Monday, September 24, 2018

Sanaa Lunch Review

Sanaa is a African/Indian inspired restaurant located in Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. For guests staying on site, take a bus from your resort to Animal Kingdom and then head to the bus stop for the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The bus ride is extremely short and Kidani Village is the first stop. For guests coming from a park or Disney Springs, take the bus from that park straight to Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

You enter the lobby of the hotel on technically the first floor. Sanaa is located downstairs. There are a set of stairs at the far end of the lobby and an elevator to the right.

The view onto the savannah from the stairs at the end of the lobby is amazing. The rooms of the hotel surround the savannah where you can see all sorts of animals. Coming down these stairs, there is a single door that takes you out into the savannah and seating area. I definitely recommend getting here early to sit and look at the view from the outside.

I spent at least half an hour looking at the giraffes who were happily wandering around picking up fallen leaves and playing! I can only imagine the view from the rooms facing the savannah. It is my dream to stay here one day!

Here is a panoramic shot of one side of the savannah, giving you a bit of scope of how big this space really is. To the left is the main lobby building, followed by the savannah and the rooms on the right. The large windows on the bottom floor of the lobby building is Sanaa. 

Head back into the main building the same way you came and take a left. You will see the sign for Sanaa and the check in desk. We had a little bit of time before we could check in so we sat on the rocking chairs on an outdoor veranda overlooking the savannah. It was incredible and I could have sat there all day!

A Cast Member will check you in and ask you to take a seat whilst your table is being prepared. I really love the attention to detail on the wall - the bumpy texture is to make it look like a mud hut!

The restaurant itself is beautiful. It is very bright thanks to the large windows that overlook the savannah. We were seated in the second row of tables behind the windows which was still an incredible view. If you are really keen on sitting by the window, then do let the Cast Member know when you check in and they will do their best to accommodate you. 

This was the view from our table. We could easily see all sorts of animals, including a bird which was very determined to somehow come into the restaurant! 

The detail and theming even continues to the back of the chairs. There is also a (not so) Hidden Mickey on one of the booth tables at the back! 

The menu is amazing and very varied depending on how much spice you like. My recommendation is to go with the Journey and Harvest options. You are able to pick one from the Journey and one from the Harvest and it is served with rice. I was really torn between the Paneer Tikka or the Aloo Masala. They also have an extensive allergy menu that caters for all allergies. 

I ordered the butter chicken with paneer tikka. For those of you who don't know, paneer is a non-meltinng farmers cheese. It doesn't taste of a huge amount and has a texture similar to halloumi. The sauce is was in was so tasty and so perfectly spiced it added an amazing flavour to the cheese. You get a lot of it and I didn't manage to finish it. 

The butter chicken is on a whole new level. The sauce is beautiful, with a lovely balance of spices that compliments the paneer tikka really well. The chicken was lovely and tender and I really liked the fact that it wasn't just chunks of chicken breast, but all sorts of different parts of it. The rice was really well cooked and wasn't sticky which it can be in some restaurants. 

For dessert I ordered the 3 chocolate mousse that comes with a biscuit crumb, strawberry coulis and strawberries in a syrup. It was amazing! I want the syrup recipe! The mousse was so light and creamy and each chocolate flavour worked very well together. 

I can't recommend Sanaa enough. It is a nice break from the parks without ever feeling like you have left Animal Kingdom. If you have young ones, I would definitely recommend getting there a bit earlier to sit outside in the savannah - there are some rocking chairs and smaller chairs for you to sit in and relax. The lounge area is equally nice to sit in if you want a bit of air conditioning. 

The restaurant itself is so amazingly themed and the food is incredible. We had on our reservation that we had a birthday and an anniversary. They brought my parents some champagne, my sister a birthday flair to her dessert and all the servers sang happy birthday to her with a Sanaa twist. 

It was very quiet at lunch which was quite nice. It is almost like a bit of a hidden gem! There were a few business meetings going on which I took as a good sign. 

Have you been to Sanaa? What was your favourite thing?

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