A couple of days ago I published my Animal Kingdom Lodge review so I figured now is a good time to do the restaurant review for our table service meal there. I mentioned that the food at AKL was what I was most dreading. I'm a major chicken when it comes to trying new food. I live in Northeast Arkansas. Yes, we have Mexican, but not real Mexican. Yes, we have Chinese, but not real Chinese. Yes, we even have an Indian restaurant, but I've never been there. Like I said, cow, chicken (only white meat), pig, lots of cheese, no weird spices, and don't mix sweet and savory and I'm good.
We had originally booked Boma, mainly due to the high review of the zebra domes (and I'm glad we didn't eat there just for them considering when I had them at Mara, the food court, they were gross) and the fact that it was a buffet so I could get chicken strips and mac and cheese off the kids menu if everything else looked too scary, but the more I read about it, the more scared I got and switched to Jiko.
Oh, and again, crappy pictures ahead, so prepare yourself. I can't verify in a lot of the cases what we ate because the menus have been updated since I can't "cheat" by checking allears.net like I usually do. I always make pages in my little book to write food, but I never get around to doing it, so again, I'm sorry!
Jiko is a signature restaurant (which, if you remember, uses two dining credits instead of one), so I also had to change around quite a few other reservations and that also means it's business casual dress, but I'm OK with that. I kind of prefer at least one "nice" dinner.
Jiko basically shares the lower level of AKL with Boma, the two restaurants split only by elevators and bathrooms, but both had a very different feel. Boma was open and loud whereas Jiko was enclosed and felt quiet (even though it really wasn't, it was just as loud in the main area).
they are most noted for their collection of African wines (which we didn't try), most of which are on display around the restaurant:
We were seated in a little nook of a room that was quite nice, with a server who managed the entire room (but he was very attentive):
He tried taking a picture of us, but my camera apparently didn't like him:
I'm going to show food and drink pictures, but I can't for the life of me remember what the names of these are. It's been too long so sorry! I know the first drink I ordered was NASTY:
but the one I switched it to was much better and kept getting replenished:
This was Kate's appetizer, it was some sort of African spring roll with duck I think (I don't eat Donald):
I went with the African bread and dips. For both the dip and bread, the two I thought I would hate I loved, and the two I thought I would like were nasty, so I pretty much ate half of both. Might be the first time I've ever had a hummus that I liked (and probably the last...I have issues with the texture of food as well and that smooth creamy thing makes me gag a bit).
This was Kate's entree...again, I have no clue what she ordered, maybe she can shed some light:
I went with the signature steak. It's pretty famous, but they recently stopped serving it with mac and cheese (you can still request it, which I did). It was amazing! There is nothing better in the world than cheese and cow blood!
Desert was also hit and miss. I don't think Kate liked hers much and for some reason I don't remember, she also ordered a banana. The server had to go on a bit of a scavenger hunt to find it, but he was a good sport about it and thought it was funny:
To be honest, I don't remember much about my dessert either, but I think I ate it:
I also don't remember where this came from or why he brought it:
(worst review ever, right?).
Overall, I do remember that I did enjoy our meal there and I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting to hate it. Granted, I did stick to the "safe" options, but I'm still proud of myself for venturing a bit outside my comfort zone. I think maybe I had a bit too much to drink (which is probably why I remember so little about the menu). Afterwards we went to Victoria Falls (the bar above Boma) and drank more, so there you go. I don't usually drink so much during dinner, but it was nice there, we had good service, and overall the food was good, so why not! Hopefully Kate can fill in the blanks a bit on the meal though, so check the comments. I'll do better with the next food review, promise!