Disney’s Jiko restaurant is one of those places which used to be a well-kept Disney secret. Now the secret is well and truly out, as guests have begun to realize that this somewhat out-of-the-way restaurant is an absolute gem if you are looking for an excellent Disney restaurant experience.
Jiko is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House. We always say that it is worth visiting Animal Kingdom Lodge Hotel even if you are not staying there as it is one of the best Disney hotels anywhere in the world.
The atmosphere and ambiance, and of course the view of the savannahs with the animals, are what brings us back here time after time. It is just a very special place to be. And Disney World Animal Kingdom Jiko Restaurant is a very special place.
This is one of those places which is a Signature Dining Experience so if you have the Disney Dining Plan this will take up two of your credits. We think that it is worth while spending that extra credit as Jiko is one of the best restaurants in Disney World. If you have the Tables of Wonderland card there is a 20% discount.
We love the atmosphere pretty much everywhere in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. You may have noticed that we keep mentioning it! It is difficult to have favorites at Disney World, but if we absolutely had to make a choice of where to stay at Walt Disney World it would most likely be Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Jiko is African themed, but in a very Disney way. Think the Lion King and you are getting the right idea. The cuisine is described by Disney as being African, Indian and Mediterranean. We are not sure just how you blend so many fundamentally different cuisines together, but it certainly works for us.
The only downside with Jiko is that you can make some choices that you wish that you hadn't. Everything on the menu is unfamiliar - we think of this as a good thing. However, if you are looking for being in your comfort zone you are going to have to get out of it for Jiko. Take a chance and you will most likely pick a winner. Ask your sever as many questions as you want to - they are excellent and want to help you have the best experience possible.
Here is the menu at Jiko. As with all Disney restaurants this is subject to change, but is correct as at August 2016:
Appetizers at Jiko
Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin - an interesting combination with Mealie Pap, Chakalaka, Truffle Oil and Micro Cilantro for $19
Inguday Tibs in Brik - with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese in crispy Tunisian Filo Served with an apple and curry vinaigrette $10
Charcuterie - house-cured meats, artisanal cheeses, Pommery mustard, home-made pickles, Tunisian olive oil $20
Tatenda's Piri Piri Shrimp - spiced hominy hash, delicious avocado puree, and kachumbari $12
Crispy "Bobotie" Roll - Beef, wild boar, buffalo cucumber raita, green mango atjar honey-roasted peanuts $16
Taste of Africa - This is one of our favorites. African inspired Dips with Khobz, poppy seed lavash and homemade Naan $10
Jiko Soups and Salads
Jiko has a surpisingly small selection of salads.
Jiko Salad - heirloom apples, cape gooseberries, Point Reyes Bay blue, candied walnuts, maple-cider vinaigrette $15
Mozambique-style Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup - South African butter biscuit, sweet pepper jam, Bird's Eye pepper oil $12
This is one of our favorite things. The flat breads are a must order!
Braai Broodjie - millet flatbread, apricot chutney, manchego and midnight moon cheese, charred red wine onions, and local heirloom tomatoes $13
Entrees at Jiko
There are many things to like on this entrée menu at Jiko. It is difficult to choose between all of these very tempting options.
Grilled Buffalo Ribeye - rainbow Swiss chard and sweet peppers and smoked bacon, Jiko "Slap Chips", port wine emulsion $55
Chermoula Spiced Lamb Shank - goat cheese mashed potato, roasted baby vegetables, apple cider glace $50
Harissa Chicken - oven roasted chicken, vegetable medley, Cinnamon Couscous, and Saffron Broth $34
Maize-crusted Halibut - vegetables of the moment and tomato-butter sauce $45
Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon Highlight Item - pole beans, spoon bread and South African Red Wine Sauce $51
Vegetable and Tofu Sambusas - Mint-Coconut Chutney, Coriander-Tamarind Yogurt, and Saffron-Cashew Rice $30
Garam Marsala-spiced Sea Scallops - Warm Applewood bacon and spinach salad, fennel-Carolina gold pilau $41
Nigerian-spiced Pork Shank - roasted baby brussels sprouts, ancient grains risotto, and apple butter $40
Botswana-Style Seswaa Beef Short Rib - Cassava-potato puree, sambal, and mushrooms $48
8 oz. Cold Water Lobster Tail - Madagascar vanilla bean butter poached lobster, preserved lemon $29
Braai Macaroni & Cheese - Chakalaka, house-made Boerewors sausage, Provolone, Fontina, Gruyere, Asiago $14
Senegalese Benachin - Carolina gold rice, black-eyed peas, caramelized onions $7
Desserts at Jiko
It is difficult to pick a favorite dessert at Jiko, but it is a close call between the innovative Granadilla Melktart and the Pistachio Layer Cake. Or even the Malva Pudding - it's a difficult choice.
Valrhona Chocolate Mousse and Hazelnut Dacquoise Cake - Ghana chocolate glaze, fresh strawberries, and micro basil $12
Granadilla Melktart - passion fruit, orange-cardamom custard, coconut cremeux, bubble sugar $11
Ghanaian Chocolate and Kenyan Coffee Pot de Creme - almond creme with almond crunch and raspberries $11
Malva Pudding - amarula creme, wild amarena cherries, toasted meringue and brandied cherry ice cream $13
Pistachio Layer Cake - dark chocolate mousse, Morello cherry-honey compote, Piri Piri dessert salt $11
Artisanal Cheese Board - artisanal cheeses, house-made accompaniments and fig crostini $18
Whatever you choose from the Jiko menu it will be of impeccable quality. We know that some guests are automatically put off by the idea that this is African cuisine.
See it as having subtle influences that enhance American classics and you will be way more inclined to dine at Jiko. We know that you really won't regret your decision. Just don't tell too many people how great it is. We still kind of want to keep Disney World Animal Kingdom Jiko Restaurant a secret!
Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.