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Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge
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Table service restaurant featuring "New African Cuisine", South African wines.
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 10 ( Displaying Reviews: 1 - 10 )
4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   April 26, 2008
Reviewer: OneForTheTeam Boston, Massachusetts     May 02, 2008
This is the fourth time my wife and I have eaten at Jiko in three years and they have yet to let us down. They are absolutely one of the best restaurants in WDW.

This time we tried the flatbread and the ostrich appetizers. Both were very good, but the ostrich could have been pork.

Our entrees, the Berbere Braised Lamb Shank was very good and the Braised Beef Short Ribs are to die for. I hope they never take the short ribs off the menu.

The service at Jiko is very good. The waitstaff know their wine, too. Our waiter did an excellent job of pairing a glass with each course.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   June 18, 2007
Reviewer: Chicago Wookiee Chicago, Illinois     July 29, 2007
Date: Monday June 18, 2007 with 9:20pm ADR.
Meal: Dinner.
Diners: Two adults.
Service: Attentive and friendly.
Price: $166 for two including wine and tip (used credits from our premium dining plan).
Value: Slightly overpriced.
Food: Good food served hot and quite attractive.
Atmosphere: Has a nice warm feeling but lacks some excitement and class for a high-end eatery.

First thing you need to know is that those on the Disney Dining Plan will be required to use two credits for each person. Those on the Disney Premium or Platinum Dining plans only use one dining credit. We made our reservations a full 180 days out and then changed to a later time just 80 days out without issue. When we arrived a couple had entered just ahead of us and was told that they had no spots available for that evening but did have available times just a few days out.

We were checked in for our ADR and seated within just a couple minutes. Our table was located near the front and close to the kitchen entrance right next to the wood burning oven. Our waiter engaged us soon after we sat down and focused in on some of the wine selections of which we settled on two glasses of a red wine that ended up being a little too strong for our liking.

For appetizers we ordered the Taste of Africa (Kalamata Olive Hummus, Durban Tikka Masala, and Malay Spinach-Lentil Dip with several breads) and the Maize and Sweet Potato Tamales. The spreads were quite good with the hummus being mild and the other two being more flavorful with a more complex array of spices. For the description of corn and sweet potato tamales I was surprised how much I liked them with a perfect balance of flavors and moisture to make everything come together quite nicely.

First entrée was the Chermoula Roasted Tanglewood Chicken that was not very memorable and had a plain flavor. Second was the Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon with macaroni and cheese that was better than expected with a thick rich cheese used with the macaroni and the meat was perfectly cooked and quite tender.

Desserts were good but we were filling up quickly. The first dessert was the Jiko Dream Pyramid that consisted of white chocolate mousse inside a dark chocolate pyramid with roasted banana and pineapple that was very rich and also quite beautiful to look at. We also had the Pistachio Crème Brulee that was layered with a fine cookie chocolate bottom. This crème brulee is not at the top on the list of our dessert favorites at WDW but the unusual chocolate bottom made it different enough that I would consider ordering it again.

