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PRIORITY SEATING SPOTLIGHT
Jiko, The Cooking Place
Last Updated: February 2005
Jiko The Cooking Place

If you are looking for "African Inspired" cusine, along with a supurb list of South African wines, in a delightful setting, with impeccible service--well, Jiko is for you!! Located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge (an attraction in it's own right) Jiko offers some of the finest food available at WDW. The menu is often described as "exotic" but don't let that label be any cause for concern. Most items on the menu are quite recognizeable and the food preparation will appeal to almost every taste.

Actually, the "cooking place" itself is actually part of the reataurant, near the front are two wood burning ovens where the chefs prepare some of the appetizers and flatbreads offered on the menu. You can even dine at the small counter area located there--we almost always see folks doing that every time we dine at Jiko. The main dining area is a relaxed setting, with a warm golden hue designed to resemble an African sunset. The servers (of whom Ron is our favorite!) are thoroughly knowledgeable about the menu items along with that extensive list of South African wines. In fact, if you are undecided about wine, your server (who may often also be a sommellier) will be pleased to make a recommendation and offer sample tastes before you decide on a glass or a bottle. As a bonus, if you are a beer drinker, as I am, Jiko has several beer selections from Africa--my favorite being Tusker from Kenya.

Though we almost always order a flatbread as our appetizer (last visit it was the Kenyan Coffee Barbequed chicken flatbread) Jiko offers a number of other appetizers, such as Duck and Pork Firecracker Spring Rolls (also quite tasty!!), or Cinnamon Spiced Beef Rolls. The "signature" entree at Jikos is no doubt the Oak Grilled Filet, served with macaroni and cheese and a red wine sauce. Sounds like that combination wouldn't mix--but it does!! This a truly excellent entree. My personal favorite (which I've ordered the last 4 times we dined at Jiko) is the Berbere Braised Lamb Shank. On this one were the meat literally falls off the bone and the berbere sauce that comes with it is devine. Monkfish is also a popular item on the menu, and I can also vouch for the wood-grilled Pork Tenderloin.

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Dessert is a must at Jiko! The Pistachio Creme Brulee is my favorite and seems to have quite a following based on reviews I've read. Also excellent is the Jiko Sundae, the Apple Spring Roll, and the Tanzaniana Chocolate Candies.

Assuming you are able to walk after all this fine food, take a stroll out to the animal observation area at the rear lobby exit. If it's still daylight, you may very well see some of the safari animals grazing in the Lodge area.

To check on when you can make your reservations for Jiko go to the PS Report.

Editor's Note: I would like to thank Brent Manns (uncleromulus on the DISBoards) for volunteering to do this PS Spotlight. Brent also reviewed the Grand Floridian's Victoria and Albert's.

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The PS Planning Guide is not affiliated with, maintained by, or in any way officially connected with the Walt Disney Company.
Copyrightę 2008 Scott L. Thomas All Rights Reserved.