I will start out by saying that despite boasting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge as our home resort, shamefully, we had yet to ever visit Sanaa over in the Kidani Village. That changed on our recent trip when we were a little tired from a massive day trekking around Epcot. Neither of us wanted a full evening meal. We were looking for something a little bit more relaxed and laid back. My other half did not actually realise that Sanaa had a lounge, meaning that we could still use the restaurant without having a full meal… I know… how??? Really?????
Nevertheless, we decided to give the Sanaa Lounge a try. Upon arrival at the lounge, we were relieved to see that there were seats available. The Sanaa Lounge is first come first served (as are many of the WDW lounges). The Cast Member gave us a very warm welcome and immediately engaged in conversation with our 1-year-old daughter. A child who ‘talks’ at anyone who will listen. I thought he was very patient with her babbling.
Initially, we placed our orders for drinks with me opting for one of the speciality cocktails, the Malawi Mango Margarita. A frozen blend of tequila, tangerine liqueur, mango puree and fresh lime juice.
Moments after requesting our drinks, the cast member returned with a little treat for the little one in the shape of a light-up Tinkerbell that usually comes with the speciality character drink in the restaurant. This was a lovely sprinkle of pixie dust, which kept her occupied and fascinated for quite some time (and still does even now!).
When it came time to order some food, I will confess that I was a little bit confused. Looking at the menus online, the lounge lists the Indian-Style Bread Service as being a selection of three pieces of bread and three accompaniments. The full restaurant menu, however, lists the Indian-Style Bread Service as being five of the breads and all nine accompaniments. We’d got ourselves all ready to order based on the lounge menu, but the cast member kindly informed us that we could, in fact, have the service from the main menu. This meant that we didn’t have to pick and choose anything. He also gave us a quick rundown of the accompaniments that have varying levels of spiciness.
Neither of us is particularly keen on excessive spiciness. Don’t get me wrong, I love a spice that is flavourful. We have had bad experiences before. Food that was so spicy, it felt like that the roof of my mouth had burnt several layers of skin away. I was concerned that some of the accompaniments would be far too much for us. Thankfully, the cast member was sure to inform us that the accompaniments would be served in a manner that allowed you to work from the mildest up to the spiciest.
The way in which it is served was ideal for us because we could just start from the bottom and work our way up. It would enable us to stop when or if the spice got too much. The cast member was quite keen to impress on us that the top-level accompaniments packed quite a punch, so at this point, we both thought it was unlikely we would make it to the ‘top levels’.
Personally, I thought there was an unintended consequence of the way in which the accompaniments would be served. This, coupled with the cast member’s insistence that they get very spicy, felt like some kind of ‘challenge’ was being laid down. Could we actually make it through all of the accompaniments? It may have been the margarita talking, but I was willing to try.
We opted to have one of each of the five breads. Traditional Naan, Garlic Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha. All of which was served exactly how I would expect them to be and each delicious in their own right. I was particularly fond of the Onion Kulcha, which was superb.
As mentioned, the nine accompaniments are served lined up in the order of their spice level, starting off with the Cucumber Raita. They also include the Mango Chutney, Tamarind Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Roasted Red Pepper Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Coriander Chutney, Red Chile Sambal and Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle.
Marc (the other half) managed to get through five of them before deciding that the ‘heat’ was getting too much for him. I, on the other hand, was on a roll. I am really pleased to say that I actually managed to try all nine. All of them were packed with flavour at just the right level. At no point did I think that any of them were actually overpowering or excessive. My particular favourites were the Garlic Pickle and Red Chile Sambal. In all honesty, I could have taken any of the nine and just had that with the five breads. They were all delicious.
At the time, we paid $17 for the Indian Bread Service. It is listed as $18 on the Disney website. If you wish just to try the smaller ‘lounge’ selection as mentioned, this is listed as $13. All in all, we felt that it was very good value for money. This was considering that at least one of us was able to enjoy all of the accompaniments. Even if we hadn’t quite managed to try all of the sauces, I would still say it was of reasonable value. I wouldn’t feel we had ‘wasted’ money on something we didn’t try. Perhaps if we had only managed a couple of the accompaniments, I’d think it was of less value. Considering that we shared the full service between two, we finished feeling that our appetite had been satisfied.
I was pleasantly surprised at just how many of them I enjoyed, and that comes from someone who usually avoids spicy food. That isn’t to say that they are not spicy. They were certainly palatable, flavourful, and did not leave me feeling like my mouth had been assaulted. Even if you have the mildest of tongues, I would recommend trying this with a friend who loves the spice. I thought the way in which it was served lends itself to simply trying and seeing how you get on. You, like me, may surprise yourself.
How about you? Would you be willing to try the Indian Bread Service ‘Challenge’ at Sanaa? – I really think that this could become a ‘thing’. Have you already tried it and succeeded? Let us know in the comments down below.
As always, thank you for reading. If you have enjoyed this, why not come check out the vlog series for our most recent trip:
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