For anyone who likes exotic food, Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge is great place to try. It is one of Disney’s Signature Restaurants, a premier dining establishment with a unique decor and design elements. For instance the lighting on the back wall of the restaurant changes to simulate the sunlight of the African sunset – pretty clever. Overhead, you will see good luck birds that are there to bring you good fortune. The restaurant can be somewhat noisy, however compared to most Disney restaurants it is definitely less noisy than most. It is still a relaxed atmosphere as you would expect in an upscale restaurant.
While their menu offerings are quite pricey, most entrees range from $30 and up, they do offer something that I feel is a real value – their flat breads. A flat bread can be a meal in itself, it all depends on how hungry you are. Priced at $11 each, I find that to be extremely reasonable. Keeping in mind, next door at The Mara you would pay something like $9-10 for a quick service flat bread of the garden variety – like pepperoni or cheese, nothing so exotic as you will find at Jiko. They are the perfect size for a light meal, and if you are a wine aficionado, they will certainly have a something to thrill your palate.
They currently have two on the menu, the Peri-Peri Roasted Chicken and the Roasted Cauliflower.
As seen on the menu:
Bhuna Masala, Roasted Cipollini Onions, Lamb Chopper Cheese, and Mitmita Gremolata
Peri-Peri Roasted Chicken
Lime Chakalaka, Lamb Chopper Cheese, and Pickled Sweet Bell Peppers
Both are absolutely delicious. The Peri-Peri Chicken is slightly spicy with a little tang, it looks like dark meat chicken, the flavors meld together into its own thing – it’s not really describable. For anyone who can not eat spicy food, I would not recommend this one. With the Roasted Cauliflower you can taste the roasted cauliflower as well as the onions and cheese, with an underlying sweet flavor from the roasted veggies and spices. I would say that the roasted cauliflower is definitely sweeter and the peri-peri chicken is more savory. I can’t pick a favorite. We order one of each and share them, problem solved, they go really well together.
Save room for dessert, for a delicious treat head over to The Mara and grab a 4 pack of Zebra Domes. Mmm.
Lastly a couple tips:
You can eat at the bar area without a reservation, dress code would still be enforced. (No hats, no tank tops, no swim wear, etc)
You can order these flatbreads “to go” at the bar, you can take them back to your room to enjoy – although they will taste best if eaten hot and fresh to the table. They will lose their crispness if boxed up.
You can use your Tables In Wonderland discount at Jiko, even if you are getting a to go order. (They will still discount and add gratuity though. But you would still save roughly 2% off your non-discounted bill.)
You can purchase a bottle of wine at The Mara, white, red and even rose, prices starting at about $15 and up, bring that back to your room and get your flatbreads to go. A huge money saver – at Jiko wine is typically $9-13 per glass.
Jiko closes at 10 pm.
You might get some heartburn from the spices.