Tiffins is located down the walkway where the old Camp Minnie-Mickey, and Festival of the Lion King theatre used to be. If you are coming from the park entrance, you take a left just before Pizzafari, and the entrance to Africa.
This is now going to be the new Pandora area, which is opening in May 2017. Whilst I still don’t understand why they went with Avatar as a theme, I am looking forward to seeing it in our next trip. Till then, just some sneak peeks of what we could see. I’m pretty sure it’s going to look amazing!
It felt weirdly empty walking towards Tiffins. The check in stand was a short distance from the doors to the restaurant itself. Tarzan was also doing a Meet and Greet in the area which was pretty cool – never seen him before!
Tiffins is a exploration-inspired restaurant, serving African, Indian, and South American cuisine. It is a Signature Restaurant, so that means it is two Credits on the Disney Dining Plan, and more expensive than your regular table service restaurant at a Disney theme park. I really liked the decor and the bric-a-brac around the restaurant- there were box frames on the wall with old photographs of adventures, and museum exhibit like boxes with field books, paints, and sketches. I’ll say it again – Disney Imagineers think of the tiniest of details.
Tiffins is divided into three dining rooms (which I hadn’t actually realised until writing up about it now!) Disney describe it best, so I’ll leave it to them:
Dining inside Tiffins is like sharing a meal inside a renowned adventurers’ club: the theme of travel can be seen and felt everywhere you look. Hike your way through the rustic front doors and behold an enormous map of the globe, before unearthing 3 elegant dining rooms honoring the spirit of Africa, Asia and some of the world’s most exotic animals.
Lavish artwork—including photograph collages, paintings and sculptures inspired by actual notes and field sketches of the Imagineers who created Disney’s Animal Kingdom park—can be found throughout the restaurant, while earth tone colors give this hideaway an authentic, warm and inviting feel… perfect for explorers looking for something new.
On the day we went it was empty – like “4 or 5 tables in the restaurant, including us” empty. I’m sure once Pandora opens it’ll start filling up, but it felt like a nice calm oasis from the bustling hubbub of exploring Animal Kingdom. There is also the Nomad Lounge next door – we didn’t take a look in there at all sadly; kind of wish we had. Always a next time…
The table layout was simple, with cutlery, side plate, and an embroidered linen napkin. The menu came in a leather bound travel-log type cover, which I thought was a lovely touch. The menu isn’t too big – which I am always grateful of – too many options on a menu and I’m stuck for ages deciding what to have! It does also appear to be seasonal, as I’m comparing the photos I took of the menu, to those online, and there are some different dishes. We went the hole hog for this first visit here – for research purposes (!) – and had three courses, as well as a side dish, and a couple of non-alcoholic cocktails.
Me: Hibiscus Henna – Watermelon, Hibiscus, Soda Water, Lime Juice ($5.50)
Him: Zingiber Fizzie – Passion Fruit Purée, Mint, Ginger Beer, Lime Juice ($6)
The drinks were delicious – but drink ’em slow as they’re not a re-fill! We also received a complimentary bread service – I can’t remember exactly what the bread was now, I think it might have been pumpernickel? I’m sure the waiter mentioned pomegranates somewhere – maybe in the oil that was on the side for dipping in? I’m not sure.
Me: Marinated Grilled Octopus – Salsify, Saffron Aïoli, Lemon-Caper Olive Oil ($16)
Him: Sustainable Seasonal Fish Crudo – Roasted Corn Salsa, Finger Lime, Smoked Sea Salt ($15)
I decided I was going to brave it and try the octopus. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten it in my life, even though as the daughter of a Greek-Cypriot father, octopus has been thrust upon me to try over the years! I like squid, but for some reason I think of octopus as really tough and chewy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The marinated grilled octopus was absolutely divine. It was so soft and succulent, and the char from the grill added a lovely flavour. I would certainly order this again.
Steve decided on the fish crudo. Crudo means “raw” in Italian, and so, it’s basically it was a bit like sashimi. I do not recall the type of fish it was, but oh my – this was another delicious starter! (We always do that shares-y thing couples do!) Well worth ordering if you like sashimi.
Both dishes were presented beautifully, and we were off to a good start at Tiffins.
Me: Chermoula-Rubbed Chicken – Couscous, Dried Fruits, Picholine Olives, Preserved Lemon, Harissa Yogurt ($34)
Him: Hoisin-Glazed Halibut – Forbidden Rice, Swiss Chard, Tumeric Sauce ($42)
I did a lot of back and forth on choosing my main course. There were very nice sounding dishes to choose from including a spiced lamb chop, pork tenderloin with a red mole sauce, and pan-seared duck breast to name but a few. In the end I decided to stick with chicken – the sides it came with, in my mind, complimented what I had for starter. The chicken was tasty, and the harissa yogurt gave a nice spicy kit. You can just see, what looks like a large chip to the left of the plate. I do not remember what it was, as it’s not mentioned on the menu, I think it was made of chickpeas, but I again, could be wrong! I do remember it tasting completely delicious, and wished that there was more than one on the plate!
Steve made the better choice of dishes out of the two of us. The halibut was delicious, as was the forbidden rice hidden underneath. You know when you wish you had your partner’s dish instead of yours? That was today!
Us: Peruvian Purple Potatoes ($5)
I ordered these because they were purple and because I thought they would taste different or something. In all honesty, they were a bit blah, and a bit overcooked. And not very purple either!
Me: South American Chocolate Ganache – Caramelized Banana, Cocoa Nib Tuile ($12)
Him: Lime Cheesecake – Almond-Sesame Tuile, Green Tea Sponge ($10)
My dessert was rich and chocolatey, and therefore was very good! I do not know what that fluff stuff is at the top end of the bar of chocolate – looks like a piece of bread doesn’t it?! Steve really enjoyed his dessert too – but we did end up sharing.
Overall, we had a wonderful meal at Tiffins, and I kind of hope it stays one of those hidden gems. The only downfall was the service was a bit slow at times – when it didn’t need to be. But, that said, we will certainly visit this restaurant again – the setting was fab to be in with all the art on the walls, the menu was interesting, and the food was excellent.
Tiffins, Animal Kingdom
Bill: $145.50 + Tax: $7.57 + Tip: $26.19 = $179.26
TiW Discount: $29.10
Total Paid: $150.16
After paying the bill, we did a bit of shopping around Animal Kingdom, before heading home to Poly. We had a quick freshen up, and headed back out the door to catch the Monorail to Magic Kingdom. We really loved staying at a Monorail Resort!