*This dining experience took place in June 2014.
Nestled in Harambe in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park lies Tamu Tamu. Serving up quick service fare with an African twist, this restaurant has a limited menu with a few special diets offerings. They also have recently added a Pineapple Soft Serve which many have been wondering is a full fledged Dole Whip.
This was the first time I’ve ever dined at Tamu Tamu, and I wasn’t sure what offerings were going to be available to me. I didn’t get a chance to pop by the Garden Kiosk (aka Food Allergy Information Kiosk) in Discovery Island, but I have to say that it’s my go-to when looking at quick service in the Animal Kingdom outside of my staple dining spots.
As you can see by the menu, it is rather limited in terms of offerings. I’m actually slightly bummed because they did have two dishes previously served that might have been gluten free & dairy free and actually sounded quite yummy:
- Slow-cooked Chicken Curry – mild African-spiced chicken curry served over Jasmine rice
- Vegetarian Curry – roasted vegetables and tofu served with Jasmine rice
These have now been removed and the menu has been replaced with more traditional offerings that were actually on the menu before the curry dishes were added. I was hoping that they might be able to serve house-made chips gluten free & dairy free too (which I’ve heard rave things about).
When I arrived, the cast member at the cash register gave me the allergy binder to look at. I asked if I could speak with a manager, and she was a bit hesitant to get them, noting that the binder had the information; however, she did not know if there was a dedicated fryer for the chips or other substitutions for dishes.
Once the manager came out, he went over some of the options for me, which were relatively limited. The quinoa salad sounded good but it does have feta in it. I settled on the Roasted Chicken Salad – diced chicken and dried fruit blended with mild African spices, served with tomatoes, and apple slices. It normally comes with pita but they served it to me without it. I also asked if they had any substitutions for the apple slices, and the only other option is carrot sticks (both pre-packaged). I personally prefer grapes, but that is partially because I have some issues with apples and having Crohn’s disease.
During the time while I waited for the manager I took the time to check out the DOLE Pineapple Soft Serve ingredients. I kept hearing that this was not gluten free, let alone dairy free, and I was definitely curious. Thankfully, both the ingredients and the team at DOLE Soft Serve have reached out to me for clarification and ingredients (and good news for us special diets folks!)
Here are the ingredients (photo taken with permission of the cast member) of the Pineapple Dole Whip at this location.
The best image I got was a little blurry. However, thanks to the team at DOLE Soft Serve, here is the ingredients list from their website. The allergen noted at Tamu Tamu Refreshments is coconut. You can compare the ingredients photo from January 2013 here on the site, and the Pineapple Dole Whip ingredients are the same. DOLE Soft Serve’s website notes: Fat-free. Dairy-free. Gluten-free. And Lactose-free, and suitable for a Vegan diet. DOLE Soft Serve is manufactured by Kent Precision Foods Group. You can find out more information from the DOLE Soft Serve website. Thank you again to the team at DOLE Soft Serve for the detailed information!
I did not inquire about dedicated soft serve machines at Tamu Tamu Refreshments or if any other flavors of soft serve were present, so readers will want to check with cast members about this, particularly for dairy in vanilla and chocolate flavors (if they are served at this location, which I cannot confirm at this time).
Once I got my chicken salad, we grabbed a seat in the Tamu Tamu eating area which is quite lovely and peaceful. I have to say, in the summer though…it’s pretty hot! Thank goodness it’s slightly shaded and covered. On top of that the chicken salad was really refreshing on a hot day.
As far as tastes goes, the chicken salad was just OK. I was did enjoy the bright flavors and the dried fruit. I was hoping (as a fan of curry and African spices) that the flavors would be more pronounced but they were definitely very mild. Don’t be afraid to order this if spice isn’t your thing. This tasted like a regular chicken salad with some dried fruit in it.
One of the things I might have to get the next time I’m there is the fruit salad served in a half of a pineapple. Not only is it a huge portion but the fruit variety is awesome and it looks really refreshing. And anything in a pineapple is OK by me!
Overall, I wasn’t wowed by Tamu Tamu but was glad that they had at least an option that I could get. I can’t say I would frequent this location and will likely stick to staples like Flame Tree BBQ or Restaurantosaurus. To read about Tamu Tamu from a non-special diets perspective, check out Jambo Everyone’s blog post.
I’d give this a 6 out of 10 for a few, but limited options.
Have you been to Tamu Tamu? Will you go there to check out the pineapple Dole Whip?