REVIEW: We’re Not Calling This Disney World Restaurant Perfect, But It’s Nearly There

The wilderness is meant to be explored — and by wilderness, we mean food at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So when we heard that a popular restaurant in the park had made a change to their menu recently, we couldn’t help ourselves!

Full spread

We popped by Tiffins Restaurant for a full meal of interesting eats at a signature dining price and we have to admit that the sticker shock of those fine dining prices did make us a tad nervous before tasting the food. So, after all was said and done, would we have done it over and what did we think about EVERYTHING we tried? Let’s dive in!

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Located on Discovery Island of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as you make your way toward Pandora, one of the restaurants you’ll pass is Tiffins Restaurant. This is the resident signature restaurant for this Disney World park. Here you’ll be met with an international cuisine meant to bring out your explorer and adventurous side!

Tiffins Restaurant

We’ve dined here before, but knew that Tiffins had recently added something new to the menu so we decided to book a reservation and try it out for ourselves!

Atmosphere

After you check in with the host stand outside, you’ll be directed into the restaurant’s waiting area. Ahead of you will be a counter where the hosts will greet you and escort you to your table once it’s ready.

Come on in!

Tiffins Restaurant gets its name from the South Asian English word for a meal taken during the midday but can also be used as a name for a container used for carrying food during travel. You’ll find several of those on display right as you walk in.

There’s so much to explore!

“Celebration of travel” is the heart of the theme for this restaurant, much like what the rest of the park was built on itself. Inside the dining rooms, you’re surrounded by beautiful artwork all around you, and don’t be surprised if your server and host invite you to get up and explore all 3 of their dining rooms just like you would an art exhibit at a gallery.

Menu

As we were brought over to our table, our server swiftly swooped in to introduce himself and provided us with several menus. We were seated for a meal at lunchtime, so in addition to the regular menu, we were also presented with a limited-offering menu, too. This restaurant’s cuisine is a mix of African, Asian, and South American-inspired dishes, desserts, and beverage selections.

Our table setting

Tiffins offers an extensive selection of wines to pair with their food offerings including cellar finds, sparking and white wines, rose…

Wine menu

…and lots of red wines.

The back of the wine menu

The main menu for lunch and dinner consists of a few appetizers, main course entrees, bread service…

Lunch menu

…specialty cocktails, non-alcoholic cocktails, beers, and even a few alcoholic flights.

The back of the lunch menu

Since we snagged a lunch reservation, we were also presented with a menu for lunch specials as well.

Lunch specials

After a few minutes to browse the menu and make our selections, we placed our order and waited for our food to arrive.

Drinks

To start things off we decided to order the Tropical Ube Cocktail with our meal. This drink is made with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça, Coconut Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Ube Extract, and Pineapple and Lime Juices garnished with a Pineapple Wedge and costs $16, and boy, did it taste even better than it looked!

Tropical Ube Cocktail

This drink has a nice, smooth rum base to it which really plays well against the sweet, almost tart Ube flavor with the condensed milk. All of that combined with the fruitier pineapple and lime juice helps kick that tang up just a bit to be able to pick all of the flavors out individually. Honestly, we wish they sold this drink at other restaurants around Disney’s Animal Kingdom becuase for the price and flavor of this drink alone, it’s worth the visit here!

Eats

Then our food started to arrive and it was time to dig in! You know how much we’re obsessed with bread around Disney World restaurants so naturally we had to order Tiffins Signature Bread Service, the new Tiffins Signature Burger, and finish our meal off with a White-Chocolate Orange Creme Brulee.

Our entire meal

Let’s start from the top, shall we? Tiffins Signature Bread Service is served to your table on a tiered platter featuring several types of breads and coordinating dips which costs $18. It is easily one of the most adventurous bread services you can order at Disney World and it’s not too hard to see why from first impressions!

Tiffins Signature Bread Service

Starting from the top, your first tier will feature pão de queijo served with guava sauce…

Top tier

…the middle tier features papadam served with ginger-pear chutney…

Middle tier

…and the bottom tier features Thai red curry milk bread served with coconut-curry sauce.

Bottom tier

The pão de queijo bread is a popular choice of cheese bread in Brazil and is made with tapioca flour, eggs, and cheese. The cheese is baked into the center of the small bun…

Inside the cheese bread

…and when it’s paired with the guava sauce, it creates a wonderful symphony of cheese, fluffy bread, and sweet fruity guava flavor!

Cheese and sweet

The papadam bread is much crispier and looks almost like a tortilla but it’s actually made of flour or paste derived from lentils, chickpeas, black gram, rice, or potatoes which are then fried to have the consistency of something like a chip. It will give an audible crack when you break a piece off of it or bite into it, but this one also had seasoning added to it which gave hints of cumin, and garlic salt.

Papadam

Our taste buds were sent into overdrive when we tried the papadam with the ginger-pear chutney which tasted much more savory than we expected it to! However, it seemed to balance itself out because the pear in the chutney provided a layer of sweetness against the salty, cumin flavoring sprinkled on the bread. It’s just the right amount of sweet and spice together.

