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May 3, 2009 08:34 AM

Sanaa at the new Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney recently opened a new section of their Animal Kingdom Lodge resort specifically designed for timeshare. Within that new area is a new African-Indian restaurant called "Sanaa", which I attended for dinner last night.

The menu focuses on Indian style service with African background flavors. We started with the bread service. We ordered the Naan, Paratha and the Paneer Paratha, the last of which our waitress called the "mack daddy" of the breads. And it certainly was. It had a layer of cheese and spices on the inside that gave it a creamy kick. We mixed these breads with Coriander Chutney, Cucumber Raita and Mango Chutney. We enjoyed the combination of heat, cool and sweet, respectively, that we had picked out. There are indeed more options for the more adventurous.

Then we moved to the appetizer sampler, which contained samosas, pulled duck, and cauliflower. I found both the samosas and duck to be monotonous and nothing special, while the roasted cauliflower over tomato sauce was simple and delicious.

Simultaneously, we had the salad sampler, which, like the bread, is your choice of three. We had the chick peas, carrot and orange, and roasted potato. The chick peas was downright awesome: a delicious salad with loving amounts of tomato and onion. I loved it. I sampled the other two, but stayed mostly with the chick peas.

Our entree was a "combo" dish featuring tandoori chicken in red curry sauce and beef short ribs. It came with a side of rice. We initially ordered five grain rice based on our waitresses suggestion, but they had an issue in the kitchen and would have to bring out white rice instead. Later, she brought out five grain and I actually ended up preferring the white rice, anyhow. It was fantastic to dump the chicken and curry over the white rice and dig in.

We passed on dessert, but did enjoy a glass of "chakalaka" over our meal. This spicy red wine paired with anything on the table with heat, which was awesome for me. I also had an agave margarita, which I nursed throughout.

Overall, I was surprised at how well put together everything was. For a new restaurant that only began operation 72 hours ago, everyone, from the bar team, to the wait staff and kitchen staff, seemed to have a great grasp on getting the job done correctly.

I will return for lunch and post again.

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  1. I appreciate your review, kkachurak. We need more of these sorts of reviews on these boards. It sounds delicious. Thanks for tipping everyone off about the new restaurant. I will certainly put it on my "must try" list for the next time I am in Orlando.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gfr1111

      Thanks for letting me know. We are staying at the Animal Kingdom in a few weeks. We were there last year, loved it and decided to come back this year. Is that area of the property connected to the hotel? Did you need to make a reservation?

      1. re: SarahChef

        It's not "connected", but a 10 minute walk will bring you right to it. Busses may also be an option, though I can't confirm that. The restaurant itself is below the lobby of the "Kidani" section. The actual hotel, that was built and opened around 2001, is now referred to as "Jambo".

        Reservations for any Disney sit-down service restaurant are always encouraged: 407-WDW-DINE to make a reservation up to 90 days in advance, I believe.