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By: Lindsey Tullier
My husband and I have traveled to the World several times with our now 6- and 4-year-old boys. When it comes time to make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs), I choose restaurants based on their ability to entertain and intrigue my children (e.g. Crystal Palace, Biergarten and Sci-Fi Dine-In). When my husband’s recent demanding work schedule forced us to cancel an upcoming family vacation, he suggested that I take a weekend trip for myself. I was thrilled and immediately began making plans. Since I was staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, I made a dinner ADR at Sanaa.
“Sanaa” is the Swahili word for artwork and, just as the name suggests, the restaurant is beautifully decorated, and the food is elegantly presented. I was seated very soon after my check-in time, and my waiter arrived quickly to explain the menu. I found him to be quite courteous. As a solo traveler, I appreciated the extra time he spent asking me where I was from and how my stay had been so far. His explanation of the menu was very thorough. After taking my drink order, he left me to peruse the menu.
Sanaa offers a bread service for two with your choice of three breads and three accompaniments. My waiter offered to share with me if I was interested, but I chose not to fill up on bread this time. Instead, being the tomato soup lover that I am, I chose the Tomato Soup with Paneer Cheese as my appetizer.
This is the most delicious tomato soup I have ever eaten. I even found out from a young lady who works there that, although she usually doesn’t like tomato soup, she loves this one. There was a nice texture to the soup itself and it was not too acidic. The cubes of Paneer cheese added a nice balance to the dish.
I had a difficult decision to make for my entrée as there were so many appealing items from which to choose, such as shrimp curry, Durban chicken or shrimp, Tandoori, and vegetarian samplers. They also offer a New York Strip or a sustainable fish, each seasoned with African and Indian flavors. I finally chose the Tandoori lamb. Since this is a very spicy dish, my waiter offered to have the chef ease up on the spice (my guess is some people who aren’t used to that level of heat may have complained in the past). Being a New Orleans girl who loves spicy food, I ordered it as is.
I loved the simplistic and orderly look of this dish. The Tandoori lamb was indeed quite spicy, but not excessively so for my tastes. The lightly flavored Basmati rice offered a nice contrast to the bold flavors of the lamb. I think my favorite part of this dish was the Apricot-Raisin Chutney. The sweetness of the chutney complemented the lamb very nice.
Having been so pleased with my culinary selections thus far, I eagerly anticipated what would await me for dessert. I absolutely love iced Chai lattes from a certain Seattle-based coffee chain, so I immediately jumped on the Chai cream offered on the dessert menu.
I think I let out an audible, “Ooooohhh!” when the Chai cream arrived at my table. This velvety, mousse-like dessert looked so rich and inviting. The chocolate accents and chocolate-dipped spoon added a touch of elegance. It was very difficult to restrain myself from diving in long enough to take a picture of this sweet masterpiece. After that first bite, all I can say is that Chai cream is nothing short of a scoop of Heaven in a cup. The Chai spices were not overpowering at all. I scraped every last bit out of this dessert. It was the perfect end to the perfect meal.
While I am still not convinced that my children would enjoy this restaurant at their young age, I can’t wait to have a WDW date night at Sanaa with my husband. We both enjoy trying new foods and exotic flavors and Sanaa most definitely fits the bill. It is now among my favorite restaurants at the World and I look forward to a return visit soon.
Sanaa accepts both the Tables in Wonderland card (which is what I used) and the Disney Dining Plan (one table service credit). The Mouse for Less website has the lunch, dinner and kids’ menus available. Be sure to book an exotic meal at Sanaa for your next trip to the World.