We return to my favorite overall restaurant on property in Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village to try what may be surprising new offerings in its quick service breakfast and expanded to-go offerings.
Kidani, and the 492 Villas that came with it, opened back in 2009.
And the semi-independent resort has not offered a hot breakfast in recent memory with just grab-and-go pastries, croissants, and the like available upstairs at the resort store in the early mornings.
And while guests could walk/drive/bus/van over to Jambo House and then walk through the lobby and outside over to The Mara for breakfast each morning, I don’t think spending 15 to 30 minutes doing so first thing is what most people have in mind on vacation.
But that changes with the new Kuamsha Breakfast, currently offered from 7am to 10am.
Here’s the menu:
Prices are in line with other quick service offerings. At All-Star Sports and most other Value and Moderate resorts, the standard Bounty Platter with Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Potatoes, Bacon, Sausage, Biscuit, and small Mickey-shaped Waffle will run you $9.49.
And this is about what that looks like. Over at The Mara, their Croissant Sandwich – Cheese Omelet and Bacon served on a Croissant is $6.49. A similar sandwich here is 50 cents more expensive.
At Sanaa, your breakfast experience begins just inside the entrance with a selection of bottled beverages that include orange juice, bottled water, milk, chocolate milk, sodas, apple juice, tea, and coffee. Note that those with refillable mugs and a desire to start the day with an 8am Diet Coke will want to stop at Johari Treasures upstairs to fill up as only 20-ounce bottles are available at the restaurant.
Next up is a hot plate with the $3.79 Warm Ceylon Cinnamon Roll. Ceylon cinnamon is a variant of the “fake” cassia cinnamon that most of us are accustomed to using with a more subtle sweetness backed by cloves. A Boerewors Susage & Egg Bobotie Pie, which is compared to a quiche on the placard in front, sits next to it. Further down is oatmeal with the toaster in the middle for the bagels or whatever else you think you can fit inside.
Fruit Plates, Yogurt Parfaits, and Banana Bread are available.
Finally, fresh fruit, bagels, croissants, muffins, and other pastries are offered.
Then there is a register where you pay for anything you picked up and can put in an order for any of the items that fall under “Casual Dining – Quick Service” on the menu. Several cast members were there to assist. After putting in our order, we were given the numbered giraffe above. Seating is open, so you can sit wherever you want, whether you want to cozy up to an available table that looks out over the savanna or something more remote away from the majority of the people closer to the windows.
I stole this picture from the table next to us where they received Elephant #50. You can see how close you are to the savanna grass.
I appreciated the fact that the food was delivered to the table on “real” plates rather than having to wait around for it to come out in to-go cartons or something. Breakfasts at a lot of the resorts are a busy, ruckus affair, where piles of food sit under heat lamps at one of six different stations.
Our breakfast was nothing like that, though it remains to be seen how popular the offering becomes. Disney hasn’t actually announced anything as far as I know and the menu and breakfast hours don’t appear on Disney’s site.
But with fewer than 500 Villas, many of which have full kitchens, and three hours of breakfast service, it seems unlikely that the restaurant will fill anywhere near capacity. And if worse comes to worse, you can hide away in the bar area or take the food back to the room or over to my condo. If you’re staying at the resort with one of the more expensive view types, then the morning view probably isn’t a very big deal anyway.
Hot food will take a few minutes to materialize, so those starving from blogging all night may want to grab something available in the meantime. You don’t want to perish before your bobotie or sosatie.
This is the $3.79 Banana Bread with House-made African Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. First and foremost, it seems virtually impossible to me that they are not just serving Nutella. I am not sure what has to be added to another product before it becomes “house-made,” which doesn’t mean a whole lot more than American Kobe. If you have Nutella and add one grain of salt, one grain of sugar, some oxygen, and a molecule of water is it any different than mixing up a pie filling with five major ingredients in different combinations? If you switch two steps in one of my touring plans do you have an original recipe?
Anyway, the Nutella tasted like Nutella. Second, the banana bread was a little dense for my personal tastes, but it caused the four small slices to “feel” more substantial. And Nutella is 100 calories per tablespoon and they give you at least three in the cup, so this is something like 500 calories for under $4. Anyway, it’s worth consideration if you can’t wait ten minutes for the rest of your food, but might be superfluous otherwise.
This is the Boere Breakfast – Two Farm Fresh Eggs served any style, Tomato Chutney, Tanzanian Hash Browns, Boerewors Sausage, and Bacon. It certainly looks better on the plate than any Disney World resort quick service breakfast that I’ve ever been served.
