*This dining experience took place in December 2015.
Sanaa, located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village, has long been one of my favorite restaurants on Disney property. I’ve often referred to it as a hidden gem of a restaurant, and in many ways, it still is. However, the word has definitely gotten out about this African and Indian inspired restaurant, which proves that good food and great atmosphere will bring guests to even the more remote locations on Disney property. It’s that good!
On this particular occasion, I had lunch with my friend Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando. You can read her full review of our dining experience at Sanaa on her blog.
Like most Disney restaurants, Sanaa now carries an allergy friendly menu for both lunch and dinner. Both Alexis & I looked over the options, as there were some new dishes added. Because many of the sandwiches were not listed, I asked if I could speak with a chef to discuss potential gluten free and dairy free sandwich options.
Chef Marilyn came out to greet us, and she answered any questions that we had about the menu. She did let me know that I could get either a Local Oven bun or the house-made gluten free and vegan naan as a wrapper for my sandwich. Of course, after hearing about the naan recipe update, I couldn’t pass up getting a naanwich!
First up, was the Indian style bread service. This is a must at Sanaa and even more so now that they have a newly modified gluten free and vegan naan. Using Cup4Cup’s dairy free Wholesome Flour Blend, the naan was a huge improvement on this visit from the previous version made with Bob’s Red Mill. Though I liked the BRM version (it was more like a cracker/flatbread), this one with Cup4Cup was actual pliable! It’s the little things in life that make me excited and naan that actually bends is one of those things!
This version was delicious and paired really well with the accompaniments. My favorite dips include the mango chutney, coriander chutney, red bell pepper hummus, and tomato-date chutney. Ever the condiment queen though, I adore pretty much all of the dips they have at Sanaa.
My sandwich took a bit of extra time to make, so while we were waiting, Chef Marilyn sent out a Sanaa salad sampler. The salads included: Watermelon and Fennel, Chickpea and Cucumber, and fresh fruit. The chickpea, cucumber, and tomato salad is one of my favorites, and I could eat it all day. It’s very light and refreshing.
I also ate the fruit, though I prefer the pineapple, grapes, and apples over the melon included in this dish.
And, the watermelon, cucumber, and fennel salad went to Alexis and her daughters. Oddly, I really dislike watermelon, so I happily gave it to them. They all enjoyed it, though no one was a big fan of the fennel, as it often has a sharp licorice taste.
For my entree, Chef Marilyn suggested the Peri Peri Chicken Sandwich. Served on the gluten free and vegan naan with pickled red onion, rocket (a bitter lettuce), tomato, and a side of sambal mayonnaise, this sandwich was outstanding. The chicken had been marinated and grilled and was cooked perfectly. No dry chicken here. With the warm naan and the sambal mayonnaise, this sandwich might be my new favorite lunch item at Sanaa. The naan versus a gluten free bun is absolutely the way to go too!
For my entree side, I was given roasted regular and sweet potatoes. These are a wee bit bland but topped with sambal mayonnaise were quite tasty.
As always, Sanaa hit this lunch out of the park. I’m so impressed by the latest version of the gluten free and vegan naan. To have a truly pliable and tasty bread made my dining experience here even more magical. And, the fact that you can get the naan as a sandwich bun substitute is pretty magical too. Naanwich for the win!
I can’t wait to go back soon for lunch or dinner. I literally could eat at Sanaa once a week and be a very happy Disney camper.
Have you been to Sanaa? What was your favorite dish here?