Carbo-loading for Dummies: Bread Service at Sanaa

September 19, 2019

Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite Disney resorts for numerous reasons: unique cuisine, stunning architecture & theming, and rooms with a serious view overlooking the African savanna (well, Disney's version of it anyway). Although I've only stayed at AK Lodge once, there is a hidden gem of a restaurant here (or maybe by now, not-so-hidden) that I just had to write about, and that is Sanaa.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is split into 2 sections: the main, larger building, Jambo House, and its smaller counterpart, Kidani Village, which is where Sanaa is located. It can be a bit tricky to get to because of this reason, but luckily our Uber driver knew where she was going and probably understands directional cues like when the GPS says in a polite British accent "turn northwest in a quarter of a mile" (really? Just say left or right at the McDonalds!). 

I desperately wanted to try the Indian-style bread service that I was hearing so much about (Sanaa, you had me at carbs), but had never gotten around to trying it - mostly because my husband wasn't a fan of Boma (the restaurant over at Jambo House. Clearly he didn't fully appreciate the out-of-body experience that is eating a zebra dome), so convincing him to give Sanaa a try was futile. Luckily, my bestie Britney was more than up for the challenge, and had already given me the rundown of her love affair with naan bread. Plus, she was 110% down for Disneybounding with me. We were doing this.

It was night one of our girls trip, so we had to kick it off with a bang photoshoot. Never one to shy away from a theme (I'm rubbing off on her), girlfriend killed it as Cruella (pun intended) - right down to the cigarette holder prop. People loved her outfit, and it's not hard to see why.

"I live for furs! I worship furs!"
Since we were heading to AK Lodge, I basically bounded as Animal Kingdom Lodge, and picked pieces that inspired the African/Lion King vibe. Amazon came in clutch for the 300th time (thanks Prime & last minute impulse shopping!) with this muted yellow palm print dress. The ruffle hem & self-tie straps added a playful touch, and I paired the dress with a leopard clutch and added the bright raffia earrings for a pop of unexpected color.

Shooting in low-lighting at night on an iphone is challenging. For higher quality images, just squint your eyes :) HA!

Ruffle hem dress - Amazon | Raffia earrings - Amazon | Leopard clutch - Red Dress

So we rolled up to Sanaa to check in about 10-15 minutes prior to our ADR (advanced dining reservation for all you Dis-newbs - because yes, you absolutely will need to make a reservation for this place), and were told they were running behind. I gave them my cell and they said they would text us when our table was ready, so we could freely roam the resort until I heard that Pavlovian text message sound that would send us running back down to Sanaa.

All smiles before the hanger kicked it into high gear...

The lobby at Kidani Village is much smaller than Jambo House, but still offers savanna views at the back of the lobby, or upstairs out on the terrace, where you can sit in the rocking chairs and watch the animals roaming about the grassy grounds. We were lucky enough to glimpse a few giraffes from our prime viewing spot upstairs and chilled here for about 35 minutes until our rumbling tummies demanded otherwise.

We headed back to the hostess station and were told our table still wasn't ready and may be another 30 minutes (but they couldn't say for sure) but that there was space in the lounge that was on a first-come-first-serve basis. I had just flown 556 miles from Chattanooga to Orlando only a few hours prior and was surviving off of a kids meal from Chick-fil-A and a stick of gum, so I needed food fast before things started to get ugly (hanger is a serious disorder, y'all).

We pounced on a table in the lounge out of sheer necessity (I mean, I'm being only slightly dramatic here), but if you can wait for a table in the main seating area, it would be worth it because some of the tables are situated right up on the glass where the animals are. We just wanted food at this point. So 2 thumbs down for time management here & letting the tables get so backed up, but I was hopeful that the food would be the redeeming factor.

Spoiler alert: it was.

The bread service comes with 5 different types of bread (traditional naan, garlic-ginger naan, spiced naan, onion kulcha, and paneer paratha) and 9 different dips (cucumber yogurt sauce, roasted red pepper hummus, mango chutney, tomato-date jam, tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, garlic pickle, red chile sambal, and spicy jalapeño pickle, which range from mild to pretty spicy). You know that scene in the Notebook where Ryan Gosling is asking Rachel McAdams what she wants & she just exclaims "I don't know!" in sheer exasperation? And then the internet turned it into a meme for "when I ask my girlfriend what she wants to eat"? Hi, that's me (literally, yesterday my husband was shouting this Ryan-Gosling-style at me when we were discussing our dinner options). I can be pretty indecisive when it comes to food, so having an assortment of things to try made my inner Rachel McAdams very happy. 

I should also mention that some people say this place is overrated, and that is probably because those people have really good Indian restaurants where they live. I'm completely new to Indian food, so I wouldn't really know "bad" Indian from "good" Indian. But ultimately - it's bread with dipping sauce, y'all. And its very, very hard to mess that up.

Honestly, I liked most all of the dips except the jalapeño but that's just because I hate jalapeños. Each of the breads were unique & delicious, and paired well with the different types of dips (my favorites were the cucumber yogurt, mango chutney, and the hummus).

We also ordered the "Potjie Inspired" entree to split, and chose the butter chicken, based off our waiter's recommendation (which came with rice and something else that I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Mystery meat in mystery sauce...). Paired with the bread service, it was actually a ton of food, so there was no way I could have eaten a whole entree by myself. As for the butter chicken, I had no basis for comparison, but Britney said she'd had better in Nashville, but gave the bread service portion a 10/10. And with that, I concur.

I've heard the drinks here at Sanaa are also worth trying, but we opted out since we were hitting up Disney Springs for a wild first night on the town after dinner (JK JK - we made it to about 10:30, only 1 drink in at Hangar Bar, before calling it quits. And we left Sanaa at maybe 9:15ish. We can't hang like we used to). I definitely recommend Sanaa though for a unique dinner, but if you want the full experience (atmosphere included), grab an early reservation so you can sit savanna-side and also beat the rush before tables start getting backed up.

So next time you're looking for a place to stuff your face full of delicious bread and a symphony of flavors, put Sanaa on your list. It can be a bit out of the way, but your tastebuds will thank you later.

Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

© Cake After Midnight. Design by FCD.