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Yak and Yeti Archives

February 22, 2008

Yak & Yeti Update

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.

Anandupur Local Food Cafes

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.

Anandupur Local Food Cafes

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.

Anandupur Local Food Cafes

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.

November 14, 2007

Anandupur Local Cafes - Animal Kingdom

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Yak & Yeti Opening Day Review

I had heard that the Yak & Yeti restaurant in the Animal Kingdom was opening today. Since I had just been there a couple of days earlier and the construction walls were still up, I was a little dubious, but decided to check it out.

My friend Donald and I arrived a little before 11am. There were already about thirty people in line ahead of us. We confirmed with a cast member outside that the restaurant would be opening in about 5 minutes for "walk-ups" only.

During the first several minutes after opening, seating went slowly. Management was definitely giving the hosts and hostesses, servers, bartenders, and chefs plenty of time to get acclimated to their new surroundings before bombarding them. Eventually, they started taking names and told us approximately when we could expect to be seated. We were taken to our table around 11:20.

The restaurant is beautiful - just like you'd expect a Disney restaurant to be. Actually, I'm not sure beautiful is the right word. The restaurant is themed beautifully, but it's not beautiful. I'm not exactly sure what region of Asia this eatery is supposed to reflect, but I'd have to say the areas in and around Nepal.

The building looks like it's been here for many, many years and has seen the ravages of time. Floor tiles are broken, chandeliers are missing crystals, and the window pains are made of imperfect glass. Also strewn around the various rooms was Asian bric-a-brac - an assortment of stuff from all over. In other words, it looks authentic.

As our hostess took us to our table, she pointed out some of the details of the restaurant, telling us that the "proprietor" had selected this piece and that while on his travels.

The restaurant has a number of small dining rooms located on two floors. I doubt that any one room has more than ten tables in it. This gives guests a very cozy feel. Also, there are a few tables on each floor situated next to windows that look outside. I'm sure these window tables on the second floor will be in high demand.

The restaurant was promoting the Yak Attack, a concoction of Mango Daiquiri, Bacardi Light Rum, and Wildberry Flavors. Donald and I each ordered one and were happy we did. It certainly had a tropical taste about it, but was like nothing we'd ever tried before.

For appetizers we split the Dim Sum Basket. It arrived at our table in a bamboo steamer basket. Our waiter, Jay, set it down between us, then lifted the lid and positioned it just off to the side of the main bowl - a very attractive touch.

Dim Sum Basket

Later in our meal a manager stopped by. He asked us if Jay had presented the Dim Sum Basket correctly. When we said that he had, the manager was pleased and said that they are striving hard to serve several dishes with a flair. The Dim Sum Basket contained Pork Pot Stickers, Shrimp Siu Mai, Cho Su Bao and Pork Siu Mai. All was good and plenty for two to share.

For entrees I had the Baby Back Ribs .

BBQ Ribs


Donald had the Maple Tararind Chicken. We were both pleased with our selections.

Maple Tamarind Chicken

For dessert I had the Sorbet which consisted of three different flavors, raspberry, lemon, and mango. It was beautifully served and tasted even better.

Sorbet

Donald had the Chocolate Brownie Sundae. There wasn't anything particularly Asian about it, but it was big and delicious.

Chocolate Brownie Sundae

Overall the menu is fairly tame. There is nothing so exotic as to send guests running for a hamburger. Even the pickiest eater would have an easy time finding something to their liking.

While dining, I saw Joe Rhode wandering through the restaurant with some other big-wigs. For those of you who don't know, Joe Rhode pretty much designed the Animal Kingdom and was the primary guy when it came time to design and build Expedition: Everest.

I called his name across the room and he was kind enough to come over to our table. I introduced myself and complimented him on this wonderful restaurant. He then introduced me to another gentleman who was the lead architect on this project - unfortunately, I can't remember his name. Joe was then kind enough to pose for pictures. I was jazzed!


Jack, Donald, and Joe Rhode

At the moment, it hasn't been decided if the Disney Dining Experience card will be accepted here. This restaurant is operated by Landry's, the same company that operates the Rainforest Café, which does not accept this card.

Ever since the Animal Kingdom opened, I have said that it needs a waiter service restaurant inside the park. The Rainforest Café is too far away being all the way at the park's entrance. The Yak & Yeti Restaurant is a welcome addition to the Animal Kingdom. The theming is wonderful and the food is good.

At the moment, reservations are not being accepted. They are only taking "walk-ups." Beginning December 3rd guests can make reservations for January 4th and beyond by calling 407-WDW-DINE

Yak & Yeti Restaurant - Animal Kingdom

I visited the new Yak and Yeti Restaurant today in Animal Kingdom. Here are the photos.

Descriptions, menus and a narrative to come later.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The “World” According to Jack in the Yak and Yeti category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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