I’m so excited to finally have the opportunity to review Sanaa! I’ve heard so many great things about this restaurant, but getting reservations has been nearly impossible. Luckily, I used a third-party tool called MouseDining to secure these reservations.
This app allows you to submit your preferred reservation requests and it scans the Disney website. When the desired reservation becomes available, you receive a notification. However, the reservations fill up very quickly.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Visiting the Animal Kingdom Lodge has been on my bucket list for a while, and this was my first time experiencing the animal kingdom up close. I couldn’t wait to get there and see what all the hype was about. On this trip, I had a rental car, so I drove to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and informed the parking attendant that we had a reservation. We then found the parking structure, although it took us a couple of minutes to figure out the signs.
Once parked, we took the elevators from the structure directly into the hotel and walked down the hall to check in for our dining reservation. We were told there would be a short wait, so we were recommended to spend some time on the lookout patio. The view from the lookout point near Sanaa was absolutely breathtaking. It’s easy to see why this resort is a favorite among Disney fans.
The scenery is stunning, and being able to see the animals up close at any time of day is amazing. We saw giraffes, gazelles, other horned animals, and some peculiar birds that were quite entertaining. It was a great way to pass the few minutes until our table was ready. After a short 15-minute wait, they were ready to seat us.
Atmosphere and Interior
The beauty and storytelling of Animal Kingdom Lodge continued inside the restaurant itself. The picturesque windows offered a view of the hotel’s savannah, filled with more of those beautiful animals, some of which even interacted with nearby diners. The centerpiece of the restaurant was a magnificent tree, with branches extending across the ceiling and lanterns hanging from them.
The interior design had a welcoming and rustic feel. There was a contrast between the light plastered walls and the rich, vibrant colors of the seating and decor. The room had a lively atmosphere, with guests not only enjoying their meals but also interacting with the animals through the windows.
Menu Options at Sanaa
Once seated, we were provided with menus, although they were fairly useless to us as we had already reviewed the entire menu beforehand. However, it was still nice to have them. Since it was still early in the day, we decided to skip the adult beverages and had lemonade.
The menu at Sanaa offers a wide range of choices, making it difficult to decide. However, there is one appetizer that stands out and should not be missed when visiting Sanaa: the Bread Service. It’s the reason people come to Sanaa, and it was certainly the reason I was there.
Sanaa Bread Service
For those unfamiliar, the Bread Service is a famous appetizer available at Sanaa. It’s one of the most popular reasons people visit and is a must-try dish. The dish consists of five different breads: traditional naan, garlic naan, ginger naan, spiced naan, and onion kulcha.
Alongside these delicious flatbreads are nine accompanying sauces: cucumber raita, roasted red pepper hummus, mango chutney, tomato-date jam, tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, garlic pickle, red chili sambal, and a spicy “10th sauce” that can be requested in addition to the traditional sauces.
I must warn you, the 10th sauce is extremely hot and quite expensive. As a fan of hot sauce myself and having tried various spicy sauces, including those featured on the show Hot Ones, I found this sauce to be very hot but also quite enjoyable.
For our main entree, we decided to split a dish since the Bread Service was already quite filling. We ordered the Potjie-Inspired dish. Which comes with one option from the “Journey” section (meat-based) and one from the “Harvest” section (plant-based) served with a side of Basmati Rice. We chose the Butter Chicken and Rajma Masala, and both dishes were absolutely fabulous.
The Butter Chicken at Sanaa had a rich and earthy flavor that tantalized the taste buds. The meat was incredibly tender, practically melting in your mouth with each bite. The dish was a perfect balance of spices, with a subtle heat that added depth to the flavors without overpowering them. The sauce was creamy and velvety, coating the chicken with its luscious texture.
The combination of aromatic spices, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, created a harmonious blend of flavors that left a lasting impression. Each piece of chicken was meticulously cooked, ensuring that it remained juicy and succulent. The dish was a true delight, showcasing the artistry and skill of the chefs at Sanaa.
Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or simply looking to explore new flavors, the Butter Chicken at Sanaa is a must-try dish that will leave you craving for more.
The Masala at Sanaa was a complex and savory dish that delighted the taste buds. It had a rich combination of spices, creating a symphony of flavors that danced on the palate. The masala had a distinct hint of curry spice, which added depth and warmth to the dish.
While I personally am not a big fan of curry due to its strong flavors of cinnamon, I could still appreciate the skillful cooking and seasoning of the masala. The spices were well-balanced, allowing each ingredient to shine without overpowering the others. The dish had a savory and aromatic profile, with the spices working harmoniously to create a memorable dining experience.
If you enjoy the bold and vibrant flavors of curry, you will likely find this masala to be a delightful choice. It showcases the culinary expertise and attention to detail that Sanaa is known for.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
I highly recommend visiting Sanaa. Since reservations are difficult to secure, I suggest setting a calendar reminder when they become available for booking during your vacation window or using Mouse Weight to receive notifications for the desired reservation. You can set up to five notifications for free, and they also offer a subscription for a few dollars a month. When you visit Sanaa, be sure to try the Bread Service.
And don’t forget to ask for the 10th sauce after you’re done with the bread. The sauces are incredibly delicious and complement any dish you order. Take advantage of the extra condiments and keep them at your table. Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to our server for providing us with a great dining experience.