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“Very good, but not oustanding or exceptional”

Jiko - The Cooking Place
Ranked #38 of 4,083 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: African
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Jiko – The Cooking Place fuses the bold flavors of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.Twin wood-burning ovens roar and the soothing, warm colors of an African sunset bring energy to this remarkable restaurant. The menu features modern cuisine with an African flair. Delight your palate with dishes that change seasonally, such as braised short ribs, Chermoula-roasted prawns, and Peri Peri roasted chicken, along with conventional favorites. Take a culinary tour of Africa with tantalizing appetizers such as grilled wild boar tenderloin, crispy beef bobotie roll and brick oven-fired flatbreads. Watch the chefs prepare each meal in The Cooking Place, a show kitchen with a rich atmosphere befitting the beauty of this unique restaurant. Jiko also offers 2 tantalizing wine-and-dine experiences: Jiko Wine Dinner Series: Four times a year, Jiko partners with renowned winemakers from South Africa to take you on a culinary journey. The chefs prepare a 6- to 8-course meal carefully designed to complement the unique characteristics of the African terroir. As you dine, the winemakers paint a picture of their vineyards through the taste of their wines—and Jiko's Wine Room transforms into a mixture of flavors, friends, aromas and conversations that go into the night.Jiko Wine Tastings: Every Wednesday, explore the South African wine regions as you taste unique wines paired with artisanal cheese.Whether you're seeking a decadent wine dinner or a vibrant accompaniment to your meal, Jiko offers wine options to suit your style.
Reviewed April 19, 2013

This was our last meal (or 3) at Disney during a recent stay. Based on many of the reviews I read I really expected this to be an amazing meal and experience (although I never truly think of resort restaurants as being "exceptional" in full disclosure). It is located in the Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom resort and is quite a beautiful space. As I expect from Disney the decor and service were outstanding, no doubt. I will admit to being a bit off put at first, as Jiko is adjacent to the buffet restaurant, and my first impression was of a dormitory dining commons (albeit beautiful) filled with families. Once we were seated however, the experience was quite different. Our server was wonderful, and the food was quite good overall. We started with a lamb flat bread, beef rolls and crab salad. The salad was beautifully composed and the beef rolls were probably our favorite dish of the meal. The flatbread was good, just no particularly unique and was a bit heavy with blue cheese. I had the duck breast (served with fingerling potatoes) and my other half had chicken tagine served over couscous. Both were good, but suffered from over salting. The tagine was a bit dry honestly, not juicy as I expect from this preparation. While the duck was very tender, the saltiness really overpowered the spice it was supposed to have. The menu was pretty inventive as "new african' I would say. My main reason for not giving this a higher rating is that it was not "perfect" which I think really it should be for that rating. Of our two dinners at Disney, Sanaa was definitely my favorite, and a better value I'd say.

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    • Food
1  Thank Stubey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,275 - 1,279 of 1,871 reviews

Reviewed April 17, 2013

What a great experience! Classy, great atmosphere, and not your typical Disney dining experience. Extensive wine list, and a unique menu. Appreciated our server, Stephanie who offered her advise and attended to our every request. Will definitely dine here again. Everything was delish!

1  Thank SJBBeachme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Ate here with 3 other meat loving women and left very happy. Excellent wine list and wonderfully helpful waiter. Lots of interesting flavors in the appetizers. Couldn't finish my filet, so I brought it a piece back to the room fridge, and then thought about it for a day and a half until I ate it cold, sliced thin over crackers. Was still wonderful. Best bottle of wine: Missing Virgin. Best waiter: Nassar. Wonderful evening.

1  Thank NYgardeners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

Jiko is by far, one of the best restaurants I've had the pleasure of eating in. It offers great food & great service, plus a beautiful location. It also offers the most exclusive South African wine list in the United States.
The restaurant is located in Disney's Animal Kingdom Resort. It's stunningly decorated and beautiful to look at. You feel transported into Africa. Many of the staff are actually from Africa and are only too happy to tell you about their lives and their country. I highly suggest engaging them in conversation. You'll learn alot. The name Jiko means "the cooking place" in Swahili, and it is definitely what it claims to be. The dining area surrounds two big, wood-burning ovens and a grill area where you can watch the cooks in African-style garb, or you can have a seat at one of the tables arranged around the room. The room is done in earthtone shades of yellow & orange,and the back wall seems to change color throughout your meal - representing an African sunset. The ceiling is painted blue - representing the sky. It's all very elegant but not stuffy at all. You can also opt to go outside before or after your meal to view some African animals & scenery.
The menu is focused on African inspired dishes as well as those of the Mediterranean Coast & India. (You can find a menu here: allears.net/menu/menu_jiko.htm )
I chose the Oak Grilled Filet but asked for their famous Macaroni & Cheese (which is not on the menu) and was happily obliged. The dish was supberb. The mac & cheese was a perfect combination with the perfectly cooked filet and the wine sauce. My husband chose the Short Ribs which were succulent & tender. He was in dining heaven. My grandson chose the Oak Grilled Filet but "plain" (without the sauce) and he was also indulged. My granddaughter asked for pizza - go figure...
The creme brulee and apple gallete for dessert were perfect. Kids had ice cream, I believe.
Can't recommend this wonderful restaurant highly enough!

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1  Thank gretchenLockport_Ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Forget the dress code, they don't enforce it. The food is way over priced as is the wine. The waiter decanted one bottle and since we had so many people he asked if we wanted a second one, which we agreed, but rather than pour the first already decanted bottle into our waiting wine glasses, he poured the second bottle into the decanter to join the first one. If you want to pay Disney prices for average food book here.

7  Thank LVETOTRAVEL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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