Jiko Restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko Restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Dessert time!

To celebrate our graduation from the Disney College Program, Caroline and I went to the Jiko restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge.

For the holidays, DCP gave us coupon books loaded with coupons for free sodas, free popcorn, 50% off certain Disney hotels, and 50% off some fine dining restaurants, including Jiko’s. (To save money, Caroline and I usually eat before we go to the Parks or, if we do eat onsite, we always order the kids meal. So, it’s a real treat to eat at a nice restaurant using our 20% employee discount and a 50% off coupon!!)

Water feature outside the restaurant. So pretty and they light it at night.
Water feature outside the restaurant. So pretty and they light it at night.

Jiko is one of Disney’s signature restaurants, and it means ‘cooking place’. When you walk into the restaurant, you immediately notice the dozens of bird sculptures suspended from the ceiling. The whole restaurant is done in “Lion King” colors. We loved it!

Bird sculptures
Bird sculptures “flying”.
Dabo bread with spiced butter.
Dabo bread with spiced butter.

Our server immediately brought over Jiko’s delicious complimentary Dabo Bread, an Ethiopian honey-wheat bread. It’s served with a tandoori-spiced butter, a flavorful mix that includes butter, garlic, cilantro, ginger, and curry.

This restaurant was much spicier – the food more seasoned – than Sanaa’s, the other Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant that we tried last month. I had the chicken (see menu below) and Caroline had the lamb. We thought the food was very “rich”, with the chef using a lot of unusual African spices that we’re not familiar with.

My Tagine Chicken with grilled vegetables.
My Tagine Chicken with grilled vegetables.
Fancy “congratulations” dessert.

Everyone knew we were celebrating our graduation and they gave us a free “congratulations” dessert!  🙂

Drink menu was so good!
Drink menu was so good!
Caroline loved the restaurant decor!
Caroline loved the restaurant decor!

Restaurant Menu (May 2014):

Wood-fired Flatbreads
Za’atar-rubbed Lamb
Cranberry-Pear Chutney and Point Reyes Blue Cheese, 12.00
KG’s Peri-Peri Roasted Chicken
Lime Chakalaka, Lamb Chopper Cheese, and Pickled Sweet Bell Peppers, 10.00
Roasted Kubota Squash and Kalamata Olive
Cipollini Onions, Goat Cheese, and Pumpkin Seed Duqqa, 9.00

Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin
Mealie Pap, Chakalaka, White Truffle Oil, and Micro Cilantro, 16.00
Crispy Beef “Bobotie” Roll
Cucumber Raita, Green Mango Atjar, and Roasted Groundnuts, 9.00
Inguday Tibs in Brik
Mushroom, Spinach, and Cheese in crispy Tunisian Filo with Apples and Curry Vinaigrette, 10.00
Taste of Africa
African-inspired Dips with Pappadam, Poppy Seed Lavash, and House-made Naan, 9.00
Artisanal Cheese Selection
Five tasting portions with accompaniments from around the world, 15.00
Cellars at Jasper Hill Harbison
Harbison is a soft-rip
ened cheese with a rustic bloomy rind. This cheese is wrapped in strips of spruce tree’s inner bark that is harvested from the woodlands of Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont. This cheese is quite soft and has a woody, sweet flavor, balanced with note of lemon, mustard

Midnight Moon
Aged six months or more, this pale, ivory cheese is firm, dense and smooth with the slight grainiess of a long-aged cheese. The flavor is nutty and brown-buttery, with prominent caramel notes
Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert
Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert is a creamy, soft-ripened cheese made from the milk of East Fresian Ewes and a cow’s milk. Nancy’s Cambert is a meltingly smooth and butter with the texture of a triple-creme
Pecorino Toscano
Pecorino Toscano is a centuries-old D.O.C (or name-controlled) table cheese from Tuscany. This Pecorino is sturdy and nutty with a hint of salt on the palate
Smokey Oregon Blue
This cheese is cold smoked for 16 hours over hazelnut shells from the Pacific Northwest. The result is a balance of sweet caramel and hazelnut flavors that magically contrast the sharpness of the blue cheese. This is the first American blue cheese ever smoked

Soup and Salads

“Braai”-style Wahoo and Pork Belly
Arugula, Mâche, Frisée, Fire-roasted Zellwood Corn, and Almond Crisps, 16.00
North African Beetroot Salad
Toasted Sunflower Seeds, Lamb Merguez, and Herb-Buttermilk Dressing, 14.00
Jiko Salad
Bitter Greens, Frog Hollow Pears, Spicy Glazed Walnuts, Aged Goat Cheese, and Citrus Vinaigrette, 13.00
Spiced Autumn Squash Soup
Fig Crouton and Chestnut Butter, 10.00

West African Braised Beef Short Rib
Roasted Peanuts, Roasted Vegetables, and spicy Tomato Demi-glace, 41.00
Pan-seared Yellowtail Snapper
Tea-smoked Lentils, South African Lobster, and Citrus-Curry Beurre Blanc, 43.00
Chermoula-roasted Nigerian Prawns
English Pea Nage and Saffron Rice with Orange and Olive Salad, 35.00
Curry-rubbed Lamb Loin
Cauliflower Purée, Eggplant-Artichoke “Zaalouk”, and Red Olive-Walnut Tapenade, 37.00
Seared Barbarie Duck Breast
Potato and Spinach Masala, Royal Trumpet Mushrooms, and Port Emulsion, 39.00
Oak-grilled Filet Mignon
Ancient Grain Pilaf, Brussels Sprouts, and South African Red Wine Sauce, 44.00
Guniea Hen
“Doro Wot” Braised Leg and Berbere Roasted Breast, Sweet Potato, Wilted Greens, and Ancho Glaze, 34.00
Maize-crusted Corvina
Vegetables of the Moment and Tomato-Butter Sauce, 39.00
“Bunny Chow” and “Falafel”
Durban Curry Vegetables with Naan Bread, Mango Ketchup, Harissa Mustard, and Chickpea-Lentil Cake with Cilantro Yogurt, Wilted Greens, and Olive Tapenade, 28.00

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
Pecans, Rum Caramel, and Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream, 10.00
Milk Tart
Port Reduction, Figs, and Goat’s Milk Balsamic Ice Cream, 11.00
Lime-scented Crème Brûlée
Key Lime-Mango Chutney and Vanilla Meringue Cookie, 9.00
Spice Cake Crust and warm Sautéed Apples in Caramel, 9.00
Chocolate and Tea Safari
Vanilla Rooibos-Tanzanian Chocolate Cake, Free Form “Kit Kat”, and Green Tea Ice Cream, 10.00
Cinnamon-Chocolate Flourless Cake
Seasame Crisp, Chocolate Sauce, and Herb-Citrus Salad, 10.00
Artisanal Cheese Selection
Five tasting portions with accompaniments from around the world, 15.00

Coffee-flavored creme brulee with crackle cookies! Yum!!!!!
Coffee-flavored creme brulee with crackle cookies! Yum!!!!!


 Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.


Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.


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