During our first stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, Timothy and I decided to explore all aspects of the resort, including dinner at Sanaa. The table-service restaurant is located on the first floor of the resort and features African cuisine with an Indian influence. Unlike Timothy (who considers Indian food to be comfort food), I’m not the most adventurous eater, so I initially worried that Sanaa might be out of my comfort zone. However, I have heard so many great things about Sanaa, especially its bread service, that I was interested in trying it anyway.
Situated off of the Sunset Savanna, some of the window tables at Sanaa offer a glimpse of the beautiful zebras, giraffes, and other wildlife. By dinner time, it was too dark to see the animals, but the dimly-lit restaurant still had a nice ambiance. Sanaa is designed to resemble a spice market, and you’ll find items like Tanzanian cooking utensils hanging on the walls. In the booth where we were seated, we even found a hidden Mickey made up of various bowls.
As with Chef Mickey’s, we used the new mobile check-in feature through the My Disney Experience app and went through a temperature check before being seated at our table. We noticed that the cast members really took the time to sanitize the tables and chairs after each party, and we felt well distanced from other guests. Mobile menus were accessed through the QR code at the table except for the allergy menu, which was still a hard copy menu.
Our server, Liz, provided friendly service and brought out the chef, Kimi, to speak with me about my allergy concerns. While I knew I wanted to try the Indian-style bread service, Kimi notified me that two of the accompaniments would not be safe for me. She also noted that it would be best to stick to the in-house naan breads to ensure that they did not contain any allergens. When the bread service came out, Kimi returned to our table and personally talked us through each of the 9 bread accompaniments. It was a lot to take in but incredibly helpful.
Speaking of the bread service, I now know why this is so popular. It was probably the highlight of our meal. Due to my allergies, we stuck with the traditional naan, and I was able to have most of the 9 accompaniments, which included: cucumber raita, roasted red bell pepper hummus, tamarind, mango chutney, tomato-date chutney, coriander chutney, garlic pickle, red chile sambal, and jalapeño-lime pickle. The accompaniments are served in order of least spicy to most spicy. I’m not into spicy foods, so my favorites were the tamarind (sweet and tangy) and the tomato-date chutney (mostly tomato flavor with a hint of sweetness from the dates), and I didn’t make it to the last few since they were too hot for my liking. On the other hand, Timothy favored the jalapeño-lime pickle accompaniment for the complexity of the flavor and texture (spicy, sweet, salty, and crunchy) and enjoyed the spicier accompaniments.
For my entree, I ordered the seasonal sustainable fish, which was salmon prepared with Geelrys rice (yellow rice), sukama wiki (African collard greens dish), and citrus butter. The salmon was cooked perfectly; it wasn’t overdone, yet it had a nice crust on the outside. I couldn’t quite pinpoint the flavor of the Geelrys rice, but I liked it a lot. The sukama wiki nicely complimented the salmon. While the flavors were a little different than what I’m accustomed to, they weren’t too exotic. Timothy ordered the braised beef, which came with cilantro-coconut vegetables and Basmati rice. The beef was very tender, and Timothy liked the cilantro-coconut vegetables. I tried a little bit of the vegetables and found that they had a slight kick to them. Timothy is a big fan of Indian food, so he liked the flavoring.
Overall, I enjoyed dinner at Sanaa more than I thought I would. There are definitely options for the less adventurous eaters like me, and I would have been happy to have the bread service as my meal. It was that tasty. The quality of the food was also very good. Timothy has already said that he would like to come back and try a few other items on the menu.
If you have experienced dinner at Sanaa before, what are your favorite menu items? Let me know in the comments below.
*Please note that this dining review was conducted during Walt Disney World’s initial reopening period. We ask that you take into consideration that any negative impacts may be a result of situations surrounding the ongoing pandemic, and may not accurately represent the restaurant once the resort has fully reopened.