Pork Pot Stickers, $8.99; Crispy Honey Chicken, $18.99; Kalbi Steak and Coconut Shrimp, $28.99; Fried Wontons, $8.99
Walt Disney World has some of the most incredible restaurants in the world, including venues that win the Diamond award each and every year. Most offer fare not unlike that found at regular restaurants around America, like steak, seafood, and Italian cuisine. If you want a truly different kind of culinary experience, make sure you take some time to have a meal at one of the restaurants in Animal Kingdom. Our personal favorite is Yak and Yeti.
Every area of the park has a different theme but for us, the Asian décor in this area of the park is a favorite. As you approach the restaurant, you’re greeted from one direction by large statues, and from the other, by the giant monkey temple, immediately setting the tone for the restaurant. You’ll want to make a stop at the Yak and Yeti gift shop, which is located just around the corner from the restaurant as you approach Kali River Rapids; there are some very unique offerings, and always great sales. Once you enter the restaurant, things just keep getting better. Every corner has a new piece of Nepalese art, or relic, or Hindu statue, or… Well, you have to see it for yourself to really appreciate it. Like many of the restaurants on Disney property, you’ll want to take some time after you’ve been seated and have ordered, to wander around and check out all of the fascinating aspects this restaurant has to offer.
This is one restaurant in which we never rush a meal. This particular visit, we started with the Pork Pot Stickers, and my partner ordered the Spiced Chai tea. She loves the tea here, because not only is it soothing, but it comes in an authentic cast iron teapot (if she could buy one and bring it home, she would). It’s just another way this restaurant blows you away – we spend time just admiring the designs on the teapot. The Pork Pot Stickers were a delicious way to start the meal. My partner doesn’t do well with spices, so we were very happy that these had no spice to them, and were all flavour. The Crispy Honey Chicken was perfect; most, sweet and crispy. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the steak and shrimp dish. I mean, we had already eaten at some of the finest steakhouses on property. But I am happy to say that this steak could hold its own against any of them. For a steak that is by definition supposed to be a very thin cut of beef, it was not tough, it was cooked to perfection and the spices were just right. The shrimp had just the right balance of coconut that gives you that hint of something exotic and fruity, while not taking away from the shrimp taste.
My partner insisted that dessert get its own category here. The Fried Wontons sounded interesting but I was hesitant. When they came to the table, my partner dug in immediately. She wasn’t sure what to expect, but the delicious skewers of alternating pineapple and cream cheese-filled crispy wontons, topped with a sweet, creamy honey sauce and accompanied by vanilla ice cream, definitely ended the meal on a high note.
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F-Food: We can’t pick a favorite. Everything at this restaurant that we have ever had has been of the highest quality you will find anywhere on property. It is always amazing to try something new that you can’t get somewhere else, and to have absolutely no regrets about being adventurous.
A-Atmosphere: Leave yourself lots of time to look around the restaurant and take pictures. The Disney Imagineers have spent lots of time and effort to make this establishment look like you have stepped out of the park and into India or Nepal. (Side note: we actually visited India and Nepal last year, and can say for certain that the detail work is superb, and takes us right back to our time in Asia.)
S-Service: Staff are always attentive and open to making suggestions for dishes if you are not sure what something will be. The restaurant was very busy, even for lunch, but the servers were on top of everything and never missed a beat.
T-Tips: Animal Kingdom restaurants are usually quite busy, so if you are booking for dinner make sure to grab a reservation for this one. If you are going for lunch, you may have better luck booking last minute. Leave your inhibitions at the door, and try something new for you and your family. You won’t be disappointed.