*This dining experience took place in June 2014.
Sanaa is one of those restaurants at Disney that I can dine at again and again. With Indian and African inspired flavors, there’s just something about it that keeps me coming back. The quality of food, the variety of gluten free and dairy free offerings, and the price make it one of the most delicious and affordable restaurants on property. Between this location and Boatwright’s, I have to say these are both my picks for affordable and quality special diets meals and are among my most favorite restaurants at Disney.
On this particular occasion, I stopped by for lunch. I had heard that there was gluten free naan being served at Sanaa now, and I was hoping to find out more information about whether or not it could be made gluten free and dairy free. Seeing Gluten Free in Orlando’s review made me really want gluten free naan!
I was greeted by Chef David, who has helped me on many occasions and has done a great job making sure I have delicious and safe offerings. First thing, I asked about the gluten free naan. Unfortunately, it does contain dairy, as they are using Cup4Cup as the base (a gluten free flour mix that has dairy in it) and additional dairy products. Rats! Here’s hoping that in the future they might be able to make a gluten free & dairy free version as well. I definitely expressed that I’d love to see it.
One of the things I love about Sanaa is that they have special diets menus for certain special dietary needs. It’s great because i get a gluten free menu and a dairy free menu and can easily cross-reference which items are safe or not. Sanaa is one of several restaurants that carries these types of menus. You can check out a full listing on my menus page.
We decided to get bread service to split at the table and ordered all 11 dips and sauces. We asked for double orders of red pepper hummus at my request because it’s amazing! Honestly, I ate an entire dish of it myself! You know me and my dips! Ever the condiment queen! The table was able to get regular naan and I got lentil pappadums. Some of the other dips I love include mango chutney and coriander chutney. But the dips in general are delicious and flavorful! Some of spicy so check with the chef if you’re worried about spice level.
For my entree, I chose the chicken vindaloo and the goan seafood curry — both of which are new menu items. I asked about the spice level as vindaloo is traditionally very spicy. Chef David said that the Durban shrimp would be the spiciest option on the menu, and since I know the spice level of this very well from previous meals, I decided to try the vindaloo.
I have to say that I really enjoyed both of these entrees. The chicken vindaloo wasn’t that spicy at all and very flavorful. A rich gravy with chicken that paired perfectly the other entree choice – the goan seafood curry, which I particularly enjoyed. This dish tasted like it had coconut milk and lemongrass in it. Flavors I love a lot, as a fan of Thai curries. The seafood included shrimp and fish, all of which were well cooked.
I don’t normally get dessert at Sanaa but I really wanted to try the new tapioca pudding with chai spiced berries that replaced the Bamboo Rice Pudding. It sounded interesting, though I have to say I was a wee bit skeptical of tapioca pudding. It makes me think of the bland tasteless pudding of my childhood.
I have to say that I also really enjoyed this as well! The tapioca was unlike any that I’ve had before, I really enjoyed the chai spiced berries. They were the perfect accompaniment to the dish. The fresh berries on top were also quite nice. I will say, as a caveat, if you are not a fan of mushy textures, you might want to avoid this dessert. It’s definitely a creamy delicious version of tapioca, but it’s still tapioca at the end of the day which means it’s texture will be a bit mushy.
Overall, I had a wonderful meal at Sanaa and I’m looking forward to going back again soon. I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad meal there. And considering how much I eat there. That’s saying a lot!
I’d give this a solid 9 out of 10.
Have you been to Sanaa? What are your favorite dishes?