Animal Kingdom

Last night we got to preview the Magical Dining Month menu at Jiko- The Cooking Place and we were super stoked to be the first ones to experience a Walt Disney World restaurant participating in Magical Dining Month for the first time since Magical Dining Month started 12 years ago.  The additional five participating Walt Disney World restaurants this year are: The Wave, Grand Floridian
Café, Boatwright’s Dining Hall, The Turf Club Bar and Grill, and Olivia’s.

Magical Dining Month
3 courses – Appetizer, Entrèe, and Dessert
Price: $35 per person
Over 100 + participating restaurants
Beginning August 25 through October 1
This year, $1 of each meal from Magical Dining Month will benefit two charities – Freedom Ride & BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Last year, Magical Dining Month raised almost $200,000 for charity!
Click here to view menus and make reservations

During our dinner at Jiko- The Cooking Place, we learned that modern African contemporary cuisine stretches throughout Africa from all over the entire continent.  A lot of African recipes are passed down through word of mouth with no written recipe through generation by generation and even then it has it’s own twist. Over time the dishes has morphed into its own creation.  As always, I love their creativity at Jiko – The Cooking Place and respect their storytelling of the African culture through food, drinks, and decor.

Magical Dining Month items at Jiko- The Cooking Place

Appetizers


Jiko Salads
– Epcot land pavilion greens, stone fruit, pistachio halva, grilled halloumi cheese, apricot ginger dressing

Inguday Tibs in Brik – Mushroom, spinach, cheese in crispy Tunisian filo, apples, curry vinaigrette

Entrèes

Bo Kaap Malay Seafood Curry – calamari, red shrimp, mussels, coconut curry sauce, saffron rice

Botswana-style Seswaa Beef Short Rib – Cassava-potato purée, sambal, baby carrots, and mushrooms

West African Koki Corn – Mushrooms, poblano-tomatillo purée, roasted red pepper sauce

Desserts


Malva Pudding
– Melktart ice cream, kataifi, kanu tuile, Cabernet gelée

Safari Sunset – Carrot cake, cornbread calamansi, and lemon cremeux, Kenyan coffee streusel, citrus gel, valrhona dulcey mousse, candied carrots

At Jiko- The Cooking Place you will discover the culinary magic produced when creative chefs take traditional African dishes and add hints of European, Indian and Asian flavor and flair. The resulting cultural communion is a delectable cuisine we call New African.

To book Magical Dining at Jiko- The Cooking Place, please visit the restaurant website below or call 407-WDW-DINE.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge 2901
Osceola Parkway Orlando, FL 32830
Phone: (407) 939-3463
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom-lodge/jiko-the-cooking-place/

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DSC03019“Tiffins” is an indian word to describe a lunch box used by travelers for a light meal during the day. Tiffins, the restaurant, is meant to showcase the experiences of the Imagineers as they travel the globe to research and design the unique park of Disney’s Animal Kingdom here in Orlando, Florida.

DSC03014We began our journey in the Nomad Lounge, and like Tiffin’s it also focuses on storytelling. Each hang tag above the bar are from guests’ own anecdotes that inspires the cocktails on the menu. They can be purchased for 1.00$ and 0.85$ will be donated to Disney’s conservation funds.
DSC03002This was recommended to me by the staff at Guest Relations as he raved on about how much he loves Tiffins. The Hightower Rocks has bits of lime leaves, sweet and sour mix, house watermelon batch, and silver tequila. Definitely refreshing!

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We start off with our first course. On the left is the salad of Roasted Baby Beets with goat cheese crema, walnut granola, and sun-dried cherry vinaigrette. Then it’s the Sustainable Seasonal Fish Crudo, which currently is the Japanese Hamachi with a roasted corn salsa.
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Our second course is the Black-Eyed Pea Fritters with Zhough Yogurt and Peppadew Puree. DSC03050Marinated Grilled Octopus with an artichoke barigoule, saffron aioli, lemon-caper olive oil.  The Octopus had been sous vide for about 5 hours and then quickly tossed on the grill for a nice char.

DSC03055For my main entree I chose the Whole-Fried Sustainable Fish. This one happens to be a Yellowtail Snapper with fermented black bean sauce, Som tam, and peanuts.
This dish is quite familiar to me and brought out a comforting feeling. The fish was light and mild with the perfect texture. I thought it was genius to set up the fish the way it is on the plate as well, usually it’s laid on one side. However, with the fish sitting up, one side of the fish did not get dull and soggy while the other side remain crispy.

I was able to snap some of the other guests main entree choices as well.

DSC03069Grilled Head-On Prawns with tomatoes, roasted fennel, olives, and sea urchin butter sauce.

DSC03061Hosin-Glazed Halibut with forbidden rice, swiss chard, and turmeric sauce.

DSC03060Berbere-Spiced Lamb Chop with mustard greens, lentil stew, and tomato-mint jam.

DSC03073We approached the end of dinner with a teensy cup of Mustang, an Ethiopian inspired coffee made with brown sugar, butter, and Crown Royal. Definitely perked me up a bit.

DSC03085Dessert was a sampler of Calamansi Mousse (front), Lime Cheesecake (left), Passion Fruit Tapioca (back), and South American Chocolate Ganache (right). My favorite would have to be the lime cheesecake. I’m usually not a lemon/lime dessert fan but the flavour was so delicate that I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

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The magical aspect about Disney’s signature restaurant is that you forget you’re still in the little town of Orlando, Florida. The incredible details of sculptures and rich stories that are offered along with the dining experience really have you believe that you are one of the imagineers traveling the world. DSC03030

The travel-inspired artwork includes a static, three-dimensional piece that features prayer flags blowing in the wind. “As our research team traveled up the high mountains of Nepal, the winds were strong,” explained O’Brien. “The prayer flags are rarely seen hanging, they are always blowing.” This portrayal of the motion is realistically captured in the display which will hang above a corner booth in the Trek Gallery.

“Tiffins is not about a make-believe place, it’s about real people and places,” said O’Brien.

 

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