There were almost no children there creating more of a quiet and more romantic setting and we were allowed (if not encouraged) to linger over our meal. The complete dinner took just under two hours and was one of the most relaxing meals we had on the trip. Some of that may have come from the late ADR we made but the warm atmosphere and service would be the same most any time.
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/28/05
Reviewer: burnell316 Elizabethtown PA     December 07, 2005
Dined at Jiko on October 28, 2005. The waitress, the appetizer, the dinners, and the desserts were among the best I have even experienced. The server was very attentive and knowledgeable. The flatbread appetizers were extraordinary. My wifes entrée of African Grains was all vegetarian and with bold unique spices and flavors. I had a spicy shrimp dish that was simply marvelous. The Crème Brule dessert was on a chocolate layer and was one the best desserts I have ever had, and I had never really liked Crème Brule before this! Jiko is a well rounded dinning experience, far FAR superior to the over-hyped lousy California Grill..
8 out of 10 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   February 2005
Reviewer: karenrobertson Boca Raton, FL     October 10, 2005
I have eaten in Jiko twice and will never go back. On our last visit the restaurant was complete chaos. Every family in the hotel with young children decided to eat at Jiko. The reason is that the wait is not as long as Boma and they have 6 different children's items on the menu. I don't object to children in the restaurant but on this visit they were all out of control. There was food on the floor under all the tables. It was incredibly noisy. When you pay $150 for a dinner for 4 you don't want to leave feeling as if you just ate in an elementary school cafeteria. Also, this restaurant used to have wait staff from South Africa. They were pleasant and efficient. But it seems they have been phased out in favor of the sour local workforce who don't care much about customer service.
5 out of 16 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   November 11, 2004
Reviewer: Joanna Virginia     December 02, 2004
This restaurant was incredible--definitely our favorite of the entire trip. We loved it so much that we made it a point to return again before the trip was over. We did not do appetizers here but went straight for the entrees. I ordered Pomegranate Glazed Quails - stuffed with North African style colusari rice on Swiss chard and braised beet salad, with pomegranate dressing. It was SO GOOD! I loved it. The rice was prepared as a stuffing and included sliced almonds and raisins. It was scrumptious and the quail was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and topped with these wonderful, crispy beet curls. This was the first time I had eaten swiss chard and I loved it. I have since prepared beets and swiss chard together at home with a dressing of pomegranate juice and it is really good. I wish I knew how to make those beet curls. DH ordered the Baked Buttermilk-Curry Shrimp - with crisp jade rice-spinach cake, and Sagh Dhal drizzle. He said it was delicious. We also like watching the cooking ovens and the wait staff was so good to us. The restaurant was quiet and beautiful and we really loved strolling out to the savannah afterward to view the animals. The Animal Kingdom Lodge was our favorite resort that we visited. Price for the meal for 2, including tip, $66.72. We visited this restaurant again on the last night of our trip. We skipped the appetizers and went straight to the entrees again. DH ordered the Grains, Peas and Veggies which included black garbanzo peas, kamut, wheat berries, quinoa, pearl and black barley with roasted vegetables and seared tofu. He liked it very much but preferred the coconut crusted tofu he enjoyed at the Brown Derby to the seared recipe. I ordered the Quail again and it was even better the second time. The pomegranate flavor was more pronounced this time and the rice stuffing did not include the raisins but only almonds. For dessert, DH enjoyed the Jiko Sundae - three ice creams...vanilla, amarula and chocolate with meringue dots, chocolate sauce, malted whipped cream and chilled espresso. He asked them to leave off the peanuts in deference to me (I'm allergic ;-)). Total price for 2, including tip was $63.92. We enjoyed a shopping spree in the lodge gift shop after supper. I had to have that stuffed leopard I saw ;-)
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   5/2002, 10/2002, 5/2003
Reviewer: homecallrn West Virginia     November 09, 2003
My friend and I have eaten at Jiko at least 4 times in the last 1 1/2 years and it is by far our favorite restaurant at WDW. The decor is that of contemporary sophistication making it an ideal adult dining location. Upon arrival you can imediately detect the aroma of exotic seasonings wafting through the dining area. For starters we have tried the "cinnamon spiced beef roll", "lentil pastilla" and the African dips and bread. We have also had the "Brentwood corn soup" and the "Cucumber,tomato and red onion salad" and they are all awsome. All the starters we have tried have been excellent and when we return we have difficulty deciding which yummy appetizer to select. As far as an entree,my friend really enjoys the "Oak-grilled filet mignon" with its uniquely flavored fact, he mentions the delicious taste of that sauce several times during the year even when we are not at WDW. A favorite of mine is the "grains,peas and veggies" which, as well as having a delectable flavor, has a great variety of textures (it is made up of some ancient exotic grains such as quinoa, kamut and wheat berries with tandori tofu). We have tried several of the desserts and found every one to be excellent. We highly recommend Jiko and hope you find the experience as memorable as we do. We are returning to WDW in 3 weeks and as I write this review I am already contemplating my options.!!!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   10/28/2003
Reviewer: poweraap Millburn, NJ     November 03, 2003
The decor at Jiko is very impressive. It has a very sophisticated, adult atmosphere which is nice when looking to escape the craziness of the parks. Our server was extremely knowledgeable of the wines and the menu. She recommended two bottles, a white and a red, which were both fantastic. For starters, we ordered the Cinnamon Beef Roll, the Taste of Africa Dips, and the BBQ Chicken flatbread. One of the dips, the sundried tomato hummus, was excellent. However, none of our party really cared for the other two which both were very heavy on the coriander and cumin. We thoroughly enjoyed the other two starters. For our next course, we ordered the Cucumber, Tomato and Red Onion salad which is served with a watermelon vinaigrette. This was terrific - and very refreshing. Between the 5 of us, we sampled most of the entrees. The scallops and the filet mignon were the favorites. The biggest complaint is that everything is cooked with tons of coriander which seems to overpower everything else in the dishes. For dessert, we had the Apple Galette, which was tasty but was hard to chew, and the Tarzanian Chocolate Candies, which was delectable. Overall, the dining experience was pleasant and a lot of fun, although this type of cuisine is definitely not a favorite amongst the bunch.
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   Aug. 17/03
Reviewer: Joytotheworld Orillia, Ontario, Canada     October 11, 2003
Service was excellent
Very expensive with relatively small servings
Food was good
Disappointing very modernistic, abstract atmosphere

