This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.
When seeking out a special dining opportunity in Disney World, Jiko – The Cooking Place may come up. Jiko is found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and is a Signature Dining experience for those with the Disney Dining Plan. With this being a Signature Dining restaurant it also has a dress code, basically no shorts, swimsuits, tank tops or hats. This eloquent restaurant features African-inspired dishes and houses the largest South African Wine selection in the United States.
Jiko is a beautiful restaurant and is a great option for those wanting something a bit more romantic during their visit to Walt Disney World. We decided to go to Jiko for our anniversary in May.
Jiko features a separate menu that is completely vegan, you must ask your server or hostess for this when checking in. This menu changes seasonally, so if you go more than once you may see different items on the menu.
There is complimentary bread offered at Jiko and it is vegan. The rolls we were given was a multi grain bread with caraway and flaxseeds. Unfortunately they do not carry Earth Balance vegan butter so we just had plain rolls.
We decided to try a flatbread as we have heard nothing but great reviews about them. We ended up choosing the Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread and we were not let down. This item was one of the best things I have had from a Disney restaurant. The sauce used on the flatbread, the Bhuna Masala, was a nice spicy flavor. The cauliflower was the perfect amount of cooked crunchy and the onions added a nice sweetness to the dish.
For our main dishes we went with the Maize-Crusted Tofu and the Grilled Seitan.
The Maize-Crusted Tofu was very bland. The tofu had no flavor, the crust on it wasn’t crispy at all. Under the tofu there was brussels sprouts, parsnips and broccoli. The sauce didn’t add much flavor to this dish. As a whole I was very unimpressed and would not get this item again.
The Grilled Seitan was also a disappointment. We were lucky the flatbread was so good otherwise this would have been an expensive disappointment. The seitan was very doughy, not much texture to it. The potatoes were pretty unseasoned and there was a lot of oil on them. The collards were good in the dish.
Since it was our one year wedding anniversary we decided to preorder an Erin McKenna cake. We were married in Disney World, (read about it here) so we weren’t able to save our cake. We decided to order the same flavor as our wedding cake had been, Cinnamon Toastie!
We preordered our cake over the phone with the Downtown Disney Erin McKenna store. They are able to deliver their sweets to most Disney resorts and restaurants. I gave a credit card number over the phone to confirm it and when we paid for our dinner the cake was on the bill. When we first spoke to our waiter I mentioned the cake and he informed me already knew and it was sitting in the kitchen waiting for us. He seemed to be very ‘hush hush’ about it, maybe thinking the cake was a secret. This is a great way to celebrate a birthday or any other special occasion.
Would we go back?
Yes, we really enjoy Jiko’s atmosphere. The flatbread was great, I just think we’ll steer away from the tofu and seitan next time.
Corey & Melissa