Tuesday, December 29, 2015

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

This review was updated 5/10/16

Yesterday, my daughters and I had lunch at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas with my friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  Sanaa is a table service restaurant featuring African cooking with Indian flavors, and great views of the animals on the savanna outside.

Sanaa is one of my family's favorite restaurants at Disney World for lunch and dinner, and is featured in the following blog posts: My Favorite Table Service Restaurants at Disney Best Disney Restaurants without a Park PassBest of 2014 - Disney, and two posts in my series The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney - Gluten Free Appetizers and Gluten Free Desserts.

Sanaa has an allergy-friendly menu that lists dishes that are safe for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  Before the new allergy-friendly menus were introduced at Disney World this year, a chef would come to your table to discuss your dietary needs, but now, they will typically not visit your table unless you ask to speak to a chef.

Menus updated 5/10/16

Gluten free options on the allergy-friendly menu include the gluten-friendly vegan naan and accompaniments (cucumber raita, roasted red bell pepper hummus, tamarind, mango chutney, tomato-date chutney, coriander chutney, garlic pickle, red chile sambal, and jalapeno-lime pickle), salad sampler (chickpeas with cucumber and tomato, watermelon, cucumber and fennel, Nigerian root vegetable and citrus), shrimp tinashe, Potjie-inspired choice of two with basmati rice (braised beef, butter chicken, spicy durban shrimp, chickpea wat, or paneer tikka), Tandoori chicken, and grilled beef sirloin steak.  Some of the sandwich options on the regular menu can be made gluten free with the use of Sanaa's gluten free naan, or a Local Oven gluten free roll.  If you are interested in ordering a sandwich, just ask to speak to a chef.  You can read Sarah's review of the sandwich she had at Sanaa here.  It looked amazing!

Sanaa recently changed their gluten free naan recipe again, and it is a change for the better.  The new allergy free naan is made with Cup4Cup Wholesome Flour Blend, which contains brown rice flour, white rice flour, ground golden flaxseed, rice bran, and xanthan gum.  The naan also contains yeast, sugar, cream of tartar, kosher salt, Chaokoh coconut milk, and warm water.  The new naan is way more pliable than the previous gluten-friendly vegan naan made with Bob's Red Mill all-purpose baking flour, and it tastes much better.  It is still not as good as the first version of the gluten free naan made with Cup4Cup original flour blend, but I really enjoyed it.  You can view Sanaa's original gluten free naan recipe here.

Instead of being served directly on the wood cutting boards Sanaa uses for gluten-filled naan, the top 8 allergy free naan is served on top of a plate to protect against possible cross contamination.  Whether you order three or nine accompaniments, the Indian-style bread service comes with five pieces of naan.  Sarah and I split a bread service with nine accompaniments, and I chose two each of my favorites, the mango chutney and the coriander chutney, which I like to mix together.

We also ordered the roasted red bell pepper hummus, which my daughters love, tomato-date chutney, and tamarind.

Because I planned on eating three pieces of naan with my favorite accompaniments, I ordered an appetizer for my entree.  I chose the shrimp tinashe with pepper-glazed shrimp, nhopi, apple-coriander chutney, pickled jicama, and chili sambal.  This was one of the best dishes I have ever had at Sanaa, and one of the best appetizers I have ever had at Disney.  It was sweet and spicy, and so full of flavor.  All future visits to Sanaa will definitely include this appetizer, which will make my Best of Disney 2015 list if I get around to writing it this year.

Sarah gave me the watermelon, cucumber and fennel salad from her salad sampler.  I loved the watermelon, Katie stole all my cucumbers, and no one was too fond of the fennel, because it has that subtle black licorice taste we don't enjoy.  

For dessert, I was offered tapioca pudding or sorbet, but I asked for the seasonal kulfi, which is an Indian-style ice cream.  This dessert can be made gluten free by eliminating some of the garnishes.  The seasonal kulfi is currently pumpkin with blood orange and cranberry compote, one of my favorites.  The kulfi itself is nicely spiced, and I love the cranberry compote and the sauce on the plate.  There is always a second flavor of kulfi offered as part of the kids' menu, so if you don't like the flavor being offered for adults, ask what option they have for children.  Currently, the kids' flavor is pineapple, which is just as good as the pumpkin kulfi.   

My favorite lunch entrees are the grilled beef sirloin steak with Tunisian olive oil crushed potatoes and spice route vegetables, and the butter chicken, which is served with basmati rice.  My daughters love the butter chicken, which is also on the kids' menu.  You can read more about these dishes in my last lunch review of Sanaa here.

February 16, 2016 Update

Last week, I had lunch at Sanaa with my friend Jennifer, who also has celiac.  We shared an order of the Indian-style bread service with gluten-friendly vegan naan and nine accompaniments.  Jennifer thought it was a huge improvement from the previous version of Sanaa's naan made with Bob's Red Mill flour.

We both ordered the shrimp tinashe appetizer, which is a nice small plate to enjoy after eating several pieces of naan, and it was just as amazing as it was the first time I tried it.

For dessert, Jennifer and I both chose the seasonal kulfi, which is now strawberry.  I don't like strawberry ice cream, so I considered ordering the pineapple kulfi from the Kids' Menu, but our server told us that this was his favorite flavor of kulfi, so I decided to give it a try.  Served with a lemon sauce on the side, and a wild strawberry compote on top, it was incredibly delicious.  Our server told us that kulfi is made with yogurt and sweetened condensed milk, which I did not know before this visit.

May 10, 2016 Update

Earlier today, I had lunch at Sanaa with my friend Ron, who cannot eat gluten or dairy.  We shared an order of the Indian-style bread service with nine accompaniments.  The naan was cooked perfectly, and it was heavenly smothered with coriander and mango chutney.  Ron liked both of these accompaniments, the roasted red bell pepper hummus, and jalapeno-lime pickle.

For an entree, Ron chose the Potjie-inspired braised beef and spicy durban shrimp served with basmati rice.  He said both were very good, but he preferred the spicy durban shrimp, even though it bordered on being too spicy.

I ordered the shrimp tinashe appetizer, and had strawberry kulfi for dessert.  Every part of my meal was amazing, and I look forward to dining at Sanaa again soon.

Be sure to ask for a window table, so you can watch the animals while you dine.

You can read more about Sanaa, view their menus and hours, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  

You can read my dinner review of Sanaa here, and view their new gluten free vegan naan recipe here.  

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Sanaa?


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