Jiko - The Cooking Place


DIS Veteran
Mar 1, 2003
Here's part of a review I did from my last trip. The full review is here:


After visiting the Animal Kingdom I headed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Jiko which means The Cooking Place in Swahili. I asked to be seated at the “cooking place” if it was available and I lucked out and got to sit there. Now this has its good and bad points. The counter height is a bit higher then the normal tables and as a wheelchair user I felt like I was a kid eating at the grown ups table for the first time. But I was given the choice of the counter or a table and I’m glad I sat at the counter.

As you can see in this picture there were a fair amount of kids around me. They were no trouble at all. I knew about the young boy beside me of course but I didn’t even realize the tables behind me had children at them until I got home and saw the picture. It’s great to see kids who can handle dining at a nice restaurant.

Michael was my waiter. We talked about the menu a bit and what wine to choose. I decided on 2 glasses one white and one red but I couldn’t tell you much about them other then they went well with what I ordered. He brought out some nice bread with great butter.

My appetizer was the Tikka Marinated Ahi Tuna. Sitting at the cooking place I must have seen them make it 25 times that night. It was great and I could see why so many people were ordering it.

Siham (can’t remember how this was spelled) was great. We talked between courses and she’d slip me some of whatever she was cooking. I enjoyed sitting at the cooking place and she was a big part of the reason.

My main course was the famous Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon with macaroni and cheese. Now I’ve been doubtful about the whole idea of mac and cheese at an upscale restaurant but this mac and cheese was great. It’s like they took the cheeses from a really good potatoes au gratin and used that for the cheese in mac and cheese. I want to find the recipe for this and try it at home. The filet was really good and had a nice smoky taste to it and the wine reduction really set everything off well. I was really happy with my choice.

Dessert was a pistachio crème brulee with a layered chocolate bottom and a cup of coffee. The crème brulee disappointed me at first because the top was only slightly crunchy…but then I tasted it! I have to say this was my favorite dessert of the trip. It was great!

Now I did have one problem with dessert. They really need to serve the coffee in a mug. ROFL. I couldn’t get my finger into the little hole in the cup! It was cute…

Overall I had a great meal at Jiko. It’s going to be a tough choice in the future between Jiko and Boma.


DIS Veteran/Philly Native
Apr 21, 2000
Our ultimate favorite restaurant in all of WDW!! Love that photo of the filet with mac n cheese, the only place I eat a filet now as no where else compares!:lmao: Awesome salmon, love the tomato, onion and cucumber salad!! There are just so many unique things to order.

JIKO is a must do every trip. DD loves it as well and has been a regular since she was 5. She loves it too! This was the first place she ever had salad so I was quite happy she added that to her list of things she lives.:thumbsup2

Some of the nicest views are along the bottom area where you can look outside at the water pond.
  • rascalmom

    <font color=purple>Business trips should include a
    Apr 29, 2001
    We have dined at Jiko twice now - it is our ABSOLUTE favorite restaurant. Can't say enough about the food & service. There were six of us (all on DDP) for our Christmas trip - we each ordered something different & everything was wonderful.

    I love the chicken - garlic & lemons. Yummmy! Creme brulee is the BEST...loved the flatbread appetizers.

    Can't wait to go back!:cool1:


    DIS Veteran
    Dec 4, 2002
    Jiko is are absolute favorite restaurant in all of WDW! In my signature are my TRs...I always mention our visit to Jiko and post pictures - plus there are some pics of Jiko in the Vegetarian link.


    WDW is my Shangrala...and I'm going...life is bett
    Jan 9, 2000
    Jiko is one of our top 3 WDW restaurants...even the kids love it.

