Sanaa is located on the lower level of the lobby at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village. The restaurant itself is worth checking out, regardless of whether or not you're dining here...its seriously gorgeous. The dining room is decorated with African art and artifacts, and has a very intimate feel to it. The ceiling is decorated to resemble a canopy of trees, and soft lines differentiate one banquette from the next. In addition to all the fantastic artwork the view here literally can't be beat. The windows look out over the Sunset Savanna and toward Jambo House. The animals on the savanna are often times just a few yards from your table!
Sure, the atmosphere is spectacular, but I cannot survive on atmosphere alone! In the end its the delicious food (veggie friendly!) that keeps me coming back to Sanaa. Though I seriously enjoy all of the vegetarian offerings here, the bread service is one of the most amazing things at Walt Disney World!
So, the deal is, there are five different Indian and African breads and nine different accompaniments in the bread service. You can either choose three breads and three dips for $8.99...or do the smart thing and get three breads and all nine dips for a mere $10.99. Seriously...thats two dollars extra for six extra accompaniments! Why not, right?!?!
You're bread choices are naan, garlic-ginger naan, spiced naan, onion kucha, and pappadum. The bread choices do change from time to time, (we're still lamenting the loss of our beloved paneer partha!) but lately these options have been the norm. Of these we really love the garlic-ginger naan, spiced naan, and onion kucha. The naan is cooked in a traditional tandoori oven, with beautiful charred edges, and perfectly chewy. The flavor descriptions are true to form. The garlic ginger is exactly that, while the spiced naan packs actual heat! The kutcha has a mellow caramelized onion taste and a good textural contrast to the naan.
If applicable, the pappadum is a great vegan and gluten free option!
The accompaniments in the picture above (left to right, top to bottom...) are cucumber raita, coconut chutney, garlic pickle, mango chutney, tamarind chutney, spicy jalapeño-lime pickle, roasted red bell pepper hummus, coriander chutney, and red chile sambal. This is where things get interesting. In theory I should love the coconut chutney, but this chutney has a weird subtle soapy flavor that is hard to ignore. The coriander chutney, which I love at most Indian restaurants is incredibly forgettable here, unfortunately.
Besides the few disappointments, the rest are pretty great, with a few stand out items. I'm absolutely in love with the jalapeño pickle! The peppers are pickled in oil, and maintain a subtle heat that doesn't over power. The raita, on the other hand provides a refreshing break from all the other bold flavors, and is a perfect sauce to mix with the others. (try double dipping raita and tamarind!!!! Yum!)
Despite this restaurants cult following it remains an under populated "hidden gem." It is super easy to get a walk up meal on any given day. If you haven't had a chance to dine at Sanaa, do yourself the favor and make the journey to Kidani Village ASAP!