Disney Food: Jiko

Photo by Marc Uchman

Photo by Marc Uchman

Jiko-The Cooking Place is a Signature Dining Experience located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan it is two table service credits. You must have reservations and adhere to the restaurant’s dress code. Basically, dress nice and you will be fine!

Checking in was a breeze. We were seated right away. The restaurant was not very crowded and was extremely quiet. There were probably only two other children in Jiko beside my own. I was really worried that my two year old would have one of her classic melt downs while we were here; but thankfully she behaved. I think she knew that this was the type of restaurant where you are on your best behavior.

Jiko is African themed, but modern. I love how they were able to mix the traditional African décor with contemporary décor. It was beautiful! The restaurant does host an open show kitchen; however, we were not seated near it, so we were not able to enjoy watching the chefs. I wish we had requested to be seated near the kitchen so my girls could have watched.


Photo by Marc Uchman

Our server came over right away with some bread called Taste of Africa which consists of dabo (Ethiopian honey wheat) and flaxseed. This bread was amazing. I had to restrain myself from just eating the bread so I had room for my entrée. The server noticed how much we loved the bread and even brought us back a box of it to take back to our hotel with us! For my entrée I had the oak grilled fillet mignon. The plating was unique, as you would expect in a restaurant like Jiko. They definitely take the time to make your meal look artistic. The fillet was grilled to perfection and was very flavorful. I loved the spices that were infused. The vegetables were also good, but I think they were slightly overcooked. My two year old veggie lover ate most of my vegetables. My picky eater eleven year had the same thing. She actually liked it, but I think she would have preferred eating at one of the more kid friendly restaurants.


Photo by Marc Uchman

For dessert I had the cheesecake, which I loved. Then again, I have yet to try a cheesecake that I didn’t love. Jiko’s cheesecake consisted of white chocolate, toasted coconut, mango sauce, and pineapple chile sorbet. And yes, I did check to make sure there was not any papaya in it this time. It was safe for me to eat. My chocoholic eleven year old had the chocolate and tea safari which consisted of a vanilla rooibos-Tanzanian chocolate cake, free form “kit kat” and green tea ice cream. She thought the cake was just okay, devoured the free form “kit kat” thing, and wouldn’t touch the green tea ice cream. I tried the ice cream and thought it was different, but not necessarily something that I would usually want.

Overall, I enjoyed Jiko; however, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been so worried about my girls the entire time. I was worried about my daughter’s behavior and if my stepdaughter would actually eat what was on her plate the entire time. I would love to go back again, but I think next time we will send the girls to a more kid friendly restaurant with Grandpa and have a date night for my husband and I at Jiko.

Alexia Christensen


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Posted on August 7, 2013, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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