Jiko Review for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month 2017: Special $35 3-Course Menus Available Through October 1st, 2017 at Over 100 Orlando Area Restaurants

Hi everyone!

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month begins on August 25th, 2017 and runs through October 1st. This is the first time that Walt Disney World owned restaurants (and not just participants) have been involved. I was invited to preview the fantastic menu that Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is serving! Magical Dining Month includes prix fixe menus with 3 courses for $35.00. To be able to order an appetizer, entree and dessert at Jiko in particular is an incredible opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a gorgeous resort, my first time visiting was actually before the resort opened to the public (as a Cast Member on a test stay). The restaurants at the resort are all excellent, but Jiko is a Signature Dining location and is the only Signature restaurant at Walt Disney World offering a Magical Dining Month menu.

$1.00 of every meal also goes to charity. This year’s recipients are the Freedom Ride and Base Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation. With this being Visit Orlando’s 12th year for Magical Dining Month and over 100 restaurants participating, hopefully this will be the best donation year ever.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has a stunning lobby, and I recommend arriving a little early and exploring the resort. Jiko is a restaurant that has some dress requirements – no tank tops, swimsuits, hats, torn clothing, etc. I like to dress up a little for it, but that isn’t necessary. Slacks and a polo shirt or collared shirt are good choices.

The map shows where the animal locations are. There are about 30 species of animals to see! It also shows where Jiko is.

Jiko is one floor down, across from Boma (another one of my favorite Walt Disney World restaurants).

We didn’t eat in the dining room, but it includes an open show kitchen and a beautiful design.

We dined at a table in a private room.

This is the menu, and I will show it without the wine glass at the end of the article. $35 per person during Magical Dining Month offers an excellent meal here (that doesn’t include tax or tip). No other discounts can be taken with the menu.

There are quite a few South African wines to choose from if you’d like to order alcohol separately. Because of the unique choices here, I do recommend it.

We started out with multi-grain rolls.

There are two appetizers to choose from. I ordered the Jiko Salad, with Epcot Land Pavilion Greens, Stone Fruit, Pistachio Halva, Grilled Halloumi Cheese, and Apricot-Ginger Dressing. Actually, I asked for the cheese to be left off (this is what the full salad looks like). It was a very nice option, and it’s always fun to have something included from The Land.

The other appetizer is Inguday Tibs in Brik. I haven’t had this before, but it has the conistency of a samosa. It includes Mushroom, Spinach, Cheese in crispy Tunisian Filo, Apples, and Curry Vinaigrette. I tasted it and would order this in the future.

There are three entrees to choose from. I ordered the Botswana-style Seswaa Beef Short Rib. The chef said that a version of short rib has been on the menu since the beginning, and I have ordered it here in the past. This is an excellent piece of meat, and barely stuck to the bone. It really is a melt-in-your-mouth dish. It comes with Cassava-Potato Puree’, Sambai, Baby Carrots and Mushrooms. The vegetables are on the light side, it’s the beef that rules the plate.

There is also a Bo-Kaap Malay Seafood Curry. This comes with Calamari, Red Shrimp, Mussels, Coconut-Curry Sauce and Saffron Rice. It seemed to be a nice portion size as well.

The West African Koki Corn is a vegan dish and includes Mushrooms, Poblano-Tomatillo Puree’, and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

Dessert is so inventive here. This is the Safari Sunset, with Carrot Cake, Cornbread Calamansi, and Lemon Cremeux, Kenyan Coffee Streusel, Citrus Gel, Valrhona Dulcey Mousse, and Candied Carrots. I ordered this and it is a fantastic dessert.

Here is another look at the dessert.

There are two desserts on the menu, the second one is called Malva Pudding. It looks like a bird on a nest. It is also all edible, and the ice cream with the crunchiness is perfect. This dish includes Melktart Ice Cream, Kataifi, Kanu Tuile, and Cabernet Gelee’.

I highly recommend Jiko for Magical Dining Month and I especially recommend making dining reservations for it early. I think this will be a very popular menu at the restaurant.

Here is a look at the menu for Jiko, just ask for it if dining by October 1st, 2017! And check out Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month website, there are so many wonderful restaurants. The other Walt Disney World locations are Boatwright’s, The Turf Club, Grand Floridian Cafe, Olivia’s and The Wave. And there are restaurants at Disney Springs as well, including STK and Morimoto Asia in addition to almost 100 other area restaurants. It’s a great month for dining in the Orlando area.