LTDL: Living the Disney Life: Yak and Yummy! (11/15/2007)

Living the Disney Life: Yak and Yummy!
November 15, 2007

This afternoon Rebekah and I made our way to Animal Kingdom (for the first time in about two months!) to check out this year's Christmas decor and festivities and the newest Animal Kingdom restaurant – Anandapur Yak and Yeti. Located in Asia Yak and Yeti is Animal Kingdom's first table service restaurant located inside the park. It's owned and operated by Landry's, the same company that owns Rainforest Cafe. Yak and Yeti just opened to the public yesterday (November 14th) and was nearly empty when we dined there around 4:30p. After our experience at Tutto Italia at Epcot, the last restaurant by an outside vendor to open at Disney, I didn't have high expectations for Yak and Yeti. Happily, I was very pleasantly surprised.

The look of the place is beautiful (see LP Lotion for dozens of pictures) with tons of authentic items spread throughout. It's a huge restaurant with seating both upstairs and downstairs. Dining upstairs also has the bonus (if you have a window seat) of providing a second story view of Asia including the parade if you're in the right place at the right time. Our service was excellent and extremely friendly – not uncommon in a new restaurant, especially one that's not busy – but still very welcome.

But the highlight was the food (click here for the menu). Rebekah had the Seared Ahi Tuna for an appetizer and Sweet and Sour Chicken with Jasmine Rice for an entree. Ahi Tuna is one of her "try it everywhere" dishes so she can compare and she was very pleased with this one as well as the chicken. I had the Wok-Fried Green Beans for an appetizer which was just awesome! The biggest disappointment for me is there is no specific vegetarian entree on the menu (they do have some appetizers and sides). I ended up getting the Lo Mein with no meat and a side of brown rice and it also was excellent. Both the jasmine rice and brown rice were particularly good.

The portions were huge and by now I was stuffed but I didn't let that stop me. Rebekah had the Mango pie for dessert and I had the Fried Wontons – (skewers of fresh pineapple and cream cheese wantons, vanilla ice cream, honey vanilla drizzle). I had been looking forward to cream cheese wontons since I heard they were on the menu a few days ago. They're a favorite treat of mine and I was not disappointed. I only wish I could've been less stuffed so I would've eaten more of it! I also tried Rebekah's pie which was surprisingly good since I'm not a mango fan. The texture of it was very smooth and the shortbread crust was addictive (meaning I had more bites than I should have).

Total bill (2 appetizers, 1 alcoholic drink, 2 specialty non-alcoholic drinks, 2 entrees, 1 side and 2 desserts) was about $85 before tip and without any discounts. And it was worth every penny (Note: Because of Animal Kingdom's short hours, there is not a separate lunch and dinner menu).

It's so wonderful for Animal Kingdom to finally have a table service restaurant and even better that it's so enjoyable. Hopefully the size of the restaurant will keep it from becoming too crowded on a regular basis as we hope to be able to stop in frequently. And don't forget, Animal Kingdom's second table service restaurant, the new Tusker House featuring a buffet, opens on Friday!

Another great Disney eating day!