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Old 06-21-2011, 01:53 AM   #121
cbg1027
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Dinner at Jiko - The Cooking Place

After a lazy afternoon around the resort pool, we were ready to indulge in another unique dining destination right at AKL - Jiko!

I had eaten there once before, but this would be Mark's first visit.

I had tried and loved the Taste the Africa appetizer, so I convinced Mark to share it as a starter.



The dish comes with three breads: Naan, Lentil Papadum, and Whole Wheat Lavosh, and four dips: Durban Tikka Masala, Malay Spinach-Lentil, Kalamata Olive Hummus, and something that I can't recall the name of that definitely has a kick to it.

I love the salty, fluffy Naan, and the crispy Papadum. The Lavosh is basically like a very wheaty pita bread, nothing worth eating in my book. I really liked all the dips, but fyi, three of them are spicy, with only the hummus being non-spicy.

I ordered a salad to begin with for myself - the Braised Beet Salad with Smoked Bacon, Goat Cheese, Shallot Marmalade, and Beet Vinaigrette:


Another view - there are beets tucked back behind that glorious slab of bacon!


If I had to describe this dish in one word, it would be....AMAZING! I was a bit confused when our sever first set it down in front of me as I was expecting a traditional 'salad' preparation with the ingredients chopped and mixed together. I couldn't even tell what the huge slab was at first - I realized it was bacon and was a bit awestruck. I had never seen such a wide, thick cut! It was seriously the best bacon I have ever eaten in my life - perfectly cooked, slightly crispy, porky, tender, salty, smoky...this was what bacon should be like! The beets were sweet and tender, the goat cheese soft, strong, and tart, and the shallot marmalade sweet and onion-y. Getting a little piece of everything together for one bite was a perfect symphony of flavors. Needless to say, I almost licked the plate clean!

For an entree, Mark went with the Grilled Marinated Lamb Loin with Chickpea and Chorizo, Spiced Swiss Chard, and Apple Cider Reduction:


I took a few bites of this dish and thought it was quite excellent. The lamb was tender and very flavorful. I loved the chickpeas with chorizo and the swiss chard - Mark of course ignored the sides, but really enjoyed the lamb!

I had an appetizer dish for my entree - Wild Boar Tenderloin with Mealie Pap, Chakalaka, White Truffle Oil, and Micro Cilantro:


Another fantastic dish! The Boar was surprisingly non-gamey. It tasted somewhere between pork and beef and it was tender and delicious. Mealie Pap is basically the African version of grits, and chakalaka is a spicy vegetable mix. The truffle oil was aromatic and deeply flavored the dish, but didn't overpower anything. The whole thing was just perfect!

After the gluttony of our first THREE courses, we managed to saved room for more - dessert!

Mark went for the Tanzanian Chocolate, Cherry and Chocolate - Chocolate Cremeux with Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate-Cherry Mascarpone, and Cocoa Nibs:


I was lucky enough to sample a bite of this dish and it too was just outstanding. It was actually two different chocolate desserts. The bottom bar was a wonderful cherry flavored chocolate creation, and the top bar a mousse sandwiched in between pieces of chocolate.

I opted for the Amarula Creme Brulee, with a chocolate layered bottom, and white chocolate/cranberry/pistachio biscotti:




I had tasted the old pistachio creme brulee and much prefer the Amarula version. It had a lovely, delicate citrus flavor without being sour or tart. The chocolate layered bottom is a great touch!

I also wet for a pot of Vanilla Rooibos Tea:


I had tried this tea on my previous visit to Jiko and feel in love with it. Rooibos is a caffeine free African bush tea, but it tastes much like a black tea. This version had a natural sweetness to it with the vanilla and it's perfect as is - I don't add anything to it!

Our food was really wonderful that evening, but I didn't mention anything about the service because it didn't stand out. It wasn't bad, wasn't good...the server just seemed to be going through the motions and wasn't very 'Disney-like'. It certainly didn't ruin our experience, but it does lower the mark I'm giving this dinner.

I was torn between a B+ and an A- due to the lackluster service, but I'm going with the A- because the food was just that good!
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:08 AM   #122
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Wonderful Jiko review!

The food you had looks so delicious! Such a shame about the service - it really does affect the dining experience doesn't it? And we have high expectations from Disney!

Looking forward to more!
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:23 AM   #123
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Somehow I missed a few updates!

Okay, so here we go ....

I LOVE your tasting menu at BlueZoo! Last time we were there I didn't even notice they offered something like it!

Sanaa looks wonderful as always ...... we LOVE it too! Maybe we should try the bread sampler and spreads there - they look SO yummy.
And that burger on Naan bread is right up Tom's street - I am going to show your pictures to him this afternoon to wet his appetite.

