Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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

Earlier this month, my daughters and I had dinner at Sanaa, a table service restaurant at Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas.  Sanaa features African cooking with Indian flavors, and is one of our favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World, which is why we chose to have Christmas dinner there a few months ago.  

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 allergy-friendly menus were introduced at Disney World last year, a chef would come to your table to discuss your dietary needs, but now, if you are only avoiding one of the allergens listed, they will typically not visit your table unless you ask to speak to a chef.

It is always a good idea to ask for a regular menu and an allergy-friendly menu, so you can compare and contrast them.  If you see something on the regular menu that interests you, but it is not listed on the allergy-friendly menu, ask if it can be made gluten free.  I have found that many restaurants at Disney World do not list all their naturally gluten free dishes on their allergy-friendly menus, and there are other options that maybe just need a slight modification to make them gluten free.

My daughters and I shared an order of naan with nine accompaniments.  They can both eat gluten, so they chose to eat the gluten-filled naan, which was served on a separate plate with their accompaniments.  I ordered two pieces of the gluten-friendly vegan naan for myself.

My favorite accompaniments are the mango chutney and the coriander chutney, which I like to mix together.  My daughters top picks are the mango and coriander chutneys, and the roasted red bell pepper hummus.

Sanaa's allergy friendly naan is free of the top 8 food allergens, and 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, coconut milk, and warm water.  You can view the recipe here.  Sanaa has had three different versions of gluten free naan in the past two years.  My favorite was the original recipe they created with Cup4Cup Original Flour Blend, which you can view here.  Their newest version is very good, and has a better taste and texture than the naan they were making with Bob's Red Mill all-purpose baking flour.

My favorite entree at Sanaa for dinner is the lamb shank, but it was not listed on the allergy-friendly menu.  Chef Carroll, one of my favorite Disney chefs, confirmed that the berbere braised lamb shank with hominy mash, scented greens, and tandoor vegetables is gluten free.

The lamb was absolutely incredible.  It was fall off the bone tender, and was seasoned to perfection.  I have always loved that the lamb at Sanaa is slightly sweet with an interesting mix of spices.  The portion size was huge, and I was able to share some with my daughter Katie, who loved it as much as I did.  I asked for broccolini to be substituted for the scented greens, because I was told that they taste like collards, which I do not like.  The tandoor vegetables and the hominy mash were good, but I prefer the Tunisian olive oil crushed potatoes that are served with the grilled New York strip, so I will probably ask to change up the sides that accompany the lamb the next time we dine at Sanaa.

For dessert, we all ordered the kulfi, which is an Indian-style ice cream made with yogurt and sweetened condensed milk.  The current seasonal flavor is strawberry, which is served with fresh fruit and a lemon sauce, and strawberry compote on top.  I am not a huge fan of strawberry ice cream, but the strawberry kulfi was just as delicious as all the other flavors of kulfi I have tried at Sanaa, which is why this dessert is featured in my post The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney - Gluten Free Desserts.  Sanaa does not list their gluten free desserts on their allergy-friendly menu, but other options include sorbet and tapioca pudding.

You can view pictures of the butter chicken and grilled New York strip, two of our favorite entrees at Sanaa, in my most recent lunch review here.  You can read my friend Sarah's latest lunch and dinner reviews of Sanaa on her blog Gluten-Free & Diary-Free at WDW.  

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

May 11, 2017 Update

Before we moved to California last summer, we had dinner at Sanaa.  There was no way I was leaving Orlando without a last meal at one of my favorite restaurants.  I decided to order a Malawi Mango Margarita, because it had been a stressful day walking away from our house for the last time.  I remember enjoying it, but my memory is fuzzy, because I am writing about this 10 months after the fact.

For an entree, I ordered the Berbere braised lamb shank with Tunisian olive oil crushed potatoes and broccolini, which were the perfect sides for the lamb.  This dish might be my favorite entree at Disney World.

Before leaving Orlando for vacation in Alaska, we stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village for five nights.  For the first time, we dined in Sanaa Lounge, which is first-come first-served, and has limited seating.  Several times, we ordered their delicious mango lassi smoothies, which are a frozen blend of mango puree with nonfat yogurt.  They will even make them for you to go.

My daughters need to eat three meals a day, but my husband and I do not, especially when we have had a big breakfast or lunch.  When we dined at Sanaa Lounge, I just ordered their amazing Indian-style bread service, because there was no way I could eat an entree after the meals we had earlier in the day.

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

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Sanaa?


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