Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sanaa Lunch - Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas

Today, my daughters and I had lunch at Sanaa at Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas.  Sanaa is one of our favorite restaurants at Disney World for both lunch and dinner.  You can read my dinner review  here.  

I received the lunch menu for people with wheat allergy/gluten intolerance when we were seated.  As you can see, we had a lot of options to choose from.  Sanaa also has a dairy free lunch menu that you can view here on my friend Sarah's blog, Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  

Sanaa features African cooking with Indian flavors, and if you have a window table like we did, you get to watch the animals while you dine.

I already had my heart set on a couple of menu items before we even arrived.  One of my wonderful blog readers emailed me last week that Sanaa was now serving gluten free naan.  Many thanks to Christine for the tip!  The naan was not listed on the gluten free menu, but Chef David said he could make it for me, and told me that it is made with Cup4Cup, my favorite gluten free flour.  Cup4Cup does contain dairy, but Sanaa has gluten free, dairy free pappadum for GF/DF diners.  I have enjoyed it at Sanaa on previous visits, and it is available at Boma as well.  

My girls and I ordered the Indian-style Bread Service with nine accompaniments and gluten free naan.  We had 8 gluten free accompaniments to choose from, but decided on the red chile sambal, coriander chutney, mango chutney, and roasted red bell pepper hummus.  My two favorites are the coriander chutney and the roasted red bell pepper hummus, which my daughters love as well.  I also like the mango chutney, but I wouldn't order the red chile sambal again.  

After eating the 3 pieces of naan that were served with our platter, we still had a lot of accompaniments left, so we ordered two extra pieces of gluten free naan.  It was really amazing!  My gluten-eating daughters loved it as much I did.  They said it was just as good as any gluten-filled naan they had eaten.  For me, it tasted exactly like the naan I used to eat before I was diagnosed with celiac.  

My twins and I also shared a main course, choosing two of the slow-cooked dishes served with basmati rice.

The beef short ribs were tender and flavorful.

My girls adored the butter chicken.  Now I know what to order for them the next time we go to Sanaa for dinner.

Both the beef short ribs and the butter chicken had incredibly flavorful sauces, and neither was too spicy to scare off my daughters.

For dessert, I could have chosen mango sorbet with fresh berries, or tapioca pudding with chai-spiced berries, but I decided on the seasonal kulfi, which I can best describe as an ice-cream like dish.  The seasonal kulfi today was actually strawberry, but Chef David said he also had pineapple, a new flavor they were working on.  My girls enjoyed eating my butterfly, that was made out of white chocolate.  I give this dish an A+ for presentation and taste.  Do you see the smiley face?  Next time we go to Sanaa for dinner, I am hoping to try their gluten free bread pudding.  I asked Chef David about it, but he said they hadn't made any yet on the day of our visit.  

My girls decided to pass on dessert at Sanaa in favor of gluten free zebra domes from The Mara at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  You can read my review of The Mara here

I walked out of Sanaa with a huge smile on my face, because every part of our meal was incredibly delicious, and I had just eaten naan at a restaurant for the first time since my celiac diagnosis six years ago.  I think we will be going back again very soon! 

August 5, 2014 Update

My daughters and I went to Sanaa for lunch today.  We ordered the bread service again, but this time with six pieces of naan and some new accompaniments.  I loved the garlic pickle, because it was a little bit sweet and didn't have too strong of a garlic taste.  Chef David also brought us out a side of African olive oil with herbs, which was quite good as well.  For an entree, we shared the butter chicken, which my daughters just devoured.  We all loved dipping our naan in the butter chicken sauce. 

For dessert, I chose the banana kulfi, which is actually on the kids menu, because I thought I would prefer that over the strawberry kulfi.  It was served with a strawberry sauce on top, fresh berries, leaves made out of chocolate, and a lemon mint sauce.  It was as delicious as all the other kulfis I have tried at Sanaa.

