Sanaa, Sanaa…*

During the next-to-last weekend in August, my brother and I met up with my sister in Orlando, FL. She’s a huge Disney fan and also a member of their Vacation Club, so we stayed at one of the Disney Resorts: The Animal Kingdom Lodge. She’s normally stationed in Japan and was stateside for a short time, so it was easier for all of us to meet her there instead of having her hop from place to place.

The really cool thing about staying at the Lodge, especially the recently-opened Kidani Village, is that you can see animals roaming around outside almost everywhere you go…

Feeding Time!


Before heading home, my sister and had a huge lunch at Sanaa, an African-Indian fusion restaurant located in Kidani Village. Don’t confuse it with the Yemeni City.

Like most Disney Theme Parks and Resorts, a high amount of attention is paid to ambiance and detail. Below is a picture of one of the booths at Sanaa. Fortunately, the restaurant wasn’t that crowded:

One of the Booths at Sanaa

As usual when I have a lot of food shots, the actual edibles/potables are after the jump…

To start with, we had the bread service where you can have your choice of three breads paired with your choice of three sauces. We went for a double order of naan (a generally leavened flatbread cooked in a tandoor and served brushed with ghee) and paneer paratha (a stuffed, unleavened South Asian flatbread).

Might as well face it…you’re addicted to naan… (with all apologies to Robert Palmer).

We ordered roasted red pepper hummus, cucumber raita (a yogurt-based dip), and mango chutney to go with our flatbread.


Loved the mango chutney… it was sweet with a kick. The raita was as cooling as most I’ve had. The hummus was OK, but my least favorite of the three..

My sister and I essentially ordered the same thing: A choice of two slow-cooked items and a side. Here’s how my order looked:


We both ordered beef short ribs and multi-grain pilaf as our side. The short ribs were tender and well-spiced…


The pilaf was colorful…not to mention tasty!


I ordered the chicken with red curry sauce for my other entree. I was taking a bit of a risk since I generally don’t like things too spicy, but this dish was actually mild (as well as flavorful).


My sister’s other entree was shrimp with green curry sauce. Perhaps the sauce had coconut milk or yogurt, too…?


Since both of us couldn’t decide on a single dessert to have, we split a dessert sampler, which contained mango pudding, eggless chocolate cake, and cardamom-butter cake.


A good amount, but not too much dessert… While I liked all three offerings, the mango pudding and the chocolate cake were my faves. If I do end up back at Sanaa, I know what I’ll order if I do take up dessert again (well…depending on what I’m craving, It’s not guaranteed to be the chocolate cake)…

What kind of chocoholic are you, then? One who appreciates other flavors, apparently…


The weekend naturally went by a little too quickly, but Sanaa definitely made sure it ended on a high note. I had enough food that I really wasn’t hungry for the rest of the night…not necessarily a bad thing if you wanted to avoid standard airport/food court fare. The restaurant’s attention to detail was also apparent in their dish preparation and presentation (previously pictured). That Sunday’s lunch was a definite contrast to the seemingly thrown-together salad with greens and rubbery “grilled” chicken at Sea World’s Aquatica Water Park the day before. (Though the greens were pretty, I didn’t take a shot of that…)

* with Bonus Silliness:

Doo, doo de doo, doo…


About A. Random Hapa

Thirty-something. INFP. Librarian. Brain Tumor Survivor. Hobbyist Singer. Amateur Photographer. Foodie. Craft Beer Fan. Unrepentant geek.

Posted on September 12, 2009, in eating out, travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Nom, nom, nom! Why didn’t I see the rice pilaf on the menu? I had stupid white rice with my short ribs for some reason… hmph… 😉 I think Sanaa’s going to fade a bit compared to the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s other dining offerings, but it’s perfectly fine with me if it becomes a quiet spot that always has a table available. And a wine flight.

    Don’t Worry, AJ… I probably wouldn’t have caught the pilaf as an offering myself it weren’t for my sis… Who knows? Thanks to its relative distance to everything else, Sanaa might end up on the updated “Best Disney World Restaurants Without A Reservation”…and that is fine by me.

  2. I like the way the food is presented. And paneer paratha sounds interesting. I’ve never had that.

    Sorry for the delay, Judith! I think that was the first time I’ve ever had anything other than Roti or Naan with Indian or Indian-inspired food, too. ~S~

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