*This dining experience took place in July 2015.
Sanaa located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village has long been one of my favorite restaurants on Disney property. I’m such a fan of all types of Indian-inspired food, so I’ve always been impressed with the palate of flavors that Sanaa presents its guests. I love how approachable the food is, despite being a bit exotic for most folks. And, it doesn’t hurt that they offer amazing gluten free and dairy free offerings, set in one of the most gorgeous restaurant settings at Disney World.
On this particular visit, my mom and I stopped by for lunch during a very full day of shopping in Orlando. Shopping clearly makes me hungry, and I couldn’t think of a better place to grab a bite than Sanaa. It’s been ages since I’ve been, so it was long overdue.
After we were seated, I was given one of the new allergy friendly menus that have been appearing throughout the Disney restaurants. The first thing that popped out on the menu was gluten free AND vegan naan. WHAT!? Yes, you read that right, gluten free and vegan naan. Sanaa has long been serving a gluten free naan, but it has been very dairy-filled, which meant I had been still eating falafel chips.
Of course, ever the skeptic, I asked to speak with a chef, as I was very curious if this bread was really gluten free and dairy free, or if this was too good to be true. Chef Michelle let me know that it was indeed gluten free and vegan. The restaurant now uses Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour instead of cup4cup. I hadn’t planned on ordering bread service that on this visit, but gluten free and dairy free naan. I had to have it.
We ordered the full bread service with all the dips (minus the cucumber raita which contains dairy), and I was excited to see 5 pieces of naan available with the bread service. This girl loves a good carb, especially one smothered in delicious dips and chutneys.
Overall, I have to say, I was pretty pleased with the naan. It was a bit more like flatbread, rather than traditional naan. But the flavors were delicious, and the chickpea flour, in this instance, works really well with the Indian flavors. They were also piping hot from the oven (which is where they prepare them), so I enjoyed immensely. My favorite dips, of course, continue to be the coriander chutney, mango chutney, and the roasted red bell pepper hummus. These are my hands down musts every time I order bread service. I also enjoyed the pickled garlic and the tomato date chutney a lot too. My verdict on the naan? Really good (not amazing but really good), and something I wouldn’t hesitate to order again.
For my entree, I went with the Durban Shrimp and Goan Seafood Curry. I have to admit, I still very much miss the green curry shrimp and wish it was still around, but I do also really enjoy the Goan Seafood Curry. The first time I tried it, it lived up to its goan (aka spicy) name, but since then it’s become very toned down and is quite mild, in my opinion. Which works perfectly with the spicy Durban Shrimp which is ridiculously but deliciously spicy. If you do not like spicy food, avoid this one.
Overall, I was really pleased with my meal at Sanaa. It’s hard not to love everything about this restaurant – from the food, the special diets accommodations, to the atmosphere. All that was missing on this visit was an African Starr Mint Mojito.
Chef Michelle said the dinner menu has changed quite a bit, so I can’t wait to check it out sometime soon, especially so I can order the bread service again. They are also working to tweak the recipe, so I can’t wait to see how it changes and evolves. If you’re curious about other folks’ thoughts on the new gluten free and vegan naan bread, check out Alexis’ review from Gluten Free in Orlando!
Have you been to Sanaa? Are you looking forward to trying the new gluten free and vegan naan? What about the other offerings on the menu?