And I think the quality was higher too with the eggs having more of a “freshly scrambled” texture to them than the egg vat you find at most other locations.
The bacon was thick cut, crispy, and meaty. I previously reviewed the sausage in my last dinner review, which is available here. “The recipe actually hails from the personal kitchen of one of Sanaa’s South African chefs, so you know you’re getting authentic flavors here. The texture was perhaps coarser than I was expecting with a lot of clove and allspice, but was mild overall.” No word on whether or not the Nutella is also from her pantry.
The Tomato Chutney is not particularly visible in the cup, but can be spread on anything you like. It was sweeter than I remember Boma’s being, but that contrasted nicely with what is largely salty breakfast food. The “Tanzanian” Hash Browns had some herbs in them that gave them a more complex flavor than your typical Denny’s offering.
Overall, it was an intelligently put-together, nicely plated breakfast for nine dollars. I’m not sure how you could really fault it.
I tried the $8.99 Fruit Sosatie with Quinoa and Dried Fruit Salad. “Sosatie” is typically meat served on skewers and I think the word is used rather liberally here to refer to what is fruit instead.
I took a look at the skewer and briefly considered what I thought a couple of the more “exotic” fruit bites might be. One turned out to be green apple. The other was honeydew. But the fruit, which would have amounted to a small bowl, but is infinitely more fun served on a stick, was largely fresh and flavorful. Quinoa, which is largely bland and dry on its own, was livened up nicely with the dried fruit mixed in. Overall, it was a pretty light meal for $9, but vegetarians and those with small appetites will appreciate the option. It was nicely executed.
One thing that did disappoint was the number of animals out on the savanna. I will admit that while I visit Animal Kingdom lodge seven or eight times a year, it’s often in the afternoon for lunch or to look around after visiting a theme park first. There might have been three animals visible over the entire savanna during our meal, which started around 9:45am and ended around 10:15am.
Overall, Kidani Village guests are in for a treat with the new breakfast options. Those staying at Jambo House that want to try something a little different than The Mara, and don’t want to spring for the cost or the amount of food at Boma, might consider heading over on a lazy morning. On the other hand, I don’t think rushing over here from Jambo early and then trying to make rope drop somewhere is going to be worthwhile for most guests.
Hopefully the high quality food, reasonable prices, and peace and quiet will continue.
Dave, the co-author of our highly rated Disney World guidebook and the primary author behind yourfirstvisit.net, joined me for lunch at Sanaa back in July.
Here’s the menu back then, which is the same as the menu is now:
Perhaps with the exception of the “Potjie Inspired” entrees, the prices here are largely reasonable with no other entree coming in over $20.
Drinks and the Bread Service:
The power of bread service compels you.
What was a bigger innovation? MyMagic+ in its entirety or Sanaa arranging the accompaniments from least to most spicy?
$14 buys you five pieces of freshly baked bread along with incredibly flavorful, very different dips, spreads, and sauces. This is easily shareable and extra pieces are available for around $2.50 each. Order it no matter what.
This time around, I tried the $16 Kenya Coffee BBQ Sandwich – Pulled Pork with a Warm Root Vegetable Slaw.
The pulled pork was lean, flavorful, and subtly seasoned on its own and those flavors were intensified further by the rich coffee undertones of the sauce on top. I appreciated the fact that the pork could have easily stood on its own and just enough sauce to adequately cover the meat was spooned on top. The root vegetables provided a contrasting crunch to the soft, but substantial bread underneath. You would be hard pressed to find a better sandwich in the ~$16 range I think. Although Homecoming’s Fried Chicken Sandwich does come to mind.
I’m not sure the side of Sanaa Chips is anything to write home about, but they are crunchy and have a basic salty profile.
Dave went with the $26 Potji Inspired lunch, which includes two choices out of the ten available, in addition to a choice of Basmati or Five-Grain Pilaf Rice.
This is the Paneer Tikka – cheese in a mildly spicy curry sauce.
And the Roasted Okra-Cashew-Tomato Stew, another smart vegetarian dish.
Me wondering when it’s time to go back to Sanaa.
Overall, quick service breakfast at Sanaa is a big win no matter which way you look at it. If you’re the sort of person that just wants to pick something up right quick, you’ve got several new, freshly made items available to you. For those staying at the resort that historically had to schlep elsewhere for eggs or eat up precious morning touring time checking to see if Casey’s Corner is currently serving breakfast, this should save some time. And for those that usually prepare breakfast in the room, this provides a nice option to take a morning off and let someone else do the cooking.
I’ll see you there.