A Great Restaurant Close to Windsor Palms

March 26th, 2009 by Alison | Filed under Orlando Vacation Homes, Restaurants.
Want to dine at a great restaurant close to Windsor Palms?

Want to dine at a great restaurant close to Windsor Palms?

One of the great things about staying in Windsor Palms is that you are so close to Disney World. And that means you are within very easy reach of all the great restaurants that Disney World has to offer. The very closest Disney restaurant to the resort is actually one of my favorites. Jiko The Cooking Place at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This excellent innovative restaurant is just a short 7 minute drive from Windsor Palms.

As soon as you walk in to Animal Kingdom Lodge you are transported to a different world – the sights, sounds and atmosphere of a luxury safari lodge in Africa. It is one of the most amazingly themed Disney resorts and is always worth a visit when you are staying at Windsor Palms. Relax in the amazing lobby and enjoy a drink or a snack from the bar.

But if you want a real culinary treat the get yourself a table at Jiko The Cooking Place. An excellent fine dining experience where you will find that the kids are welcome too. The cuisine is African, Indian and Mediterranean inspired. So a pretty broad spectrum of flavors there. No, don’t be put off by this – it really works I promise you!

As you walk into Jiko you may start thinking that it reminds you of a Disney movie. Well it should as the design was inspired by Disney’s The Lion King. The center of the restaurant is the show kitchen with twin wood burning ovens where you will see the talented chefs preparing the food. You are greeted by a student from Africa who is part of the Disney cultural exchange progam – where young people from around the world spend a year working around Disney World.

The service at Jiko is exceptional. Highly skilled waiters, many of whom are also sommeliers will guide you around the innovative menu and exclusively South African wine list.

So what is on the menu at Jiko? The Flatbreads are a specialty and definitely worth trying. My kids just love those. Other favorites from the appetizer selection are Curried Samosas and the roasted sweet potato soup. I have to say I have never tried the Spiced Ostrich Filet but I hear that it is very good. Entrees range from around $30 and upwards. Great options include Swahili Curry Shrimp, Maize Crusted Halibut and Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon. To finish the meal try my favorite – the Pistachio Creme Brulee. Or if chocolate is what you crave then the Tanzanian Chocolate Cheesecake is also excellent.

There is also a great vegetarian menu. My favorite entree from this is Swahili Curried Vegetables with Tofu which is priced at $26.

What I really like about this restaurant though is that it is fine dining where they really do welcome the children. It is Disney after all! There is a kids menu available with the usual favorites including Grilled Cheese and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Kids entrees range from $7 and up.

A visit to Jiko is well worth the splurge. As with all Disney restaurants it is wise to book ahead by calling 407 WDW DINE up to 90 days ahead.

Photos used under Creative Commons from framedanddriedl

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