I had the chance to dine at Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa as part of my Monkey Kingdom Experience. All opinions are my own!
As you walk into Animal Kingdom Lodge, you immediately feel like you have entered a new country and that’s exactly how they want you to feel. That doesn’t just start and end the moment you walk it, you will feel like you are on an African adventure throughout the resort, including the resort’s restaurant Sanaa. When I had the chance to enjoy lunch at Sanaa I was immediately transported to a new place! Today I want to share with you 3 Reasons you will definitely want to dine at Sanaa while on your vacation (even if you aren’t staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge)
1. The Food At Sanaa
Our meal started with the Indian-style Bread Service. To be honest, I could have eaten just this and been satisfied, it was so full of flavor. For the normal bread service, you can 3 different breads and 3 different sauces. Choice of breads include Traditional Naan, Garlic Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Pappadum. Sauce choices are: Red Chile Sambal, Cucumber Raita, Corriander Chutney, Mango Chutney, Coconut Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Spicy Jalapeno – Lime Pickle, Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus, and Tamarind Chutney. We had the full bread service which included all nine of the sauces…I say go with that!
Next, we enjoyed a salad sampler where you get to choose three of the following salads: Chickpeas with Cucumber and Tomato; Watermelon, Cucumber and Fennel; Kachumbari; Mango; or Bhel Pur. My favorite was definitely the chickpeas with cucumber and tomato. It was a little bit tangy but full of flavor. The other two salads were great two, but I definitely would have gobbled up a whole bowl of the chickpea salad.
Following our salads, we had the Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned. Yes that’s the actual name of the dish! For this you have a choice of two of the following (served with Basmati Rice or Five-Grain Pilaf): Butter Chicken, Goan Seafood Curry, Chicken Vindaloo, Spicy Durban Shrimp, or Beef Short Ribs. I had the butter chicken and the goan seafood curry. They were both so good, I found myself searching for any extras from table mates.
Last, but definitely not least, was dessert. You know we left some room for dessert! We each enjoyed the Dessert Trio, which includes:
Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse, Banana Cheesecake, and Seasonal Kulfi. I may or may not have cleaned my plate. The trio is definitely the way to go so you can sample several different dishes!
I chance to taste some very different, yet delicious food. The food at Sanaa is African inspired but with Indian flavors thrown in. You truly are getting to try a cultural experience with the foods.
2. The Decor
The decor at Sanaa is, of course, African inspired. The details are exquisite. So many colors and it really is so fun and almost whimsical, but not in a goofy sort of way. I absolutely loved the decor, very tribal in feel, this is one place my boys would love to dine for the decor alone!
3. The Experience
Eating at Sanaa isn’t just about the food and the decor, it’s about truly feeling like you are taking a moment away and enjoy a cultural experience. Every thing about Sanaa is meant to immerse you into a culture. While you eat, if you get a window seat, you can look out onto the savannah and see the animals. Book time to Dine with an animal specialist, to really learn all about the animals, this is an extra fee but $5.00 goes to the Disney World Wide Conservation Fund.
Step inside this exquisite, East African-inspired eatery, which evokes a traditional spice market, decorated with handcrafted wares under the graceful branches of an acacia tree. Savor slow-cooked meats, salads and vegetarian specialties as you discover African cooking with Indian flavors. Enjoy wine from South Africa, beer from India or Kenya, and specialty cocktails like the Malawi Mango Margarita. You truly are going to feel like you have escaped to a different place when you dine at Sanaa. Check out the full menu here.
Because I had the chance to enjoy Sanaa, as part of the Monkey Kingdom event, I want to encourage you to head to theaters to see Monkey Kingdom. It’s playing nationwide, so it’s a great time to go see an awesome movie, see my review here! Get to know Maya and Kip in the trailer:
Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in “Monkey Kingdom,” Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya’s whole family is forced to relocate, where she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to lead them to untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings. Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future. Featuring a rich cast of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, “Monkey Kingdom” is directed by Mark Linfield (“Chimpanzee,” “Earth”) and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Chimpanzee,” “Bears”). With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Shrek” movies), Disneynature’s eighth True Life Adventure—the follow-up to 2014’s “Bears”
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