Continuing my trip report for my January 2019 WDW trip. See all the posts in this report here. Onward!
Oh, but I was stiff after the marathon! I did make a quick lap around the merch tent in the finisher’s area, but that was about as far as it went. I hopped aboard a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge, got off at the Kidani stop, herded myself into the shower, and proceeded to take a nap. But I had to drag myself out of bed shortly after, because I had reservations at Jiko!
Thing was, I had reservations for Jiko an hour later than it was. But I had a whole complicated plan for the evening that required I get into dinner early, so I headed down to the podium like the optimist that I am.
Turns out Jiko was pretty empty, and not only was I immediately admitted I was given my choice of seats – regular table or show kitchen? Being a solo dinner this struck me as an excellent time for the show kitchen, so I selected a seat at the end of the counter there.
It was a good choice; the chefs were bent on their work, of course, but they occasionally chatted with me and I was able to watch some of my orders being assembled.
My server was Audrey, who was very warm and knowledgeable and didn’t seem thrown off by a solo diner at all. She walked me through drinks first, and while I was waffling among my choices she talked me into the African MoTEAto, which included mint tea.
I like mint tea and carbonation is my JAM, so this felt like a good choice. As it turned out it was a little bland for my tastes (I wish the tea were punchier), but still refreshing.
The meal began with a bit of that same tea, minus the alocohol, of course – everyone gets that. Audrey went over appetizers, and we mutually agreed that the Jiko salad would be my selection. I love it when restaurants serve food from Epcot’s gardens!
This turned out to be a great call. The vegetables were very fresh as you might imagine, but the real winners were the goat cheese and – wait for it – the CURRIED PUMPKIN SEEDS. I frickin’ love curry! Best salad ever. Also the chef made it right in front of me and handed it to me personally, which was a nice touch.
|One thing Jiko does not have is great lighting.|
For my main course I decided on the elk flatbread, as I don’t run into elk on many menus in my regular, non-Disney life. This is normally served with olives but Audrey said she usually orders without because she finds them too briny an addition. This made sense to me and anyway I was ready to let Audrey run my entire life by this point, so I ordered it the same.
And I’m glad I did, because while I bet the saltiness of the olives cuts some of the richness of the cheese and meat, I think the brine would’ve distracted from the elk. It was good; I would describe it as halfway between steak and duck, with a mild gaminess that made the cheese an afterthought. I liked it but I’d probably try something else if I went back.
I skipped dessert as I was ready to execute Step Two of my Plan, but I hear there are some good ones. Overall I would definitely recommend Jiko for those with a slightly adventurous palette, especially the show kitchen seats. Dinner and entertainment!
Incidentally, what was Step Two of my Plan? Tune in next week to find out!
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I ate at Jiko once and loved it!! I need to go back. Sitting at the kitchen counter sounds like a good experience, and Audrey sounds awesome!
I would definitely recommend the counter!