Saana – Supper – January 10, 2017

Since we had started our day off with breakfast at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, we figured why not end the day with supper at Kidani Village! We caught the bus from Animal Kingdom Park (where we had spent the entire day), and took the extremely quick bus ride over to the resort.

Let me just take a moment to gush about how much I love Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s such a beautiful hotel, and I will stay there one day!

We found Saana, and checked in. We were handed a pager and went and sat in the hallway for a few minutes before it went off.

As we were led to our table, the lady leading us noticed our Just Engaged buttons, so she asked how long we had been engaged for. Luke and I looked at each other and responded “since this morning!”. I don’t think she was expecting that answer haha.

Shortly after being seated at our table, our waiter arrived with a present for us – glasses of champagne with a raspberry in it. He told us the hostess had told him we were newly engaged, so they wanted us to celebrate with free champagne 🙂 Yes please!

Notice the table in the picture above with the hidden Mickey. I loved the details of this restaurant, it was so quirky yet pretty! Here’s a close-up on the hidden Mickey’s on the table:

The chairs were mismatched, and really awesome!

Now for the eats and drinks! The menu was really nice to look at:

Since we were celebrating an exciting day, we both decided to order a cocktail, and we both ended up deciding on the same one:  African Starr Mojito – Starr African Rum, Van der Hum tangerine liqueur from South Africa, fresh lime juice, and mint, $10.75. This thing was so tasty, and went down so easily…

Of course, you can’t go to Saana and NOT order the bread service! So that was our appetizer. Indian Style Bread Service – choice of five breads with all nine accompaniments, $15. The breads were traditional naan, garlic-ginger naan, spiced naan, onion kulcha and paneer paratha.

Luke and I both eat Indian food fairly often, and we actually live in a predominately Indian neighbourhood, so we are very familiar with Naan bread. All three varieties were good, but they just can’t compare to the Coconut Naan we get at one of our favourite Indian restaurants here in Edmonton. The onion kulcha was new to us though, as was the paneer paratha (which had me confused, since I know Paneer is a type of cheese common in Indian cooking – it’s kind of similar to cottage cheese and is not something I typically like). The bread did not taste like cheese though.

The nine accompaniments were, starting from the top left corner: cucumber raita, roasted red pepper hummus, mango chutney, tomato-date jam, tamarind chutney, the green one at the bottom of the right hand side row was coriander chutney and going up towards the top was garlic pickle, red chili sambal and spicy jalapeno-lime pickle. They ranged from mild to spicy in the exact order I have them listed above.

The cucumber raita was good, although fairly standard. It’s commonly used to cool off heat (it’s a yogurt-based sauce), so I was quite thankful it was an option after I tried that jalapeno-lime pickle! The red pepper hummus also had a great flavour, but again, fairly straight forward and safe. Neither one of us are huge mango fans, but we did try that. It was ok, but definitely not our favourite. The tomato-date jam was a little strange (but I don’t like dates, so I am not the best one to be giving an opinion on that one). Next up were my two favourites – the tamarind chutney and the coriander chutney (the two at the bottom of the picture). Both of these had a bit of heat, but not too spicy.  They were bursting with really rich flavours, and they also worked well mixed together! The last three were the spicest ones, so I will let Luke describe those. He liked the garlic pickle one since it was nice and chunky and you could really get a lot on your piece of bread. It was one of his favourites. Luke said that he thought the red chili sambal reminded him of a homemade salsa, and of the three “spicy” ones that one had heat that lasted the longest. The jalapeno-lime one had the most initial kick, but the heat was not sustained. You could also tell it contained chili oil by the stain it was leaving on the little dish.

For our main entree, we decided to go for the Potje-inspired, where you can select one meat option and one vegetarian option and it’s served with basmati rice for $26. Our server mentioned to us that if we were interested, we could make a second meat selection for $11, and it would probably be enough for both of us to share (instead of $26/each for a total of 4 options, this was $37 for three options). We also paid for an extra bowl of basmati rice so we wouldn’t have to share that ($4).

For our selections, we went for the Chickpea Wat as our vegetarian option. I love Chana Masala (a popular Indian chickpea dish) and I was expecting something similar to that. Chickpea Wat however is more of an Ethiopian dish so it had a slightly different taste than I was expecting. This is not a bad thing, these chickpeas were incredible! They were nice and firm without being hard or crunchy, and the flavour of the sauce was so delicious! It had a bit of a spicy kick, but it was not crazy at all.

Meat selection #1 was the Butter Chicken – a pretty safe and straight forward option, but one of my favourite foods. (I actually had butter chicken today for lunch too haha). This one was good, had lots of flavour but I wouldn’t say it was the best I’d ever had. Still made me happy though!

Our second meat selection was the Braised Beef (or Curry Beef). This had big, huge chunks of super tender beef in a really nice curry sauce. It wasn’t too spicy, just lots of flavour (and a slight little kick).

The rice was standard basmati, and we were glad we had ordered a second bowl so we had lots of rice to go with our curries.

They also served with Indian yogurt, which is used to help cut the heat of the curries. None of our three options were crazy spicy, but I did enjoy having this.

We ate every single last bite of this meal. We even used pieces of the naan to clean out the last of the sauce from each bowl. It was easily one of my favourite meals of the entire trip, and is one I need to return to on our next trip.

The total for our bill came to $82.54 after tax. In my opinion, it was well worth every penny.

 

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