Jiko – A Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko – A Cooking Place is one of my family’s favorite signature restaurants at Disney World and we were thrilled to dine in over spring break. It was one of the last to reopen and boy did we miss it! Then, just a couple of weeks after enjoying Jiko with my family, I was treated to another meal with the Gold Key and Premier Advisors at Glass Slipper Concierge! Both experiences were sublime and this review covers a lot of ground on the menu. At Jiko, guests discover a delicious blend of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine where steak, chicken, seafood and plant-based dishes are infused with a uniquely bold blend of tantalizing flavors and fragrant spices.

Twin wood-burning ovens roar as subtly changing light mimics the warm red, orange and gold tones of an African sunset. Watch chefs prepare appetizers in the open show kitchen, and after dinner, stroll through the grounds of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to encounter more than 30 species of African wildlife in lush, natural habitats.

The meal begins by cleaning your hands with warm towels. Next, comes the signature giraffe bread, which is insanely delicious.

Jiko – A Cooking Place: Appetizers

Changing seasonally, the menu may include flavor bursting appetizers like imaginative brick oven-fired flatbreads and mouth-watering entrées such as oak-grilled filet mignon. Over my two visits, I tried all three of these appetizers. Every one was mouth wateringly good. My top choice would be the tenderloin. The tomato dish was also fantastic and very unique. It reminds me of one of the courses at Enchante on the Disney Wish.

  • Braaied Wild Boar Tenderloin: Creamy Pap, Chakalaka Tomatoes and Herb-smoked Oil
  • Seared Scallops with Nhopi and Groundnuts: Diver Scallops, Blistered Peanuts, Nhopi, Chestnut Cream, Fennel-Apple Slaw and Cider Reduction
  • Bevanda Tomato and Corn: Tomato Water with Corn Silk Cream, Roasted Corn, Seasonal Tomatoes, Green Apple Sorrel

Jiko – A Cooking Place: Entrees

At both meals I ordered the Filet. It is one of my favorites at Disney World and the four-cheese mac is to die for. I honestly cannot resist this meal! My second choice, after trying the others, would be the Short Rib.

  • Oak-grilled Filet Mignon: Four-Cheese Macaroni, Spiced Brussels Sprouts, and Chocolate-Red Wine Demi-glace
  • Sorghum Chicken: Sumac-roasted Breast, Carolina Gold Rice infused with Grains of Paradise, Dukka-dusted Broccolini, Peach Gastrique
  • Sustainable Fish: Pan-seared Sustainable Fish, Winter-spiced Potato, Persimmon-Cranberry Greens, Citrus Yogurt, and Fruit Relish
  • Botswanan Seswaa Short Rib: Slow-cooked Beef Short Rib, Hominy, Sea Peas, Mushrooms and Carrots

Jiko – A Cooking Place: Dessert

I didn’t have room for dessert on my family visit, but it just came out when I dined with the advisor group. :-) It was delicious!

  • Kilimanjaro: Single-Origin Ghanaian Dark Chocolate Mousse, Pistachio Financier, Pink Peppercorn Meringue, Cocoa Nib Crunch, Ras el Hanout Pineapples

Kids are absolutely welcome here. The children’s menu features pizza, grilled chicken or steak, and market-fresh fish served with ancient grains and vegetables.

Here are a few group pics before I go. This was a memorable night!

There are so many great Disney restaurants to choose from and not only do I make recommendations for each client family, but I secure the reservations as well.

Let’s Travel & My Services

As a Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, I am recognized for providing the highest level of customer service, experience, and knowledge in the industry.  I use my personal connections and firsthand expertise to craft bespoke Disney trips for the most discerning clients.  On top of that, Disney vacations are expensive and I know how to get the best value for your time and money.  If you’re looking to travel to Disney any time in 2023, NOW is the time to plan!

Most aspects of planning a Disney vacation look different and now, more than ever, it is crucial to have the most current, up to date information based on personal experience to plan your vacation. I travel to the theme parks monthly and have stayed in every single resort from coast to coast! I tour the parks the way you will be touring the parks – whether it is a “best day ever” on VIP Tour, strategizing on Genie+, or waltzing onto attractions with Express Pass, you won’t find a travel advisor with more passion or first hand experience. Let’s go there!

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