Now, I know what you are going to say….that’s a bold statement…really bold….”Best Restaurant in Walt Disney World”? But, please hear me out. This….meal…was…awesome! I am talking about no other than Tiffins in Animal Kingdom.
I have dined at ALL them all over the years…the best restaurants on Disney property. I have been wowed at Yachtsman Steakhouse, California Grill, Flying Fish, Citricos, Monsieur Paul, Brown Derby…you get the idea. I’ve had them all, with the exception of Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian…that’s on my bucket list. But, this meal at Tiffins took the cake for me and our family on our most recent trip to Walt Disney World. And, it wasn’t just the food. The service, atmosphere, and the little bit of extra Disney magic is what did it for us. After all, Disney does it all well, and that’s what keeps us going back.
So, I’ll start by saying Tiffins menu has changed since we’ve been there. We actually came here back in 2016 and have been talking about this meal in great nostalgia ever since. Tiffins was brand spanking new in 2016 and we were there in April before Pandora had opened in May of that year. We came during lunch time around 1 pm and there were approximately three other people in the restaurant, so we had the place to ourselves. With an antsy two year old in tow, that was ok with us!
First impression of the restaurant was really energetic. The décor is really neat with animals as the main theme and has that African flair you find all over Animal Kingdom. One of the first awesome things about this restaurant is you can spend hours playing a game with the little ones identifying all of the animals hidden around the dining space. The restaurant is truly unique and very well designed…and not too stuffy for signature dining.
Next, I have to mention our waiter. Now, Disney is great at hiring servers that really cater to the families with little ones and are also truly first rate in service at all of their signature locations. What made this meal truly special was the extra attention we were given with our daughter. At each course, as my husband and I simultaneously tried to entertain our fussy child while trying to savor every bite in this signature restaurant, our waiter would come out with extra special things to awe her. Does she like parmesan cheese on her noodles he asked us? Oh yes, she loves to scoop it on herself (that keeps her entertained for at least 10 minutes), so he brought us out a giant bowl of cheese for her scooping pleasure. When it came time for dessert, he asked us does she like ice cream? Next, he came out with a special ice cream sundae not on the menu just for her. Then, just when we thought it couldn’t get any better. He asked us does she like popcorn, and her parting gift was a new night blossom refillable popcorn bowl that she still plays with today. That was the extra bit of Disney magic that I can’t say enough about.
Now, for the food. In my opinion, Animal Kingdom cuisine I suggest is not for the typical burger and fries palate. Animal Kingdom is for the adventurers, and that’s what Tiffins gives you. First we started off with the white wine flight and appetizers…marinated grilled octopus, flash fried icy blue mussels, and black eyed pea fritters. I am still in awe of the octopus dish….one of the best things I have ever eaten….ever. Each dish was just so well crafted, fresh, and just so different yet wonderful! That’s what makes Tiffins so awesome. They do different food great.
On to the main courses, which I am sad to say are not on the menu anymore, but we had the Miso Glazed Black Cod and Wagyu Striploin and Braised Short Rib. The black cod dish came with forbidden rice and a side of bok choy. The meal was so well balanced and flavorful that it had me talking to the waiter about it for ten minutes that I couldn’t stop saying how wonderful it was. I mean where else do you find forbidden rice on a menu? This place is for the adventurers. They do have a Wagyu rib eye and Alaskan halibut dish on the menu currently and I am dying to go back and try.
To end the meal, my husband got the sorbet trio, which is still on the menu and amazing as well. I am not a sweet person, so our waiter let me substitute the selection of artisanal cheeses. Amazing! I could not finish it, so he boxed it up for us to take back to our room to enjoy later. I was on culinary sensory overload at this point coupled with Disney magic from the night blossom popcorn holder gift. We all left Tiffins smiling from Mickey ear to Mickey ear, and I can’t wait to go back! Please let me know if Tiffins wowed you as well in the comments!