    John's Mom

    Jambo Wildbunch Gang
    Jun 20, 2004
    Jiko is our favorite WDW restaurant--great food and wonderful atmosphere.
  • Ron from Michigan

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 23, 1999
    Jiko along with California Grill are our two faviorite places to dine at WDW. On our last two visits I had the Lamb Shank and it was fantastic. :)


    <font color=blue>BL II - Blue Team<br><font color=
    Sep 28, 1999
    That looks so good! I can't wait to try Jiko this year. It will be our first time! YUMMY!
  • kmw443

    Earning My Ears
    Aug 1, 2007
    DH and I are just back from our first trip to Jiko and it was AMAZING! First of all, I got my times mixed up so we were an hour late for our reservation. Maybe it was because it was 9 pm, but we had no trouble getting a table. The host (in his most adorable African accent) simply said, "It is no problem, welcome to Jiko".
    This was our first experience with a four and a half star restaurant, so it was a little awkward when they brought out the warm towels soaked in rosewater for us to clean out hands with. Once that was out of the way, we ordered out meals, and our waiter was able to suggest a wine that went perfectly with both.
    For appetizers, we had the BBQ chicken flatbread and the beef bastela with cucumber yogurt- both were EXCELLENT! (Let me also say that I am an extremely picky eater.) For entrees, I had the famous filet with mac 'n cheese and my DH had the lamb shank. It was probably the best steak I've ever had, and the wine reduction was perfect. The only drawback was dessert- we ordered the YOAMD chocolate mousse pyramid. Definitley not my favorite, but we were so full by that point that we didn't really miss it.
    I would definitley recommend Jiko. If you're on the dining plan, it's completely worth spending the 2 TS credits. If you're not on the dining plan, it was still a really great value. Some of the wine can get a little pricey, but if you skip it, its completely affordable. Our meal at Jiko cost less than some of the other meals we had that week, and was of much higher quality. We'll definitley be going back!


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 24, 2004
    As many others have said, this is my favorite restaurant at WDW. Great food, decor and service and a wonderful wine list comprised solely of South African wines, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the US.


    DIS Veteran
    May 16, 2000
    Amazing - Currently my favorite WDW restaurant. The food, the ambiance, the service, the wine list .... all wonderful. I could go every night of my vacation, even if it was only for the amazing wine list & appetizers from the Cooking Place.


    Maximum Magic Maker
    Feb 15, 2004
    There is nothing I enjoy DIScussing more than WDW food! :thumbsup2

    Jiko is hands down my favorite restaurant at Disney. The food is amazing and the service incredible. I once had flounder there that can only be described as "a religious experience". :cloud9: I've also had the chicken and the scallops entrees. My favorite appetizer is the flatbread with different hummus dips. So truly African and delightful. The cheese plate ($14 of cheese!) is also excellent. The atmosphere is gorgeous and relaxing. Jiko is also home to the largest hidden Mickey on property! If you are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge be sure to take the culinary tour. You will get to meet chefs at Jiko as well as sample some of their offerings. Free food, yes please!

    Now hopefully I will not offend, but in my opinion, this is not the ideal restaurant for children. Yes, they are welcome and accomodated (kids menu), and I personally have no problems dining near children, this is WDW after all, but it's not the best most family-friendly environment. This is an upscale dining experience I think best enjoyed by adults. Unless your kids are culinarily sophisicated like Remy from Ratatouille they would probably enjoy Boma more. Jiko is the kind of place where you want to take the time to savor your meal and your wine and enjoy a few courses.


    DIS Veteran
    May 16, 2004
    Remy (oops, I mean DS) asked if we could 'try Jiko this time' since we've been to Boma so many times (and loved it each time, BTW). I hope I can get him to order the steak so I can try some mac and cheese...


    Mar 16, 2005
    Does anyone know who the new chef will be with Annette leaving. I have met her at a few events and she is/was excellent. I hope they bring someone in who is just as good if not better.


    DIS Veteran
    Sep 2, 2004
    We will be in Orlando for christmas this year with the family and decided to eat out on Christmas Day. Really fancy AKL but cannot decide between Boma and Jiko and wonder if anyone can point us in the right direction for this. Know we will need to book in advance so tha is not a problem but would very much welcome advice.

    I myself am not a meat eater and wonder if anyone has had the veggie options and could give some adice on this

    Thank you so much


    Disney News and Updates

    Subscribe and never miss out on Disney News, Deals and Updates.