Jiko! Jiko! Jiko!


(When I asked Wingnut what should be the next restaurant I talk about, the chant that is the title of this post ensued.)

To say that I had been eagerly anticipating this meal for awhile would be a very huge understatement.

Almost as big an understatement as it would be to call Jiko our favorite meal in WDW. Possibly favorite meal of ever.

In between the time of booking our reservation and our actual meal, a few menu changes occurred. The macaroni and cheese no longer accompanied the filet, which I had been considering having, but hadn’t been totally fixated on having.

Unfortunately for my beloved Wingnut, a dessert he had been eyeing (nay, drooling over already), the Coffee and Koeksisters (spiced doughnuts), also disappeared. He was shocked. Dismayed. None of the new dessert offerings would ever take its place.

Well, we’d see about that.

On the way to Jiko:

Going to Jiko

We got there a bit early, and were told they wouldn’t start seating until 5:30 (our reservation was for 5:35). We meandered around the lobby of AKL. We stood in the waiting area between Boma and Jiko. We then hung out in the bar area just inside the doors of Jiko, and then were called to our table.

When we approached the hostess stand with our now buzzing buzzer, the hostess handed us a card for our anniversary, which the staff had signed.

Anniversary Card @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

We thanked them for this unexpected and sweet gesture, and were led to our table. Some ambiance:

Jiko5, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko2, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko1, Animal Kingdom Lodge

We were seated near the wall shown above, which subtly changed colors throughout the evening to represent a sunset.

Upon being seated, we were given two types of bread (honey wheat and flax seed) and tandoori butter.

Bread and Butter1 @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

I then notified the server about my litany of annoying food allergies, and he promptly brought out some safe bread and butter for my side of the table (the flax seed bread and regular butter).

Bread and Butter @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

I enjoyed the bread, it had a very nice flavor. Wingnut said, “the tandoori butter was very tasty, it went well with both of the breads. The flavor of the butter was strong, but not overpowering.”

Next, it was time for appetizers. I had been looking at one in particular for awhile, and decided I couldn’t not try it.

Barbecue Chicken Flatbread @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

This is the barbecue chicken flatbread, and it is simply outstanding. I loved the barbecue sauce with the crispy sweet crunch of the apples and jicama. I was thrilled to finally get to try this, after seeing pictures of it for so long!

Wingnut had the Wild Boar Tenderloin for his appetizer:

Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

He describes this as “wonderful, served over chakalaka, which was spicy, but just enough to contrast the buttery boar. There was a little mealie in the chakalaka, but it was more for the textural component.” I tried a bite (okay, 2) of this, and thought it was delicious (possibly even a touch more so than my flatbread. And yes, I shared that too!)

For our main courses, I had the filet, which was served with fingerling potatoes and pole beans.

Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon2 @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

There were spices of some sort that I am unable to have in the red wine sauce, so that’s why that is missing. I thought that the filet was a fantastic cut of beef, buttery and flavorful. I wished I had been able to try this in its true form, as it was very very very good, but was missing that unique touch that all of the dishes seemed to have. Definitely a delicious course though!

Wingnut then moved on to the Braised Berbary Duck

Seared Barbarie Duck Breast2 @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Seared Barbarie Duck Breast @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Honestly, I have never seen Wingnut enjoy a course more than this one. “The duck was like slices of filet mignon – it was soo tasty and tender. It was served over tandoori potatoes and chanterelle mushrooms, which were equally as good as the duck, and bruleed figs for a sweet component.” I did not taste any of this, as I was afraid of spicy allergens within. It did look like a beautiful and delectable dish, and he literally cleared the plate.

For dessert, our wonderful server brought over an anniversary treat for each of us.

Sorbet Sampler @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

I received a sorbet sampler with triple berry, apricot, and strawberry sorbets. The strawberry and apricot were both fabulous, but the triple berry was honestly the best sorbet (possibly dessert) I have ever tasted. It was jam-packed with flavor and wonderfulness. I savored that little scoop like it was a precious treasure.

Amarula Creme Brulee @ Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge

(The slightly impatient) Wingnut was given the Amarula Creme Brulee. He is not typically a creme brulee fan (I know, right? ), but he called this “incredible”. It had a layer of chocolate on the bottom that he said gave it a little something extra. I was unable to taste, just got to watch him swoon.

When we were about halfway through our desserts, our server came by and said that the only other dessert on the menu I would be able to have besides the sorbets was the chocolate cremeux cake, and if we would like to try that as well, he’d be happy to bring it over.

Wingnut left it up to me.

Oh, I was SO tempted. I kind of regret my decision now, but…

I declined.

Sometimes (rarely) I like to put up the appearance of being dainty, and didn’t want to toss even more decadence on top of the already amazing meal. I was already stuffed. It would have been just in excess.


I savored my last drop of triple berry sorbet, and thus concluded our anniversary meal at Jiko.

Despite thinking about this dinner for approximately 7 months, Jiko still managed to exceed our expectations. It was a wonderful meal from start to finish, with attentive service, beautiful ambiance, and delicious dishes.


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