beef Bobotie Rolls were somewhat like beef egg rolls and with the cucumber raita and other dips that it came with, this was definitely my favorite part of the meal.  So good.

For our entrees, we both had a hard time deciding, but I personally chose the Filet with Risotto that everyone including the guard at the gate recommended.  

Adam chose the Seared Barbarie Duck Breast sans mushrooms, which they had no problem omitting.

Adam said that without a doubt, that was the best duck he'd ever had.  My filet was good - cooked perfectly, but the seasonings weren't sitting right with me.  Honestly, I blame the pregnancy!  Steak hadn't been sitting well with me, and I fought my instincts when I ordered it.  Adam said it was delicious, so I definitely think it's a pregnancy thing - but, I do wish I'd asked for the famous (infamous now that it's not on the menu) mac and cheese it used to be served with!  When the restaurant changed head chef in the past year, he switched out the mac and cheese for a delicious risotto.  The risotto was great, though, so I didn't really think twice!

As for dessert, I'm a choco-holic and Adam really isn't, so, I ordered the "One Last Cup" which had 3 different chocolatey amaziness desserts and Adam ordered the Coconut Bread Pudding.  I won that round :)

Coconut Bread Pudding

One Last Cup
And, our waiter was nice enough to take a picture of us together, enjoying our Disney Date!

What a meal!! I love Signature Dining - there is something about the ambiance that just makes you feel lavish and fancy, even wearing jeans and sneakers!  Have you experienced Jiko or any of the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants?


  1. Sounds wonderful!!!! I might have to add it to our list of new places to try!!!

  2. Oh goodness. Put the mushrooms back on the duck and pass the plate to me now! Looks fabulous!