Last week, I had lunch at the Yak & Yeti table-service restaurant for the second time. I’m happy to report that every thing is still top notch. The food was tasty and beautifully presented and the service was attentive and friendly. My only comment is that the prices are a little high for lunch. It’s difficult for me to spent between $16 - $23 for lunch, especially when no starters or bread is included.
I also had a key learning. I was seated in the very first dining room that you come to after leaving the lobby. In the future, I will request a table somewhere else in the restaurant. This “first” dining room shares its space with the bar and an elevator. Also, all of the people seated in the rest of the restaurant must pass thru this area to get to and from their tables. All of this is much too distracting and detracts from an otherwise quaint atmosphere. The rest of the dining rooms are fine, but skip this first one.
Next door to the Yak & Yeti table-service restaurant is the Yak & Yeti counter-service restaurant (Anandupur Local Food Cafes). I ate here today for the first time and wanted to share my thoughts. The first thing you will notice is the prices. Once again, they are high, especially for a counter-service restaurant. Entrées run from $8-$11.
I ordered the Sweet & Sour Pork for $9.99. After paying, I approached the pick-up window and my order was already waiting. Obviously it had been prepared in advance and was just waiting to be picked up from under the heat-lamp and placed on a tray. I stopped by the condiment station, picked up napkins and a fork, and then found a table.
The entrees are served in cute “Chinese-styled” cartons that are themed appropriately to the venue.
However, upon opening up my container, I found that the rice was on the bottom and the pork was on the top. This made it somewhat difficult to eat. I had to do a lot of “stirring” to find everything.
Anyone who reads my restaurant reviews knows that I’m not particularly harsh when critiquing the food served at Disney. Well today will change all that. The Sweet & Sour Pork was bad. First, it was only warm, not hot. Since this is a “counter-service” restaurant I can be somewhat forgiving in this area, but I suspect that it lost a lot of its original warmth sitting under a heat-lamp.
The breading on the pork was mushy. Blah. And the taste was practically non-existent. I don’t normally salt my food but I had to make another trip to the condiment station to pick up a packet to try to eek out some flavor.
Since I was alone, I was only able to try one item. I will make subsequent trips in the months to come and try some of their other offerings. I truly hope that what I sampled today was the exception, not the rule.
I also have a comment about the seating area. Although authentically correct to the area, I see a real problem as the summer months approach. Only a handful of tables have umbrellas. The vast majority of the seating area is not protected from the elements. I don’t know who will want to sit out here when the hot August sun is beating down on them. And it should be lots of fun to watch several hundred people scurrying for cover when the summer thunderstorms open up. Disney really needs to rethink this area.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for good counter-service food at the Animal Kingdom, try the Hot Italian Style Sandwich at Pizzafari or the ribs or chicken at Flame Tree BBQ. Pizzafari offers indoor (air conditioned) seating and Flame Tree offers a number of cozy, covered dining areas. Both are superior to Yak & Yeti and the prices are more reasonable.
Yak & Yeti is not operated by Disney, but by the same folks that run Rainforest Café.