When we entered this restaurant, right off the bat we were a little disappointed with its decor. I had expected something a little more African in theme, along the lines of Boma's African marketplace flair. Instead what we got was this very modern, abstract art type of establishment. The service was excellent and our server did bring a complimentary dessert to honor a special occasion we were celebrating. I had the beef filet which was okay but nothing spectacular and my son had the lamb which was of about the same quality as the beef. There was nothing wrong with either of our meals but nothing particularly right about them either, especially taking into consideration the exorbitant prices they charge. We had a far better meal for half the cost next door at Boma. As with the decor, I had expected their menu to feature some unique traditional African dishes and instead found most of their offerings to be more European in nature and not very out of the ordinary.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   December 10 2002
Reviewer: akdisney Laguna Beach Cal.     December 27, 2002
Jiko = the Cooking place
date: tuesday 10 , 2002
monday or any time If have rain all day you will need a Ps.
Dinner @ 6:00 pm
The review before me said the wine selection anywhere in the world, with endless selection of unique south african wine try by the glass. I have to said that is a true.
The room is set off in yellow and gold colors make it look like african plands. The air is clear so you can smell your food of the plates. baker bread and two kitchen one too make bread and appetizers and the anothere to do the entrees taste of a open fire pit. I start with the Duck firecracker (hot "spring rolls with Hoisin dipping sauce and Jicama-apple slaw $9.50) the dipping sauce realy so good I ask for more. I ask the waitress what is good and she like the Monkfish. Pan roastes Monkfish (with vegetables of the morment, crispy parsnips and tomato butter sauce $24.25) the sauce is die for. Desserts have the chocolate symphony (white chocolate-amarula mousse, chocolate creme brulee and chocolate-banana bread pudding with banana-caramel sauce) the desserts name said it all (symphony of aromas and tastes. Favors of the food so good you will hate to go any where.
Now down to service, waitress will help you in choice of food and wine. se was on the ball onthe sevice. One Con I was seat by the enters to main kitchen and the namming of entrees out. The african wine have a full favors and body to the taste buds.
closeing the food is te best of african favors you will have. a place is a must togo.
the weekend is some time is pack and will need set up a PS
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   April 2001
Reviewer: susieqintexas Texas     August 01, 2002
Amazing surroundings! The best wine selection anywhere in the world, with a endless selection of unique South African wines that can be tried by the glass. The aroma of all the wonderful seasonings are completely in the air from the moment you enter the restaurant and you will definitely taste these aromas in every dish you try. It is an experience not to be missed but is certainly a special occasion.
3 out of 7 people found this review helpful
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