Sanaa’s is the newest restaurant to open at The Walt Disney World Resort and its cuisine is a melting pot of tastes from the islands of the Indian Ocean that all are part of Africa – Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Comoro Islands, Mauritius and Madagascar.
These islands were on important trade routes with influences from French, Portuguese, Dutch, British, Arab and Chinese traders…The diverse spices and flavors give us an endless array of options for Sanaa.
Chef Bob Getchell
The most indelible mark on the cuisine of the region was made by Indian traders who introduced curries, spice blends and breads. Central to African-Indian cuisine is the use of the tandoor oven, essentially a large clay pot similar to a pizza oven. The tandoor provides very high, dry heat that creates a crisp outer layer and moist interior. Along with meats, a favorite tandoor oven treat is the Indian bread naan, which is slapped directly onto the oven’s clay walls and allowed to bake until puffy and lightly browned. The Sanaa kitchen will have two custom tandoor ovens.
Specialties include tandoori chicken, lamb and shrimp, slow-cooked curries, and braised short ribs. “Don’t think of curry as spicy,” said Chef Getchell, “but as a centuries-old cooking method that allows flavors to fully develop in the meats, vegetables, and sauces.” The base blend of seasonings for Sanaa’s curries include cardamom, chiles, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, coriander, nutmeg, fennel seed, cumin, tamarind, turmeric and more. The turmeric is what gives many curry dishes their characteristic yellow color.
Sampling of menu items
Mustard Seed Crusted Scallops with a Coconut Cream Sauce $8.99
Suggested wine pairing: Moschofilero, Boutari, Mantinia, Greece Spice Route Chenin Blanc, Swartland, South Africa Jardin Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, South Africa Capetown Flight $16.00
Tandoori Chicken $17.99
Suggested wine pairing: Delheim Gewürztraminer, Stellenbosch, South AfricaTandoori Shrimp $20.99
Spice-crusted Cornish Game Hen with Turnips and Cherries $17.99
Suggested wine pairing: King Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon Brouilly (Gamay), Château de Pierreux, France
New York Strip with Spinach and Mushroom Pancake served with Oven-dried Tomato Chutney $27.99
Suggested wine pairing: Truchard Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, California Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Syrah, South Australia Fairview Pinotage, Paarl, South Africa Johannesburg Flight $19.00
Wrapping it up
The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and from 5-9 p.m. An adjacent 24-seat lounge serves African wines, beer and spirits. For reservations, call 407/WDW-DINE.
Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is part of Disney Vacation Club.