Posts Tagged by beef short rib

Friday Feast: Jiko

01 Jiko_Sign

I’ve visited Jiko a few times over the years, but I have recently discovered a love for this restaurant. Not only is it located at one of my favorite hotels, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but the food is just beyond amazing. B and I ate here once and he wasn’t as big a fan as I was, so who better to bring back for an amazing meal than your best girlfriend. Enter Amanda….my foodie partner in crime! We had 2 amazing meals here this year and now Jiko is our favorite dining location in Walt Disney World. In fact, Amanda is celebrating her Mom’s birthday there tonight…Happy Birthday Mom!

Partners in Crime :)

Partners in Food Crime 🙂

Our favorite place to eat at Jiko is the Chef’s Counter. There are six seats here that overlook their partial show kitchen where they make all of the appetizers. This includes the flatbreads which are cooked one of the super hot brick ovens. The ovens get up to 685 degrees and only take 5 minutes to cook the flatbreads! The chefs (most of them) are very friendly and happy to answer any of your questions. If you’re a foodie, this is a great place to become more immersed in your meal.

00 Jiko_Chef's Counter

Chef’s Counter!

00 Jiko_FlatbreadsSo let’s dive in! Many are hesitant about dining at Jiko because of the “exotic” cuisine. But in reality, it’s not all that exotic and just purely delicious. Here are some of the menu options:

Jiko Apps

Jiko Apps

Jiko Soups & Entrees

Jiko Soups & Entrees

Ok, some of the ingredients might be strange and unusual, but just give it a chance. How can you go wrong with this amazing bread and butter to start?! There are two kinds of bread, honey wheat and rye focaccia with flax seeds, and the butter is a sundried tomato butter combined with cilantro, turmeric and ginger. Yes, it’s amazingly delicious. Oh and if you have an egg sensitivity like I do, let them know and they will separate the bread for you…pretty cool!

Honey Wheat Bread includes eggs

Honey Wheat Bread
includes eggs

Rye Bread egg-free

Rye Focaccia
egg-free

On both visits, Amanda and I split the same appetizers. After having the Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin for the first time, I’ve pretty much been dreaming about it ever since. The meat is insanely tender, the pap (a traditional African corn porridge) is amazingly creamy and the spices are insane. This tiny little appetizer packs a flavorful punch!

06 Jiko_Wild Boar

Amanda and I are cheese addicts…if there’s a cheese plate on the menu, we’re getting it! Jiko has a great one with some interesting accouterments, including a date and mango jam, ground pumpkin seeds, plum gelee and a honey crisp.

Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate

08 Jiko_Cheese MenuMouth watering yet? Let’s move on to the entrees. The most famous entree at Jiko is their Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon. When the restaurant first opened, it came with an amazing Mac & Cheese. The menu was changed to the current Spoonbread Souffle, which I’m sure is good, but no comparison to the Mac & Cheese. Good news, you can still request it and the kitchen is happy to oblige!

011 Jiko_Filet

Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon with Mac & Cheese

If you’re a fan of beef, you might also like the Short Ribs. These are perfectly tender, but beware that they are quite spicy. Amanda ordered this on our first visit and while I thought the beef was good, it was a bit too spicy for me.

013 Jiko_Short Ribs

Spicy Beef Short Rib

On our second visit, we both went the seafood route at the suggestion of our amazing waiter Hassan (who we had both times!). I was ready to get the Filet Mignon again, but was also intrigued by the Yellow Snapper. And I’m so glad he convinced me to go with that! The Pan-seared Yellow Snapper with Tea-smoked Lentils is beyond amazing. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it was probably the best dish I’ve had in WDW. The sauce is a Citrus-Curry Beurre Blanc and if I could put this on everything I would. Basically, order this dish….

Yellow Snapper

Yellow Snapper

Tea-Smoked Lentils with the Yellow Snapper

Tea-Smoked Lentils with the Yellow Snapper

Sigh…I want that right now. Amanda ordered another delicious seafood dish, West African “Jerked” Scallops. Girl likes the spicy stuff! These were very good and I particularly enjoyed the Coconut Curry Sauce. However the baby carrots were very underdone and hard to eat…boo.

012 Jiko_Scallops

Jerked Scallops

Well there’s always room for dessert, right? Jiko has a very interesting dessert and after dinner drink menu, and me, I’m more partial to liquid desserts.

Dessert Menu

Dessert Menu

Dessert Cocktail & Coffee Menu

Dessert Cocktail & Coffee Menu

Most of the desserts have eggs, so I steered clear of those. But Amanda raved about both the Coffee Creme Brûlée and the Chocolate Cake. They look delicious!