Can't wait for Jiko this summer! All the food looks yummy - I had the chocolate dessert last time - maybe I should try the Creme Brulee next!
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:36 AM   #124
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We hadn't planned to return to Jiko this trip but this weekend changed our minds and I made an ADR. After seeing your review, I am so glad we did! Don't know what we were thinking not planning to go back in the first place as we have always had great meals there!
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #125
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YUM! Jiko is definitely high on the list of signatures that I need to try!
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:50 PM   #126
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Love the review of Jiko and the food looks great!

It's a shame the service did not match the food.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:41 AM   #127
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A Late(r), Leisurely Breakfast at Boma

On the last (departure) day of our trip, we decided to skip RD so we could sleep in and have a later-ish breakfast at our resort. We changed our 7:30 Boma ADR to 9:45!

Mark and I had eaten at Boma for dinner on our previous trip, but neither one of us had tried it for breakfast.

The place was packed and we once we checked in, we had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated.

I tried to get some photos of the buffet since piles on random food on a plate doesn't look so photogenic, but I couldn't get it so you could make out what the food is and see the labels. Here are the shots anyway though, so you can see all the variety offered!

Carving Station with Corned Beef, Ham, and a Biscuit and Sausage Skillet:


Sausage, Bacon and 'Traditional African Fare' - Chakalaka (Spicy stewed tomatoes and onions), Pap (basically grits), and Grilled Tomatoes


Pancakes, Waffles (sadly not Mickey shaped), and Brioche Raisin French Toast, with Good Syrup:


Oatmeal and Quinoa with assorted toppings:


Scambled Eggs, Goat Cheese and Chive Scrambled Eggs, and Turkey Bobotie:


Cereal:


Sticky Buns and Chocolate Croissants:


Croissants, Banana Bread, and Scones:


White and Wheat Bread, Bagels:


Assorted Mini Muffins:


Fruit Salad and Yogurts:


And on to my first plate:


At the top we have pineapple and grapes - both were fresh and ripe.

To the right of the fruit is the Goat Cheese and Chive Scrambled Eggs. These are great and probably my favorite Boma breakfast item. The goat cheese makes the eggs super creamy and the chives add a nice herby flavor.

Continuing clockwise is breakfast potatoes. These are just ok. Definitely a step up from the food court potatoes, but nothing I'd get seconds of.

On the bottom is Turkey Bobotie. This an African dish made of ground meat, raisins, and spices topped with a cornbread-like crust. The turkey was a little too dry, but the flavors were nice. It is on the sweet side.

To the left of the Bobotie is the Pap. These are basically African Grits. They're ground smaller than American style and have a creamier, smoother texture. I really liked this with some added salt and pepper.

On top of the Pap is a pork sausage link. It was just the standard sausage found at most Disney buffets - good, but nothing to write home about.

In the middle is a piece of ham from the carving station with Boma mustard sauce. The ham is very good and the sharp, spicy Boma mustard is a great topping for it.

I went for a second plate so I could sample more:


On the top we have more Goat Cheese and Chive Scrambled Eggs - they were so good!

Going clockwise around is the African Fruit Salad. I think the dressing is yogurt based, and has some mint in it. It's very tasty and refreshing.

Next item is a mini chocolate chip muffin. This was just ok, tasted like packaged pastry.

The Chocolate Croissant, however, was excellent! The bread is soft and buttery, and I love the chocolate and big pieces of sugar that give it a bit of a crunch and interesting texture.

The last item I sampled was Raisin Brioche French Toast. A bit different than regular French toast. The Brioche bread has a different texture than most French Toast and it doesn't seem to be as sweet. Pretty good though.

Boma was a good breakfast, but it's not good enough to warrant a special visit on a park day. I would eat here again if I staying at AKL and it was a day I wasn't visiting a park though.

Grade: B
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:41 AM   #128
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We like Boma breakfast too! Not a fan of dinner though!

Those goat cheese scrambled eggs are heavenly and there are quite some other goodies there too! Sad to see it is departure day!
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:51 AM   #129
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Loved your Jiko and bluezoo reviews. I have to try bluezoo soon because I love seafood and your food looks delicious! And the wild boar appetizer at Jiko also looks great. It sounds like an upscale version of a common South African dish (mealie pap and wors, which is short for boerewors, a tasty South African sausage). I have to try it!
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #130
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Mmm Boma breakfast looks good! We are going for dinner and hope we will enjoy the experience.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:56 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizneeat View Post
We like Boma breakfast too! Not a fan of dinner though!

Those goat cheese scrambled eggs are heavenly and there are quite some other goodies there too! Sad to see it is departure day!
Karin, I like Boma for breakfast more than dinner too. I guess for dinner I'd just rather be at Sanaa or Jiko. It's yummy for breakfast, and very convenient when staying at AKL. I find if you walk up right when they open, at least as a small party, they can seat you without an ADR.

