Friday, October 21, 2011

Lunch at Sanaa

Sanaa Sign

Sanaa is the newest Disney location serving African cuisine with Indian flavors. Located at Disney Vacation Club's Animal Kingdom Kidani Village Sanaa focuses on African Flavors with an Indian flair. The word Sanaa means "artwork" in Swahili, and as its name suggests, Sanaa offers its Guests beautifully prepared food, served in an artistic atmosphere with a stunning view of the savanna.

The dining room at Sanaa is creatively appointed with columns of giant beads and tree trunks that hold up a unique canopy of artistic trees leaves. Outside the windows a pair of cheeky Crowned Cranes (named Ruben and Wilbur) who jumped the savanna fence like to entertain the guests sitting next to the windows by stomping on tall grass and scaring out the bugs for their own lunch.  We were told that Ruben was the first to jump the fence when he saw his reflection in the window and decided it would be a good mate.  Ruben has even made a nest at the end of the enclosure so that he can stay close.  The Sanaa staff frequently chats with the birds, and I caught other guests making clicking noises at them from their tables.  

Cranes looking in the windows at SanaaWilbur & Rueben

For a foodie, I'm not always a very adventurous when it comes to eating, so looking at this African and Indian inspired menu was a little daunting.  None the less we ended up eating at Sanaa three times during our trip, and it is very worthy of the accolades that it has received.  The Chef has already been honored for this two year old restaurant that doesn't dumb down the flavors of these spicy foodcultures.  We found the staff to be very friendly and knowledgeable about all that was offered.

For Appetizers I had the bread service with dips. The bread that I choose were two Naan and a Onion Kulcha.  The Naan is simple the best that I've ever had, baked the traditional way in a Tandoor it's was fresh and steamy with a crisp bottom.  The onion Kulcha was delicious too, stuffed with wonderful bits of onion and spices.  For the accompaniments I was a big fan of the Cucumber Raita, but tried the Mint and Coconut Chutneys as well.  Geordon picked a salad trio that included fresh Roasted Beets, Behl Puri and Kachumbar.  The Behl Puri is a puffed rice dish with vegetables tossed in a tamarind sauce, Geordon seemed to enjoy it, but I didn't try, the look of the puffed rice was disturbing to me.  LoL... like I said, not too adventurous.  The Kachumbar was a tasty cucumber salad tossed in a vinegar dressing and I enjoyed it very much.

Three Salad Sampler, Beets, Bhel Puri, CucumberSanaa Bread Service

Entrees for lunch are similar to those available at dinner with some additional sandwiches. I took the easy road and ordered the Turkey Club with a side of fresh fruit. It was your run of the mill club but it was very good and stuffed full of turkey and I wasn't able to finish it after having the bread service as a starter. Geordon ordered the Grilled Lamb Kefta on Naan and it was just amazing.I wished that I ate lamb because the smells coming from his plate were in intoxicating. The portion was huge, and as he folded over the Naan he struggled to get the bite of the goodness in his mouth. He said that it tasted just as good as it smelled and is reason all on it's own to make a trip to Sanaa.

Turkey Club SandwichGrilled Lamb Kefta

For dessert Geordon ordered the Mango Berry Tapioca and I had the Chai Cream. I think I could eat the Chai Cream every day, so delicious! The chai is light and silky, the chocolate covered spoon adds the perfect amount of decadence as it slowly melts off from the heat of your mouth.

Mango-Berry Tapioca PuddingChai Creme

Sanaa is a must do for those who love a food adventure, 
it is well worth the out of the way trip to Kidani Village. 

Recently Disney has also added a treat to the menu.  If you would like to make your meal at Sanaa a little more special, how about booking the “Dine with an Animal Specialist” meal. This 4-course lunch, seats you with one of Disney’s own animal specialists, who will share with you the secrets of the savanna. This experience can be booked by calling the Disney Dining number, or DVC Member services.

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