Kenyan Coffee Creme Brulee

Kenyan Coffee Creme Brûlée

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Cinnamon-Chocolate Flourless Cake

I did try their sorbets, Coconut and I can’t remember the 2nd flavor!, which were quite good. Great egg-free option!

Sorbet

Sorbet

Now the after dinner drinks…I tried both the Zebratini and the Nutty African. YUM! The Zebratini was a bit too sweet for me, but the Nutty African was right up my alley!

Zebratini

Zebratini

Nutty African

Nutty African

Yowza…that’s a good meal! I wish I was there right now! Look how happy I was after my last meal there…

Pure Contentment

Pure Contentment

Have you eaten at Jiko? What is your favorite dish there?

Friday Feast: Todd English’s Bluezoo

01 Bluezoo_Dolphin

Todd English’s Bluezoo is located in the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort and often overlooked by the everyday Walt Disney World guest.  I always feel like if you’re not staying at the Swan or Dolphin, it’s rarely visited.  Well on a recent visit while staying that the Boardwalk, B and I decided to take a stroll over and check it out.

We had an early reservation and my initial thought when entering the restaurant was that it was dark, despite the large windows surrounding the dining room.  The atmosphere is also much more modern than most of the restaurants you will find at Walt Disney World, more along the lines of an NYC restaurant.  The show kitchen is massive and very impressive to see all of the chefs working.  The coolest feature of the kitchen was the “Dancing Fish” which is a signature dish at the restaurant.  The fish spin around an open flame grill…super cool!

Dancing Fish

Dancing Fish

We were seated at a great table with a view of most of the dining room.  I was immediately impressed by the ceiling.  Yes, the ceiling…the light fixtures are so interesting!

Bluezoo Dining Room

Bluezoo Dining Room

Look at that ceiling!

Look at that ceiling!

Obviously, our first priority was cocktails and they certainly have an interesting and extensive list.  I love creative cocktails (as long as they’re not too sweet!) so I had a hard time choosing from this list.

05 Bluezoo_Drink Menu

Bluezoo Cocktail Menu
click for larger image

I knew I wasn’t going for the Bazooka Joe, which is bubblegum infused vodka (blech!), so we both settled on the Zooberry instead.  This was deliciously dangerous!  This is house-infused blueberry vodka with lemon juice and rock candy syrup to add a touch of sweetness.  Oh my.

Zooberry

Zooberry

With the cocktails, we were also given a delicious bread basket full of rosemary parmesan crisps, onion rolls and baguettes…mmm.

07 Bluezoo_Bread

We ate a ton of bread while we looked over the menu.  Bluezoo is renowned for it’s seafood, but there were a few other things on the menu that were drawing me away from the recommended dishes.  However, we did decide to go the seafood route for our appetizers.

08 Bluezoo_Menu

I’m a sucker for shrimp & grits, so the Low Country Jumbo Shrimp over Cheddar Hominy and Bacon Butter (Bacon Butter!!!!!!!!) was right up my alley.  And yes, it was a whole lot of deliciousness.

09 Bluezoo_Shrimp App

 

B loves New England Clam Chowder so of course he ordered it here.  But sadly, he was a bit disappointed.  The chowder was more like a light broth instead of the thick creamy “chowda” that we’re used to up in the Northeast.  The flavor was great, but just not what we were expecting…

010 Bluezoo_Chowder App

For our entrees, I went with the 15 Hour Pork Collar.  Like the shrimp and grits, I’m also a sucker pork.  Pork chops, pork belly, pork shoulder, you name it…I’ll order it!  So this slow cooked pork over rye spaetzle and bacon cabbage sounded like heaven.  Oh and it was…

012 Bluezoo_Pork

B ordered the Mesquite Rubbed Beef Tenderloin, which also came with a BBQ Short Rib Raqout.  Whoa…everything about this dish was deliciou

011 Bluezoo_Beef

Now I didn’t have room for dessert, but B is always up for chocolate so we ordred the Warm Chocolate Raspberry Chocolate Cake.  Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this.  This cake was very light and the fresh raspberries added a nice crispness to the dish.

013 Bluezoo_Cake

Overall this was a great meal.  The only negative thing I could say about it is that it was too rich and heavy.  The flavors were phenomenal  but the sauces were a bit rich.  Granted this meal was at the end of a week of indulgence, but I think I would still go lighter on the appetizers next time because of the heavy (yet delicious) main courses.

I would definitley recommed taking a trip over to the Dolphin to check out Bluezoo.  The restaurant on is on the Disney Dining Plan and they accept Tables in Wonderland so you really have no reason not too 🙂

Have you ever eaten at Bluezoo?  What do you think?