We were really looking forward to this unique dining experience at Animal Kingdom's Sanaa Restaurant, so much so, that we made sure to get there as soon as they opened to get the best seat in the house. Being able to dine with the view of the safari animals was one thing we really wanted to experience while staying at Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
We initially made our reservations for 1:30 PM, but in order to get a seat by the window, the host told us to arrive first thing in the morning when they opened at 11:00 AM. We did as we were told, but when we arrived at 11AM, another staff member told us that we were misinformed and that we would have been fine if we just requested a window seat at 1:30 PM.
We have no idea which way is the best way to get the window seat, but in any case, we got the best seat in the house. We were seated right in the center of the windows with a great view of the safari animals. It's also great to come to the restaurant right when they open because the staff gets together to do an African welcome song with drums. It was so exciting!
There are over 30 species that reside on the four savannas of Animal Kingdom and while we were dining, we saw zebras, giraffes, ostriches, deer and more. We were so happy when we spotted the first animal!
On top of the amazing safari view, we also had an array of amazing dishes. Sanaa serves African cuisine with Indian flavors and everything we ordered was packed with tons of unique flavors. We ordered a variety of dishes so that we can get a little taste of everything.
Everyone at the Animal Kingdom Lodge raved about the naan bread, so of course we had to try it. Glad we listened to everyone because it was the best naan bread we have ever had. We've both only tried the traditional naan, but with our order, we had five different types of naan bread: Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha, and Paneer Paratha.
It also came with a variety of accompaniments. We selected the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney, and Red Chile Sambal. They all had their own unique flavors and we enjoyed every single one.
The presentation of this dish was different from what we were used to when ordering a salad. We thought the salad would be on one big plate, so when it came out in three different bowls, we had no idea it was the salad sampler. We had the Chickpeas with Cucumber and Tomato, Watermelon, Cucumber and Fennel, Nigerian Root Vegetable and Citrus. We both weren't so keen on the idea of watermelon and cucumber, but it ended up being our favorite salad dish. Our taste buds had no idea how delicious the combination of watermelon and cucumber could be!
The seasonal soup was tomato soup (Crystal's favorite) and it was super yummy. If you are a fan of tomato soup this one does not disappoint. The grilled paneer cheese added a nice extra flavor to the soup. We had plenty of naan bread, so we dipped some of the naan in the soup.
We've had tandoori chicken at various restaurants, but the spices in this one were spot on. The chicken was so juicy and the flavors were amazing.
Everything was absolutely delicious and the portions were perfect. Our server was excellent as well. She knew we weren't in a hurry, so she was very kind to make sure the dishes didn't come out all at once. If we ever get a chance to go back, we would love to experience lunch with an Animal Specialist. They only offer it on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so we'll have to plan for it next time!
SANAA ANIMAL KINGDOM RESORT
ADDRESS: Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
HOURS: Lunch 11:30AM - 3PM | Dinner 5PM - 9:30PM
* A special thanks to California Moonrise for providing us with the lovely wardrobe.