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“love this place”

Jiko - The Cooking Place
Ranked #24 of 3,762 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: African
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Fernandina Beach, Fl
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“love this place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

we have eaten here several times we love it. Jiko's is located at the Animal Kingdom lodge and is African cuisine. my husband had the lamb which I tried and it was very tasty I had the Braie pie
it is a vegetable dish kind of like a potpie only better, big chunks of potatoes, squash onions also goat cheese. I have never had a meal here that I didn't love. the staff is always knowledgeable and eager to answer questions about the food. it is expensive but so worth it.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank eknliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
91 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Lived up to the hype- went back two days later!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

After reading such wonderful reviews for so long, I was very excited to eat at jiko finally! And I'm happy to say that everything was even better than we expected! We ended up going back again just two days later..and eating almost exactly the same thing! While I would definetly recommend reservations, both nights we showed up early and were quickly seated in the beautiful, romantic dining room. On the first night, our waiter was very knowledgable about both the food and wine menus, happy to make an alternate recommendation when I requested a wine similar to the one I had at the upstairs bar. We had the wild boar tenderloin- incredible! The smell was definetly a bit gamey, but it was cooked perfectly medium rare and melted in your mouth. It also came with mealie pap- basically a thin polenta- and a tomato paste which I didn't care for. When we ate there the second time, I requested none of the tomatoes and extra mealie pap- happily accommodated. For our main course, we both had the famous Mac and cheese filet with red wine sauce. After reading about this dish for so long, I have to admit I didn't think it would live up to the hype. I'm happy to say that it was easily one of the best steaks I have ever ever had! The filet was perfectly cooked to medium rare, and the Mac and cheese was delicious with the wine sauce. This was not Kraft Mac and cheese however, this had a thick sauce, almost a white cheddar taste- perfect! On the second night we tried the coffee creme brûlée- not my favorite flavor but definetly well-made. Overall this restaurant lived up to our expectations and its no wonder why it has such a great reputation. Expensive, yes, but worth every penny!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mkb115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“a mixed bag”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

Out of worrying about transportation delays, we ended up arriving more than half an hour early for our dinner reservation, but the friendly, welcoming staff had no problem accommodating us. We were seated by the floor-to-ceiling window but at one end of the restaurant overlooking the end of the pond outside. Judging by the size of the pond and waterfall, the water view was nice but not much to miss. The high ceiling and ethnic decor gave the place a semi-formal, yet fun ambience.

The food varied between good and mediocre, depending on the dish. Each dish has pronounced good and bad points. For appetizers, the Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin was out-of-this-world excellent in flavor and tenderness, with good presentation. The South African "Vetkoek" (three house-made naan pastries filled with herb-braised rabbit, coconut-egg curry, and durban vegetable curry) was not too bad and very well presented. The coconut-egg curry out of the thee was the best, but the pastry was a little hard and the rabbit filling was slightly disappointing in texture and consistency.

For mains, the small portion characteristic of nouvelle cuisine was taken to its height. However, the art of presentation had gone fishing (i.e. missing, or uninspiring). In terms of flavor, the Spicy Botswana-style "Seswaa" Beef Short Rib was tender and flavorful, but fades in comparison to the wild boar. To be fair, the wild boar probably set your expectation way up there in cloud 9 for any dish to follow. I declined the waiter's recommendation because of my personal dislike of monk fish and ordered the Pan-seared Yellowtail Snapper. It was a surprisingly skinny fillet cut up and stacked up on a bed of lentils - very memorable but not in a good way. The fish was cooked to perfection, but the citrus might have been too subtle to be detectable in the citrus-curry beurre blanc. For 42 and 43USD dishes, I think it not unreasonable to expect a little more.

The service was very good. Our waiter, as well as the reception, were very nice. The one and only minor thing is that the plates were collected as they were emptied without waiting everyone at the table to finish first. It is an unexpectedly casual procedure for a semi-formal setting, and makes you feel pressured or bad for not finishing as quickly. I would expect it from Chili's, but not an expensive restaurant like this. Fortunately, they did wait for the different dishes to be ready to serve a course at the same time.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank fcj_nz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“nice, but slow service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

not authentically African but interesting african-inspired creations none the less. Good selection of South African wines. Rather disappointing that inspite of having been made to book for a very specific time slot (7:35 pm) months ago and having provided all our data then, we were made to provide a lot of information all over again and had to wait 15 minutes for a table. On top of that service once seated was very slow - the waiter took ages to come back for the order - but having said that we did appreciate his initiative in separating the bread serving for our milk-intolerant son and also suggesting an off-menu dessert for him. Overall a good experience.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank bongtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
124 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“A treasure!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

I LOVE this place. It is beautiful and the food is very good. The wine selection is amazing. I like to go earl and have a glass of wine at the small wine bar. The bartenders know their stuff and I like to have them recommend new wines for me. Sometimes I like to assemble a meal, tapas style, from the appetizer list. They are always happy to meet my needs. Be sure to allow some extra time to see the lobby and pool area. Relax by the firepit in a rocker and enjoy the animals that like to come out in the cool of the evening.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank wrl53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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