It has been six months since Chef Daniel Sicilia took the lead at Jiko- The Cooking Place, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Since then, the popular restaurant has also seen the addition of new Pastry Chef, Michael Craig. These two have helped the menu evolve, and the Disney Parks Blog recently highlighted some of the changes.
Jiko, or “the cooking place” in Swahili, is an African themed restaurant inspired by Disney’s classic film The Lion King. Guest may be unfamiliar with the foreign names and exotic ingredients, but the friendly and attentive staff is more than willing to elaborate on the cuisine.
The filet and short rib are always on the menu, but with seasonally changing sides, the meal will never be exactly the same. Maize-crusted fish in tomato-butter sauce has been ever present on the menu, yet has undergone a significant change now that it is prepared with perch from Lake Victoria in Africa. Some completely new dishes are Durham Ranch elk loin and Mrouzia-style lamb, as well as buttery-sweet scallops and Berkshire pork belly.
The ever popular “Taste of Africa” is “made in-house with pappadam, sesame fatir and flax seed naan, served with a variety of dips including hummus, green chermoula, goat butter and mango chutney.”
The boar, bison, and elk filled Manti Dumplings are new to the menu, and served with spicy tomato sauce and saffron yogurt. Whatever meats are being sourced for the kitchen that day will make their way to Chef Daniel’s charcuterie.
Desserts are being improved by Chef Michael, and paired with teas or after-dinner drinks. Chocolate lovers will rejoice over the new Kilimanjaro, prepared with, “chocolate mousse, pistachio financier, pink peppercorn meringue, cacao nib crunch and pineapple flavored with ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend.” Also on the dessert menu are a strawberry shortcake made with local berries, and a sweet potato cheesecake with sweet apple chutney.
Jiko was recognized with Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, possessing the largest example of South African wines in the United States. Their stock boasts wines from over 125 of South Africa’s boutique wineries.
Source/Images: Disney Parks Blog