Sunday, August 25, 2019

Tiffins - Disney's Animal Kingdom

In July, my daughters and I had lunch at Tiffins, a signature dining restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Tiffins, which features international cuisine, is located right outside the entrance to Pandora - The World of Avatar.

When we visit Disney's Animal Kingdom, we usually dine at Nomad Lounge, because we love their small plates, drinks, and gluten free churros.

During our 8-night trip to Disney World in July, we spent three half days in Disney's Animal Kingdom, so we decided to give Tiffins a try again, because we had not dined there in two years.

Tiffins, like Nomad Lounge, is a welcome respite from the heat on a hot summer day. After weekly visits to Disney World for the eight years we lived in Orlando, we feel no pressure to rush around when we return in the summer and over Thanksgiving Break. We usually eat at table service restaurants, because we enjoy the slower pace, we feel the food quality is better than most quick service restaurants, and there tends to be more gluten free options.

Tiffins has an allergy-friendly menu that lists options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, peanut/tree nut, fish, and shellfish allergies.

You can order appetizers and enhancements from Tiffins while dining at Nomad Lounge, which is right next door.

There were so many gluten-friendly dishes that I wanted to order, but without my husband there, there was only so much food we could eat.

My daughters and I decided to share everything we ordered, except for our drinks and desserts. We had dinner reservations at STK in Disney Springs, so we tried not to overeat.

We all had a Balinese Breeze with mountain berry tea, simple syrup, and lemon juice. It was not as sweet as we prefer, so our server brought us some more simple syrup. My other favorite non-alcoholic drink at Tiffins and Nomad Lounge is the Hibiscus Henna with watermelon, hibiscus, soda water, and lime juice.

The Tiffins Signature Bread Service is not listed as gluten-friendly on the allergy-friendly menu, but it can be made gluten free if it is served with papadum, which is crispy and great for dipping. We loved the fig tapenade it was served with, and I also enjoyed the tadka, which is like a salsa. The online menu says the bread service is served with Indian-spiced tomato chutney, which I assume is the tadka. The coriander yogurt was decent, but we did not each much of it. When we ran out of the fig tapenade, I asked for the pomegranate oil that was being served to other tables with gluten-filled bread. When we ordered the bread service at Nomad Lounge the next day, we skipped the coriander yogurt, and asked for two sides of fig tapenade.

The Selection of Artisanal Cheeses can also be modified to be gluten free if served with papadum. We don't like goat cheese or blue cheese, so those were left off at our request. The chef took off another cheese because of possible cross contamination issues. That left us with only two cheeses, but we enjoyed them both. The plate had more papadum on it, but my daughters grabbed a few pieces before I managed to take a picture. My only complaint about this dish is the small amount of sweet accompaniments that were on the plate. I think they were honey and some sort of berry jam. They were great on the cheese, and I should have asked for more. I also enjoyed the spiced pistachios that were included on our cheese plate.

For an entree, we decided to share the Crispy Sadza, which is a crispy corn cake with chermoula-infused seasonal vegetables, chakalaka, and corn emulsion. This dish can be ordered with or without the pork belly, which we skipped, because it is too fatty for our taste. The crispy corn cake was delicious, and I really enjoyed the vegetables and sauces on the plate. I would definitely consider ordering this dish again on future visits.

We also shared an order of roasted Brussels sprouts with sherry bacon vinaigrette and crispy shallots. They were some of the best Brussels sprouts we have ever had. I loved that they were slightly sweet, and they were cooked perfectly. Thankfully, they can also be ordered at Nomad Lounge.

One of the main reasons we dined at Tiffins was to try their Halo-Halo dessert with sweet potato ice cream, raspberry-ginger beer sorbet, condensed milk ice cream, coconut crumble, and lime pate de fruit. The flavors and textures on the plate were all so interesting, and I loved the presentation. We all agreed that the condensed milk ice cream was our favorite, followed by the sweet potato ice cream. My daughters and I do not like coconut, so we asked that the coconut crumble be left off. I am not sure what our crumble was made out of, but I liked it, so I asked our server what was in it. When he returned from the kitchen, he told me that it was made with sweetened condensed milk, but seemed confused about what else was in the crumble. Oh well, maybe I was served the coconut crumble I did not want, but he did not want to admit it. Here and there, it had a small hint of coconut taste, like coconut milk does at times, but it did not taste like shaved coconut, which I avoid.

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at Tiffins, and look forward to dining there again on future trips. When we were given our check, we received this adorable piece of artwork to take home.

You can read more about Tiffins, view their menu and hours, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here. Tiffins is definitely a great options for gluten free dining at Disney's Animal Kingdom if you can stomach the prices. Thankfully, we were able to save 20% with our Tables in Wonderland card.

What are your favorite gluten free options at Tiffins?


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