Jiko is one of Disney’s best signature dining locations and is located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. First, let’s start with the outstanding service here. The wait staff is top-notch and goes over the top to make sure you have an extra magical experience. The menu here is full of exotic offerings like buffalo and wild boar. In addition, there is a robust wine offering all from South Africa. Let’s take a look at our full Jiko dining review.
Jiko the Cooking Place Quick Breakdown
- Service: Sit Down
- Type of Food: Game, Steak, Seafood
- Price: $$$$
- Location: Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney Dining Plan: Yes, 2 Credits
- Discounts: Tables in Wonderland, Annual Passholder
- Good For: Romantic, Special Celebrations
- Menu: Official Disney Menu
A Tour Around Jiko
A look at the inside of Jiko restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
The restaurant is filled with details that celebrate African culture. Note the wheat sheaths represented in the floor tiles with the beautiful white African birds flying above you. It’s a perfect setting for a romantic date. Oh and don’t miss the hidden Mickey that the ovens in the back make.
The menus were a work of art! And the napkins were so unique the theming here is amazing.
Dishes from Jiko
Here is a look at the dishes we tried from our dinner at Jiko. Before we even started our meal they brought the table a cold African tea which was refreshing and had a sweet tinge to it. A perfect way to open up the palate and start your meal. This is included complimentary with your meal here.
Our meal started with these delicious rolls. They were an update from our last visit. I wasn’t wild about the seasoning in the new butter but the roll itself was fresh and good.
When we returned in 2022 the bread service had been updated to a rice bread.
Mushroom Leek Flatbread
We decided to start our meal with the mushroom leek flatbread. It was the perfect starter and it wasn’t so filling that I couldn’t have my meal. My husband enjoyed it as well and he isn’t even a big fan of mushrooms.
Duck Confit and Honey-Raisin Flatbread
This flatbread is topped with Preserved Duck, Rocket, Toasted Chickpeas, Mozzarella, Plump Raisins, Harissa, and Spiced Honey. This starter is a must-do if you are coming to Jiko the duck confit is just melt in your mouth perfection! If the duck is scaring you don’t let it. It was my first time having duck and I definitely would get it again. Many other reviews rave about this flatbread and now I firsthand know why.
We had to branch out and try a new soup! This is a Spice Route-inspired Squash Soup and I LOVED it! I was a little hesitant over the squash because the soups can be too creamy and too filling. I had to save room for my steak after all! This soup filled with Calabaza, Ginger, Pumpkin Seeds, Apple Chips, Sumac-scented Crème Fraîche was perfection though. It wasn’t too filling and I basically ended up polishing the whole thing off on my dad, who originally wanted the soup in the first place and I was supposed to share it with him.
On our latest trip to Jiko, my husband opted to be unadventurous and ordered the filet. I must say I was a bit jealous because this is one of the best filets I have ever tasted on Disney property. The oak grill taste really comes through and gives it a unique taste. It’s paired with some of the creamiest mac and cheese I have ever had. It was an extremely mild mac and cheese so no need to worry about it being too sharp.
In a past visit, right before closure, we discovered that they have updated the filet option on the menu to come with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Fear not though since the filet with mac and cheese was so popular you can still order it! Which is exactly what I did. My husband tried out this one with the mash potatoes. He said it was good but was happy he was able to sneak some mac and cheese off my plate.
I went with the maze crusted Tile Fish. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I ordered this item. Tile Fish is very mild and much like Halibut. I loved it but the tomato sauce is what makes this dish, it belongs on everything. Make sure you save some bread from earlier because it was perfect when dipped into the sauce.
The Malva pudding is what we went with for dessert. The dessert includes Melktart Ice Cream, Kataifi, Kanu Tuile, Cabernet Gelée. To translate basically there are two cakes soaked in a delicious liquor and served with some ice cream on a crunchy nest.
We had some birthdays we were celebrating and the whole table was surprised with their own birthday dish! The chocolate mousse in the middle was my absolute favorite!
Jiko Dining Review Recommendation
Jiko the Cooking Place is a must do signature dining spot at Disney World. It offers a perfect romantic setting for a top-notch meal. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is just one of my favorite hotels because it offers so much history and detail. Either before or after your meal, be sure to tour the Lodge and step out to the viewing areas to see the animals on the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s savannah. Not only is the food one of the best but our waitress went so above and beyond and just made it all the more memorable. We have since been back and had a different waiter who also just was so attentive and went so beyond for my entire family.
If you are a vegetarian looking for a good spot to eat this is a fantastic option with their fish selection and fresh veggies.
I hope you enjoyed our Jiko dining review. If you have eaten here before, share your experiences in the comment section below.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!
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