October 8, 2014 Update

I had lunch at Sanaa today with my friend Jennifer, who also has celiac.  We both started with the seasonal soup, which was curried corn.  I loved that it was slightly sweet, with a little spicy kick.  Jennifer and I also ordered the Indian-style bread service, and kulfi for dessert.  I was shocked to see that papadum was no longer listed as an option for the bread service.  Chef David explained that there were issues with the supplier, but Sanaa is now offering gluten free and dairy free falafel chips instead.  

January 14, 2014 Update

My daughters and I had lunch at Sanaa over Christmas break.  We always start with the Indian-style bread service with nine accompaniments, with lots of extra gluten free naan, but on this visit, I decided to make it my lunch.  Trust me when I say that four pieces of naan covered in both mango and coriander chutney (my new favorite combination) is plenty to eat for lunch.  

My girls always share the bread service with me, and split a butter chicken.  

I am never one to pass up dessert at Sanaa, no matter how full I am, so I was excited to learn that the seasonal kulfi was still pumpkin.  I first tried the pumpkin kulfi at dinner, when we dined at Sanaa the night before Thanksgiving.  It was just as good as I remembered, and I was really excited when Chef Carroll told me that it will be around for a couple of more months until Sanaa's next menu change.  

April 1, 2015 Update

Sanaa's seasonal kulfi is now coconut.  Not being a fan of coconut, I asked what kulfi was being offered on the kids' menu, and was told it was pineapple, so I ordered it.  Here's a picture of the beautiful kulfi that arrived at our table.  

I gave my kids the dark chocolate leaves, then took a bite of the butterfly.  As soon as I realized it was a cookie, I panicked a little bit, thinking I had been given a gluten-filled cookie.  I called our server over, who went to double-check on the cookie.  She came back and told me that it was gluten free, then she noticed that my kulfi didn't look like pineapple, though it did have pineapple on top of it.  She asked me to take a bite, which I did, and we both realized that it was the coconut, though it did not have any noticeable coconut taste at all, leaving me to wonder if it is made with coconut milk, and doesn't contain shredded coconut.  This is the first time at Sanaa that I was asked by a server if I wanted the chef to come to the table, and I said no, because we have eaten there so many times.  I found myself regretting that decision after what happened with my dessert.  In the end, I was told that they didn't have pineapple kulfi.  I have no idea if they were out of it that day or if the kids' kulfi is also coconut.  Overall, our service was pretty poor on this visit, which has never happened at Sanna before.  On the bright side, we enjoyed our Indian-style bread service and butter chicken.

Here are the current gluten free options at Sanaa for lunch:

Indian-style Bread Service (falafel chips or naan served with three or nine accompaniments) - red chile sambal, cucumber raita, coriander chutney, mango chutney, garlic pickle, spicy jalapeno-lime pickle, roasted red bell pepper hummus, coconut chutney

Appetizers - chana tikki, tomato soup, seasonal soup

Salad Sampler (choice of three salads) - kachumbari, seasonal fruit chaat, chickpea-cucumber-tomato, and watermelon-cucumber-fennel

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple & Well-seasoned (choose two/served with basmati rice) - butter chicken, chicken vindaloo, beef short ribs, spicy durban shrimp, goan seafood curry

Sanaa Vegetarian Sampler (choose two/served with basmati rice) - seasonal greens & tomatoes, lentil dahl, paneer tikka, seasonal vegetable wat, chickpea wat

From the Tandoor Ovens - tandoori chicken  or shrimp served on naan with minted greens, tomato, onion, and cucumber raita

African Cooking with Indian Flavors - grilled lamb kefta served on naan, grilled Angus chuck burger served on naan, today's sustainable fish, grilled beef sirloin 

Desserts - mango sorbet with fresh berries, tapioca pudding with chai-spiced berries, seasonal kulfi

July 21, 2015 Update - you can read my most recent lunch review of Sanaa here.

You can make advance dining reservations for Sanaa, and view their lunch and dinner menus on Disney's website here.  

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Sanaa?


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