Oh don't worry about departure day - I'll be starting another DR for the trip I just got back from! I go on trips more frequently than I can finish my DR's! Not a bad problem to have....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDoleWhip View Post
Loved your Jiko and bluezoo reviews. I have to try bluezoo soon because I love seafood and your food looks delicious! And the wild boar appetizer at Jiko also looks great. It sounds like an upscale version of a common South African dish (mealie pap and wors, which is short for boerewors, a tasty South African sausage). I have to try it!
Yes, you must try bluezoo soon! That tasting menu was really something special.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Mmm Boma breakfast looks good! We are going for dinner and hope we will enjoy the experience.
It's a fun meal - I have a review of the dinner in one of my other DR's if you're interested.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:40 PM   #132
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Last Supper at Turf Club

After breakfast, Mark and I spent a little time at DHS on our last day. We then had our last Disney meal as an early dinner at the Turf Club, located at Saratoga Springs.

Neither one of us had ever been to the Turf Club, but the menu sounded good, and I like having an excuse to see all the different resorts.

We opted to sit on their large, outdoor, shaded patio as the weather was super nice. It was around 4:30 in the afternoon, so the restaurant was pretty empty. I hear it's quite easy to get a walk up at Turf Club anytime though.

Our server for the evening was Sharon. She was wonderful and offered to take some photos for us - the one of Mark and I on the first post was one she took.

Mark and I both opted for a 'farewell to Disney' drink. He had a bottle of Yeungling beer and I went for the cocktail I first had at 'Ohana, and drank many more of the the rest of the trip - the Red Grape Sensation! It's made from Red Grape Hibiscus vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, agave nectar, and soda water.


It's a super refreshing and light drink, not overly sweet or sugary. I came home and found the vodka (Rain Organics brand) and have mastered making the drink myself!

Sharon told us a about unique signature Turf Club appetizer that we thought sounded good, so we opted to share an order - Buffalo Chicken Wings (pulled Buffalo Chicken, wing sauce, blue cheese dressing and celery served with Saratoga Chips)


The menu description could use some work. This is like all the meat and sauce from buffalo wings made in to a dip, topped with blue cheese and julienned celery They serve it with freshly made potato chips and it's fantastic! Very interesting way to get your wing fix. The chips were thick cut, fresh, hot and not overly greasy. The wing dip was a great with a mild/medium kick to it. So yummy!

For an entree, Mark chose the Bacon-Barbecue Angus Chuck Burger - half pound burger with Applewood Smoked Bacon, barbecue sauce, crispy fried onions, aged cheddar cheese, and Cilantro mayonnaise


Mark had them leave the fried onions off though. He said this was a great burger, and the best one he's had at Disney. It was served with more of those lovely fresh made chips.

I went with the Crispy Chicken Breast Sandwich - with herbed goat cheese, Balsamic-marinated tomatoes and onions, and Arugula on Rosemary Foccacia served with vegetable slaw or Turf Club Potato Chips:


As you can see, I opted for a different side item. I ask Sharon if I could have fries since I had just eaten chips with the appetizer and didn't feel like slaw. She said they had regular and sweet potato fries, so when I had trouble deciding, she said 'or I can get you a mix of both kinds!'. That made my day - I always have trouble deciding on things on a restaurant because I like to sample lots of dishes.

The sandwich had a very moist, perfectly fried chicken breast with a very flavorful, unique breading. It was more a bread crumb and herb crust than a traditional batter. It went wonderfully with the goat cheese, arugula, and balsamic marinated tomatoes and onions. The bun was soft and fluffy, with a nice crust, and a bright herby flavor.

The fries were great too! They had an herb parmesan mix sprinkled on them - both kinds were very yummy.

While Mark opted for another Yuengling, I had to have one last Disney dessert! I chose the Chocolate Espresso Torte with Vanilla Port Wine Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce:


I really only need one word for this dessert: Wow!
But I will elaborate: dense, almost flourless chocolate cake with hint of coffee flavor. It was almost like the espresso brought out new notes in the chocolate flavor. The whipped cream was freshly made, and the vanilla port ice cream was subtle, but delicious, and made such a nice pairing with the intense flavor of the torte.

It was a great last meal before we headed back home.

Turf Club earns an A!

It was a trip of good eats! And most were wonderful.

See you next time, thanks for reading!
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:48 PM   #133
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Wow, your meal at the Turf Club sounds and looks fabulous!
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:56 PM   #134
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Your review of The Turf Club sounds great!

That was cool of Sharon to let you have both kinds of potato fries.

Your dessert looks awesome!
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:05 PM   #135
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The Turf Club looks delish! I gotta get there someday!

That cake looks like
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"I Don't Wanna Meet Mickey In a Frumpin' Poncho!"
"SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! It Builds Character and Strength!" A July 2011 TR!

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