When people ask me what my favorite Disney restaurant is, it can be hard to come up with an answer. There are so many great choices. And with the signature restaurants, serving higher end stuff, you can really get an excellent meal. But if I had to choose a favorite restaurant where I feel like you get the most bang for your buck and some really fantastic food, I think I would pick Sanaa.
I’ve probably eaten here more often than any other Disney restaurant. It’s been great every time, especially the bread service! (We’ll get to more details about that later). The first thing I love about it is the atmosphere. You’ll find Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge, in Kidani Village. The restaurant has huge windows that look out over the safari area, so you can expect to see zebras, African birds, giraffes, or other animals. I like to grab lunch here during a day at Animal Kingdom. It’s just a short bus ride away. I would just try to book something while the sun is still out so you can see the animals while you eat.
The menu at Sanaa features African and Indian flavors. It might be better for more adventurous eaters, but I think most people can find something they’ll enjoy here. There are tandoori entrees, seafood, and some unique vegetarian items.
But if you go to Sanaa, you cannot skip getting the bread service, preferably with all nine accompaniments (Bread – Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha, or Paneer Paratha. Accompaniments – Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chuntey, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, or Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle):
With our group of 8, we ordered 3 bread services. I won’t lie though, I have gotten it while dining solo too. I couldn’t finish my entree, but it’s so worth it. This is one of the best dishes I’ve had on Disney property. The different breads are delicious, and all of the dipping sauces make it a really fun, unique experience. My favorites are the mango chutney, the coriander chutney, and the garlic pickle. It did feel like this most recent time some of them weren’t quite as spicy as it’s been in the past. We are wondering if they toned it down a little. But there is a great variety of dipping sauces and it’s so worth it.
One entree option is called “Potjie Inspired,” which allows you to pick one protein, one side, and includes rice. It’s a great option is you want to try different things. Choose one from the Journey – Goan Seafood Curry, Butter Chicken, Braised Beef, or Spicy Durban Shrimp. Choose one from the Harvest – Aloo Masala, Chickpea Wit, Lentil Dhal, Paneer Tikka, or Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables served with scented Basmati Rice.
I couldn’t resist going with my absolute favorite entree, the butter chicken. There have been other things I’ve wanted to try, but I really just can’t resist getting the butter chicken again. It is so flavorful and rich, and while I’ve had butter chicken other places I always like it best here. For the other item I got the Paneer Tikka. That was also good, but I was getting full and it wasn’t as good as the butter chicken so I ate all of the chicken and only about half of the Paneer.
Another member of the table also got the Potjie Inspired, but when with the braised beef and the lentil dhal. She seemed to have a similar situation where she was full and couldn’t eat it all, because while I didn’t get to try the beef the lentils got passed around. They were quite good as well, I would consider them as a side to my butter chicken in the future.
Jason got the Tandoori Shrimp (served Open-faced on Naan Bread with Minted Greens, Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Raita):
He liked it but said it didn’t seem that special. Though he commented that he may have been full of bread service and that affected his enjoyment of it. And he says that “the crime of Sanaa is always: the bread service is so good that nothing you get as the entree will ever be as delicious as the bread service.”
Several people at the table got the Quinoa Vegetable Tabbouleh Salad (Quinoa, Black Rice, Vegetables, Herbs, Paneer, Citrus Dressing, and Papadum):
My friend Kristin commented “It was delicious, the tabbouleh was a much larger portion than I expected and was very filling.” It looked really good – I just couldn’t try any more food!
A few members of our group paired the salad with the soup of the day, which was a tomato with paneer soup:
My friend commented that “the cheese in the soup was odd.” And I think paneer is a very unusual cheese if you’ve not had it before, particularly in texture, which does make it an interesting choice for a tomato soup.
Needless to say, we were too full to touch dessert, though some of them sound really unique and delicious. I’ll say that at some point I’ll try to save room for dessert, but we all know I’ll probably eat so much bread that I won’t.
Have you been to Sanaa? What do you think of this restaurant?