We are about to head over to Sanaa for lunch and I’m excited! Grace wrote this post the last time she visited Disney and I’ve been wanting to go to Sanaa ever since!
This is a blog post I don’t want to write for purely selfish reasons. Sanaa is one of the best kept secrets at Disney. Not really a secret as much as a tier 2, B-list, easy to get dining reservation at a time when Disney vacations have become so popular that moms and travel agents across the country have to set their alarms and get up at the crack of dawn 180 days before the first day of their vacation to secure high demand reservations. I was able to walk up to Sanaa at 11:45 last week without a reservation and have a table ready in 15 minutes, and that my friend is a beautiful thing!!!
So, to set the stage, Sanaa is located in Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village. The best way to get there if you are staying at a Disney resort is to hop on a bus from your resort to Animal Kingdom and then transfer to an Animal Kingdom Lodge bus. If you are staying offsite and have a reservation, you can park at the resort for free for up to 3 hours. If you are staying at Animal Kingdom lodge, you are a lucky duck because Animal Kingdom lodge Kidani village is a beautiful resort. The resort itself forms a fence around a Savannah where giraffes and zebras live and can be watched all day every day. At the far end of the lobby of the resort there is a stair case and right at the bottom of the staircase is Sanaa restaurant. If you are lucky enough, you can get a seat at a table right next to the windows and you will be able to watch the giraffes as you eat your meal!
When you arrive at the restaurant there is a check in desk where you will give them your name if you have a reservation or request a table. They will give you a buzzer and while you wait for your meal you are welcome to walk out of the door on the backside of the stairs and go out onto the Savannah and rock in a rocking chair and watch the animals, and in the evening they have a bonfire going. It is a welcome moment of relaxation in the middle of a hectic Disney vacation!
The food at Sanaa is ridiculously good. I went with a friend and we started with the legendary Sanaa bread service. For $12 you get 3 types of bread and 5 of the accompaniments, but for only $3 more you get all 9 accompaniments and all 5 breads, we opted for the full service because “when in Rome”, right? I remembering reading a foodies review of the bread service and thinking “it’s just bread, what is the big deal?” Now I know. All 5 breads are fresh made, warm and absolutely delicious. The spicy and garlic naan are regular naan with garlic butter and spicy butter on them, the cheese and onion bread are thin layers of bread filled with onions and cheese. The bread on its own is delicious, and then the accompaniments which go from spiciest to no spiciness are flavorful and are a mix of sweet and savory. You can eat them on their own, mix them, and save the leftovers to add additional flavors to your meal.
Next up were the entrées. My friend asked the waiter if it was possible for her to order Samosas even though they were not on the menu and he said, “of course!” She has traveled to Africa before and she felt like the Samosas were as close to the real thing that she has encountered on this side of the Atlantic. I choose the most authentic meal to the restaurant theme, the Potjie Inspired meal where the diner picks a meat and a veggie option. (this is where a vegetarian can create a delicious meal by picking two of the veggie options, or if you are more of the t-rex variety you can pick 2 meat options!) I picked the Cilantro-coconut seasonal mixed vegetables and the goan curry seafood. A new addition to this entrée is a lemon crème. When you add a drop to each bit it elevates the meal to food coma levels. The entrée also comes with scented basmati rice. Another popular option is the butter chicken, I have had it on a previous trip and it is also a great choice.
For dessert I ordered the dessert trio. I had ordered it before and it was a lot better in a previous incarnation. It was just ok. BUT!!!! Hold the phone because you are going to want to sit down and take notes here. My friend ordered the Shahi Tukra, which is an insanely delicious Indian style bread pudding. It was warm and made from croissants. It was like every homey comfort food I have ever eaten in my life in one bowl. If I had 24 hours to live I would jump on a plane, fly to Disney and go to Sanaa for an entire meal, but the most important part would be the bread pudding dessert. Word to the wise, this life altering dessert is only served at lunch, although you can try to order it off menu for dinner and I am sure they will deliver.
When our meal was over I just sat there in a comatose daze and said to my friend, “it is going to be hard to move forward in life knowing that every meal is going to be a disappointment in comparison.” I know that sounds absolutely nutty, but I really said that, LOL!!!!!
So, the next time you are at Disney leave the characters at their buffets, leave the hustle and bustle of the parks and head to Sanaa for a relaxing meal on the savannah, and try not to change all of your dining reservations for the rest of your vacation to Sanaa, I dare you.
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