Afro-Asian Food Fight! Sanaa, Nomad Lounge & Spice Road Table

WDW food reviews - Bread service from Sanaa

I’m getting out ahead of my Christmas in July trip report with some avant food reviews! Read all the posts in this trip report here. Onward!

Here’s my second food review from my Thanksgiving 2023 Walt Disney World trip! As noted earlier, I’ll be dropping the trip report proper in July. However, as we all know, WDW restaurant reviews age about as well as unrefrigerated perishables, so I’m knocking some of those out in advance. With me? Let’s ride!

Today’s review is a little different, as it will combine three separate restaurants. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the offerings at Sanaa, Nomad Lounge, and Spice Road Table in one post, as they all serve different takes on Afro-Asian cuisine. You can’t make a bad choice, but if you find yourself having to make a choice, this post will help you out.

WHAT I ATE AT SANAA

Sanaa is a bit off the beaten path at Kidani Village, the Disney Vacation Club wing of Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you’ve got the patience and, bonus points, your own vehicle, I’d say it’s well worth the trip. Even if you don’t get one of the coveted window tables, you can always check out the lodge’s private savanna views and animals before or after your meal.

The Sanaa menu may be better described as Afro-Indian; helloooo, Indian bread service! You have to get the Indian bread service if you dine at Sanaa – it’s the law. You can choose five out of six available flatbread styles, plus a whopping nine accompanying sauces/dips. I’ll let the server explain them all.

As a huge fan of flatbreads of all kinds, I cannot recommend the bread service highly enough. It is 100% worth the cost and stomach space if you have ever enjoyed a piece of naan. Not all dips will be to everyone’s taste, but that’s why you get nine of them! You’re bound to find something.

Also from the Indian side of the menu is the mango lassi, which I adore. It’s essentially a mango yogurt smoothie. According to the menu, it’s made with real mango puree, and I believe them. The sweet mango and tangy yogurt combine for a perfect flavor and smooth texture. I don’t know that this is better than any mango lassi you’d get anywhere else, but I love it.

WDW food reviews - Mango lassi from Sanaa

We move over to Africa – specifically Tanzania – for my entree: the Zanzibari vegetable curry. Described on the menu as seasonal vegetables with fragrant rice, I adored this as well.

To be clear, I’ve always been a curry fan, but as I DESPISE peas I am often shut out of vegetable iterations. This version used edamame instead, alongside cauliflower, chickpeas, and more, in a stew-like curry sauce. Bonus points for the pickled vegetables for a bright, acidic note.

WDW food reviews - vegetable curry from Sanaa

While the curry was not as strong as I might have preferred, it was a definite and welcome departure from more anemic theme park fare. I don’t think it was turn a curry-hater into a believer, but if you like curry and want a lighter meal, give it a try.

WHAT I ATE AT NOMAD LOUNGE

Located just outside Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Nomad Lounge is where you want to go if you don’t have an Advanced Dining Reservation. As the bar arm of Tiffins, they only do walkups, although they can fill up at times. Keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app for availability – I was quoted a 10 minute wait and got a callback immediately!

Nomad Lounge, as the name suggests, features globetrotting cuisine, and arguably serves the most blended menu of the three options in this post. International is the generic name of the game, but the emphasis does seem to be on African and Asian fare.

For my drink, I got a Hightower Rocks AGAIN. I know, I know, bad blogger! I’ve reviewed it like 8,000 times but it’s SO GOOD. I love watermelon!

Jenn's Tattoo and Hightower Rocks from Nomad Lounge

I did order a new entree, though – not only new to me, but pretty new to the menu at the time. Behold, the plant-based Korean barbecue mushroom bao buns! These buns contain grilled oyster mushrooms, cucumber kimchi, and pickled green papaya.

WDW food reviews - mushroom bao from Nomad Lounge

The flavors were all there, with a hint of sweetness to the barbecue sauce and acidity from the pickled papaya. The kimchi didn’t pack much heat, but that’s Disney for you.

The bao bun was well-steamed and didn’t taste dry as I find Disney bao sometimes can be. My one issue, unfortunately, was with the mushrooms. They were just too tough to bite through. You know how sometimes you’re eating a pizza slice and accidentally rip the cheese off the whole thing halfway through? Yeah – it was way to easy to yank an entire mushroom out. Arguably a quibbling detail, but I wish the mushrooms had been a bit softer.

Still a solid entry, and if you’re vegan, Nomad Lounge is a great choice.

WHAT I ATE AT SPICE ROAD TABLE

Spice Road Table is one of your easier dining reservations to get, which is a shame in that more people should try it but great in that it’s something of a hidden gem. Located in the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, it’s a great respite from midday heat and crowds. Same-day reservations are a regular occurrence here. We parkhop among cuisine philistines. 😉

As you might imagine in the Morocco Pavilion, Spice Road Table’s menu is pretty straight-ahead Mediterranean African, so leave all the previous Asian fusion behind… mostly. There is naan, so we might be a little fused. It’s also more of a small-plates operation. If you’re looking for hearty, filling fare, you may want to look elsewhere.

I grabbed a drink here, the Sahara Spritz: Ketel One Botanical Cucumber and Mint Vodka, soda water, and lime. This ticks a lot of my boxes – bubbles! Cucumber! Mint!

Alas, as much as I love seltzer, I wish the flavor elements had been more pronounced. I get the idea the bartender didn’t pour much vodka in there. Or lime, for that matter. It’s such a me drink I’d give it another shot. Alas, this iteration was kinda weak.

WDW food reviews - dolmas and Sahara Spritz from Spice Road Table

For food, I grabbed some dolmas: grape leaves filled with rice and herbs along side marinated olives. These were good, with a tender leaf and fluffy internal rice mixture. Caveat: they were tiny. Both in number and on an individual level. I get that it’s small plates, but dang!

Luckily I also dug into… more bread! Spice Road Table does a naan service as well, although on a much smaller scale than Sanaa. There’s only one, plain naan style served, with three accompaniments in hummus, chermoula, and olives.

WDW food reviews - pita and hummus from Spice Road Table

It was pretty great hummus, though! Definitely tasted homemade; the splash of olive oil and sprinkle of pomegranate seeds were a nice touch. The chermoula was also delicious! The menu doesn’t specify the ingredients (apparently these vary widely by region), but the flavor profile reminded me of chimichurri. The olives were, y’know, olives. You probably already know how you feel about those.

I do wish the serving of naan was a bit more generous. Perhaps they would bring you more if you ask?

FINAL FOOD WORD

Taking it from the top, I will reiterate that all three of the above restaurants are excellent and well worth your time. If you’re twisting my arm, though, here’s what I’d say:

If you want a leisurely experience and/or don’t have a park ticket, go to Sanaa.

For a respite from Animal Kingdom’s heat and crowds, swing by Nomad Lounge.

Should you need a last minute dining reservation and aren’t too pressed about portion size, Spice Road Table is a good bet.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

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