Sanaa is an East-African inspired restaurant located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge- the Kidani Villas side and is open for lunch and dinner. It’s most notable feature is the view. Tables lining large windows that look out onto the savanna give guests have the opportunity to have lunch or (early) dinner watching giraffes, zebras, various exotic birds and other savanna wildlife!
On our last visit to Sanaa we dined after the sun went down. Since it was dark i assumed we wouldn’t be able to see anything at all but to my surprise, we were still able to see a few wildebeests from our window table but it’s certainly not anything compared to a daytime view. Moral of the story- if you can dine during daylight hours and arrive early/be willing to wait for a window table!
Sanaa is decorated beautifully
The food at Sanaa is wonderful! Interesting spices and meats- this is not your typical amusement park food! It may sound a little adventurous for some but i promise, even the picky eaters will be able to find something they love. So here is our evening at Sanaa…
We were seated about 10 minutes after our advanced dining reservation at 8:00pm which gave us the perfect amount of time to settle up from our mini-date at Sanaa Lounge and finish up the last of our drinks. Our waitress greeted us very promptly and took our drink orders. David and i both ordered our favorite German beer…
Our little man asked for the Buzz Lightyear punch, which is minute made lemonade punch served with a light up Buzz Lightyear clip. He absolutely loved it, the light is still holding strong and he is still using it a month later!
Our niece being the healthy person she is, opted for water. Our waitress apparently didn’t want her to feel left out as the only one at the table not getting a special drink and she popped a light-up ice-cube in her water! How sweet is that?! Gotta love that Disney touch.
For our appetizer we ordered our absolute favorite thing at Sanaa… the Indian Bread Service. This is a must try!! Not your typical bread service this comes with a choice of assorted Naan, Kucha, or paneer partha. We love naan so we use our three choices on garlic-ginger naan, spiced naan, and traditional. If you are curious about the other bread types definitely ask you server, they are wonderful and very knowledgeable. Now for the accompaniments. We go all in and get all nine. It is really worth it. It’s served on a large platter with the bread in the middle and the accompaniments lined around the edge from give-you-the-hiccups-spicy to sweet and mild.
The red chile sambal is my absolute favorite- it’s spicy and sweet. I crave it and have started making it at home in between trips! The mango chutney is a favorite of the little man as is the hummus. So never fear, the children will not starve even though this is a restaurant outside of the typical kid’s pallet he probably ate more naan than the rest of us!
Onto the main course!
My husband David and my niece went with the Tandori chicken. It is presented beautifully. This is a very mild, bone-in chicken dish that will appeal to the more traditional/american food-lover in your group. It has a touch of coriander and lime and the sauce with the bed of rice is wonderful! I stole a bite 🙂 My husband and niece (who has never had Indian food) LOVED it!
I wanted to try a couple of Sanaa’s dishes so i opted for the Potjie Inspired choice of two. The options are Butter Chicken, Spicy Durban Shrimp, Chickpea Wat, Tomato Spiced Eggs, Paneer Tikka, Cilantro-Coconut Milk Seasonal Vegetables, Goan Seafood Curry, Braised Beef, Lentil Dhal, or Roasted Okra, Cashew, and Tomato Stew. These are served with rice or pilaf. I chose the braised beef and spicy Durban shrimp with rice. Our waitress informed me that the spicy Durban shrimp is the hottest thing on the menu but i was feeling adventurous that night so i decided to go for it and i’m so glad i did!!
I am certainly not a spice loving tough lady… medium wings at Bufalo Wild Wings give me the hiccups! But something about the spice here is different, it’s more flavor than pain. Unless you are very sensitive to spicy food i think this dish would be just fine. If you are concerned the waitstaff is happy to bring a small sample of the sauce- a great way to test it out before you commit! I really enjoyed the Spicy Durban Shrimp and it will definitely be my meal again the next time we are lucky enough to make our way to Sanaa.
The braised beef was just ok for me. It was very salty and i found myself avoiding the sauce and eating more rice with it to dilute the saltiness. The meat was of good quality but i would not get it again.
I really love the children’s menu at Sanaa. The choices are healthy!! It’s refreshing to get our little man a meal that is not a burger and fries for at least one night on vacation. Of course, they also offer kids burgers and cheese pizza.
He really loved the kid’s grilled shrimp and even ate the quinoa! This made my heart happy- at home he would never eat quinoa but i guess he must assume it’s at Disney so it must be good haha!
Our son was defintely the dessert winner. Feast your eyes on this amazingness….
The “cookies and milk” is a kid’s desert served on an artists palette with mickey sprinkles, mini m&m’s, and icing to “paint” your cookie! The “milk” is more of a strawberry yogurt/smoothie and comes with a cookie straw. We were all a little jealous…
The adult deserts were all a little lack luster. David loves cheesecake so he went for the banana cheesecake. He didn’t care for it and i tried it and wasn’t in love either. It’s fairly bland and unimpressive. But it looks pretty and the zebra chocolate garnish is good!
I ordered the trio of deserts which includes Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Lychee Tart, and Seasonal Kulfi.
These deserts were quite a bit smaller than i was expecting even as a trio/sampler- they were about a bite a piece. The seasonal Kulfi was chai and my favorite of the trio. It is an ice cream that is more on the icy side and less creamy. The lemon lychee tart was very heavy on the lemon and just tasted like a traditional lemon tart, the ganache was also very plain.
Our wonderful waitress ended up pulling through for our niece who didn’t order dessert and brought her the Chai kulfi anyway!
It’s presented beautifully! Sanaa seems to have a strong butterfly motif happening.
Overall we would not order dessert here again except for our son’s. His was something unique and I feel worth it for the money. The adult deserts seemed like a desert you could find anywhere and honestly did not taste very good.
Our dinner was on the later side and we were one of the last families in the restaurant which allowed me to snap a few images of the empty restaurant- yay happy dance!!!
Have you been to Sanaa? What are your favorites? If you try the Indian bread service i’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments!