Sanaa, an African & Indian inspired restaurant located inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, offers one of the most unique dining experiences in the Orlando area. While enjoying delicious African & Indian specialties, you can also enjoy watching African Wildlife roam free on one of the resort's 4 savannas.
The menu at Sanaa is very different, consisting of East African inspired entrees, many featuring Indian flavors. It's always exciting to try something new while on vacation, and Sanaa gives you the opportunity to do so.
The must try on the menu is the Indian Bread Service, which includes your choice of 3 different Indian Naan Breads and an assortment of accompaniments available in a variety of interesting flavors such as: Mango Chutney, Garlic Pickle, and Coriander Chutney.
We chose the larger 9 accompaniment selection, which enabled us to test out each delicious flavor. The Garlic Pickle was definitely the best! If you are ordering gluten-free, you will receive Falafel chips instead of the bread. Although the Naan bread looked delicious, we were satisfied with the crunchy texture and flavor of the chips. On a side note, they need to serve more chips if you order 9 dips as we had to order 2 extra sides of chips just to cover the dips.
The Salad Sampler, which includes 3 fresh salads, is another great starter option. We enjoyed the Chickpeas with tomatoes and cucumbers, Seasonal fruit dish, and the Watermelon, cucumber, and fennel salad. Note that salad selections will vary throughout the year.
Above all, the Chana Tikka, was the highlight of our meal. These mildly spiced chickpea cakes, served with tomato chutney, were good enough to justify a second serving! If you are sharing amongst more than 2 people, 3 small cakes is not going to cut it!
Other menu selections include options such as: Tandoori Chicken, Shrimp, or Fish, Sustainable Fish with Goan Curry, and Surf and Turf Braai.
Sanaa offers a separate gluten-free and vegetarian menu: all you have to do is ask for it. You will find many options suitable for both diets. The Indian Bread Service and Chana Tikki are both highly recommended, and both can be easily modified. The Vegetarian Sampler includes a choice of 2 sides (Lentil Dahl and Paneer Tikka are amongst the options), served alongside Basmati Rice.
In addition to delicious foods, a full wine and tea menu is available. I recommend a hot cup of Rooibos Tea. This flavorful red tea is known to have many health benefits, including being loaded with antioxidants.
Update: On further visits, we enjoyed the Zanzibari Vegetable Curry, Indian Bread service with Naan bread (so much better if you can handle wheat) and Kheer (rice pudding) for dessert. Unfortunately, the Chana Tikka is no longer available.
The staff is very accommodating to guests with special dietary requests. The chef even came out to talk to us about our menu selections and even offered a few new suggestions. Now that's great service!
Our waiter was fantastic as well. No fuss was made over any substitutions and we were ensured of the gluten and dairy- free status of our choices.
Aside from the deliciously unique African & Indian inspired menu offerings, the real highlight of a visit to Sanaa is the amazing African inspired dining room and the peaceful views of the savanna.
Be sure to request a window seat so you can enjoy an up close look of all different kinds of wildlife roaming the tropical savanna. You may see zebras, giraffes, ostriches, and more.
We originally headed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to try out the Boma Flavors of Africa buffet. To our disappointment, they were not open for lunch. On the bright side, we found Sanaa, one of our new favorite restaurants in the Orlando area.
Sanaa is an exciting restaurant to incorporate into your Disney vacation dining plans, whether or not you are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (which is very beautiful and worthy of a stay in itself).
A diverse menu of wonderful African and Indian foods, exceptional service, unique African art, and of course, wonderful views of the free roaming animals in the savanna, make Sanaa more than worthy of a visit during your Disney vacation.
Note that reservations are recommended as Sanaa is a very popular tourist dining choice.