Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review: Jiko

The napkin at Jiko
I was incredibly excited about visiting Jiko, but unfortunately, I must say, I didn't have the best time.  I'm hardly joking when I said I absolutely dreamed about the oak grilled filet with mac and cheese (note: the mac and cheese is no longer a part of this dish, but it is still a side dish on the menu that can be ordered in addition) before our trip, but this dream turned out worse than expected.  This was supposed to be the most amazing meal of our trip, and it was our first signature dining experience.  Yes, our expectations were high, but they were also high for Le Cellier, where we were not disappointed.  But anyway, on to the review, and you can see where our dinner went wrong...

We arrived at Jiko around ten minutes before our ADR time, and we were seated almost immediately.  We learned that the restaurant had the largest selection of South African wines in the world (not that either of us were old enough to drink it), and we were given our menus.  Jiko is very romantic, and it is a perfect place for a date night.  It's dark but not too dark, and the servers are excellent (or at least ours was).  We ordered the Taste of Africa as an appetizer, which is an assortment of breads served with three dipping sauces (one was hummus; I can't remember the other two).  We also each ordered the filet with mac and cheese, cooked medium.

The Taste of Africa was excellent.  It was so interesting to try the different dipping sauces, and the bread was great.  The appetizer was $9, and it was totally worth paying out of pocket, since we were on the dining plan.  Then our entrees came out.  The first thing I did was taste the mac and cheese, which was awesome.  Then I cut my steak open.  I had ordered it medium, and it was bright red inside.  There is no way to describe it but rare.  Honestly, I'd rather them have cook it all the way to well done than eat it rare.  I do not like rare meat.  I felt bad, but I decided to send it back, and our server was very apologetic.  At this point, he brought us little salad appetizers compliments of the chef because of our troubles, but I noticed that many other tables also had that appetizer, also complimentary.  Some hadn't even ordered yet, so it couldn't be because of kitchen mistakes.  It made me wonder if we were treated differently because we were young, which is not a thought I often have at a place known for it's service like Walt Disney World.

Anyway, my second attempt at the filet came out, and unfortunately, this one turned out to be rare upon cutting it also.  I honestly didn't want to delay our dinner any more, so I simply decided I would eat it.  This is where Disney service truly shined, however.  Our server came by to make sure I was happy with it, and I said I was.  I didn't want to bother him with the fact that it was still wrong.  But he noticed that it was still bright red inside and tried to convince me to send it back another time.  The fact that he was honestly concerned (or at least it sure seemed like it) that I wouldn't enjoy my meal made me a little happier about the situation.  I ate the less-rare edges of the filet, and I ate the mac and cheese, but this certainly wasn't the best meal of our trip.

This may be slightly of topic, but many people say Le Cellier shouldn't be going back to two table service credits.  I could honestly say that our meal there was 100 times better than our two credit meal at Jiko.  The steak there was perfect, and everything was delicious.  At Jiko, we were just disppointed.  I'm hoping it was just a rough night, and I hope that I do get to try Jiko again in the future.  That said, I probably won't be returning for a while.  Luckily I'll be trying other signature dining experiences in January.

What do you think about Jiko?  Was my experience just a fluke?  Is it true that Jiko has been getting more bad reviews lately?  What do you usually order at Jiko?  Let me know what you think about this restaurant in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!
 

15 comments:

  1. Me and my bff didn't love jiko. The food was just ok. (Our biggest issue was the journey there.) Nothing really stood out on the menu and the food wasn't memorable at all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It sort of makes me sad that we paid so much for a bad (or in your case, just unmemorable) meal. Perhaps it needs to be a bit better for me to spend two dining credits there again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. True! The best 2 credits of my trip was Citricos. Wonderful atmosphere and the BEST food.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm always disappointed when I hear of someone having a bad meal here. When I went, it was amazing and definitely in my top 2 places on property, after Citricos like dragynally said. :)
    I will say I didn't get the filet, but my dad did. I tried it and honestly didn't get what all the fuss was about. He enjoyed it but it was the rest of the items we got that blew me away, just not the filet. :(

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm dying to try Jikos, myself. It's always on he to-do list, but gets voted off the island. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  6. DragynAlly, huh, Citricos? Perhaps I'll add that to my to-do restaurant list.

    DisneyGirlInNJ, maybe I should have tried something different, but I heard so many things about the filet that I really wanted it.

    Hedy, lol, I know what you mean about restaurants getting voted off the island. From what I've heard lately, Jiko has been getting some less-than-stellar reviews, so you might want to wait until it's getting rave reviews again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, if my dad didn't order the filet, I definitely would have instead and might have had a different experience. Everyone does rave about it so I figured they'd all be correct. I dunno, it was very good but it just didn't wow me. I personally had the lamb and omg, it was fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with how fabulous Citrico's is and I'm excited to be going there in a few weeks again for the third or fourth time. However, my meal at Jiko was just as great when I ate there for the first time two years ago. My mom and I split the filet and the ostrich and had a phenomenal meal and dining experience. I would definitely give it another shot when you get a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  9. DisneyGirlInNJ, I had heard the lamb was good, but I don't usually eat lamb. Maybe I should have tried it.

    Betsy, I hope to give it another shot some day. Hopefully they were just having an off day when we went!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Allison (@Disney_Alli)November 5, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    Amanda, I had the lamb and it was fantastic but I eat lamb fairly often and love it. We had my sister's rehearsal dinner there and aside from an issue with cilantro it was perfect...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hm I nearly made reservations for our next trip here but decided to try California Grill instead (that way if we're feeling especially poor that day we can just order sushi and watch wishes haha). Anyways, that's disappointing to hear. To me a steak should be pretty red on the inside (my old roomates used to cook their steaks to well-well-done and then slather them with mayo- the horror!) so I would maybe enjoy it anyways, but they should always cook it the way it's ordered, especially when it's been sent back once! Maybe I'll just stick to Boma for my AK lodge dining needs...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Allison, I knew you had had the lamb, but I wanted to try the filet anyway. I guess I should have went lamb.

    Angela, don't let this one review make a decision for you. For all I know, they were having an off night that night.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love Jiko - I'm sorry you didn't have the best time. The salad thing was probably a "gift" to Animal Kingdom lodge guests. When I ate there, my friends and I got soup because they were staying there.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ooooh, maybe. I didn't know they did that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Neither did I. It was a nice surprise!

    ReplyDelete