With the ginger-pear chutney

The Thai red curry milk bread really lives up to the “curry” hint in its name. At first glance, your brain might want to think it’s a sweet-spice bread like gingerbread, but it’s very far from that! The curry base in the bread gives a medium spiciness to the bread’s flavor which was only enhanced with the coconut-curry sauce.

Thai red curry milk bread

The coconut-curry sauce gives it almost a sweet garlicky taste which we found to be delicious!

With the coconut-curry sauce

Seriously, this bread service is a staple and a great way to kick off your meal here without eating an appetizer that will weigh on you before your main entree arrives.

Then we turned our attention to the real star of this particular review, the new Tiffins Signature Burger. The restaurant must be pretty proud of this one because we saw it advertised and heard multiple servers talking it up as we were browsing our menu deciding on what else we’d like to order. So you know we had to put it to the test!

Tiffins Signature Burger

This burger is made of an in-house burger blend, aged cheddar, demi-glace, and Parker House roll buns and served with seasoned waffle fries for $28. We have sung this burger’s praises already individually but if this is your first go-around with this new entree, we’ll clue you in here as well!

Tiffins Signature Burger

The chef recommended a medium rare temperature for this burger to be best enjoyed so that’s what we ordered. This means that while it’s going to be darker on the edges, the inside will have a brighter pink tint to the meat. This burger really IS something to talk about though! The aged cheddar comes through first and when it’s served to you you can see the juices just oozing out of it. You’ll get a few hints of charbroiled grilling to it and it’s a tad on the salty side. The Parker House roll bun was the perfect choice because it gives just enough sweetness to counterbalance the savory taste of the signature burger blend.

Inside of the burger

The seasoned waffle fries have a great spicy and salty flavor to them and dipping them in the garlic aioli sauce really gave it an even better flavor combo.

Seasoned waffle fries

We thought this entree was an exceptional addition to the menu and highly recommend that you try it out on your next visit to Tiffins!

Then it was time to move on to dessert! For this visit, we opted for the White-Chocolate Orange Crème Brûlée which is made of blueberry cardamom curd, Amarula ice cream, orange chutney, Sellou cookie, Ras el Hanout candy crunch and costs $15.

White-Chocolate Orange Crème Brûlée

This dessert is stunning when it’s brought out to your table and looks so good that you almost don’t want to eat it (until you realize the ice cream is melting and you snap back into reality). The crème brûlée is next level!

Inside of the desert

It really tastes just like you would expect a whole chocolate orange crème brûlée would, kind of like those chocolate oranges that taste like orange but also with the flavor of crème brûlée. The Amarula ice cream has a sweet cream vanilla but almost banana flavor to it making it feel very tropical against the orange chutney.

A bite!

We would totally order this one over and over again for repeat visits but after such a big meal, it was a little harder to finish it all so you might want to consider sharing it with someone if you’re planning a full meal and not just an appetizer or entree to pair with it.

Overall

Overall to say we enjoyed our meal and service wouldn’t do it justice. We thought everything we ate far exceeded our expectations and our server was extremely attentive (to all of their tables, not just ours — we took notice) and we can’t rave about how great this experience was enough.

So much food!

While Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to several great places to pick up food (mostly from quick-service restaurants) if you’re looking for a place to sit down and have a good meal that’s actually worth its cost, we definitely recommend you make a reservation to stop by Tiffins Restaurant.

Nosh Or Not?

Make plans to stop and dine at Tiffins Restaurant if…

  • You’re looking for signature dining with incredible theming. There’s just nowhere else like Tiffins Restaurant in all of Disney World. They’ve got so many fun details and decor to spot throughout the restaurant that it’s hard to see it all the first time around. This is a repeat restaurant for sure.
  • You’re tired of the same ol’ theme park food. If you’re looking for more to your meal than just a standard mass-produced burger, hot dog, or pizza then give Tiffins Restaurant a try! We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
  • You’re a nature or history buff who loves a good story. Storytelling is at the heart of everything Disney World tries to accomplish and this restaurant is no exception. They’ve created a whole backstory to the restaurant’s name that ties into the South Asian culture and incorporates elements that you would find in that region of the world within the decor.

You’ll probably do better grabbing food elsewhere at Disney’s Animal Kingdom if…

  • You’re looking to stay budget-conscious with your meal. Tiffins Restaurant is a signature dining restaurant at Disney World which means while their food is probably higher quality than you can find around most of the rest of the park, you’ll pay a higher price for them here.
  • You’re not an adventurous eater. If your taste buds just aren’t the kind that craves anything outside of what you’re typically comfortable with eating, you might not like all of the spices and flavors that go into a lot of the meals here. Everything from the bread service to the dessert had some very inventive flavors that go beyond just the plain “standard” for how you would typically have in mind for them to taste.
  • The idea of this meal sounds great, but you’re not visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately, if we’ve already hooked you on the idea of the restaurant, the only way you’re getting in for a reservation is if you have valid park admission for the day you’re choosing to dine here. While this restaurant can’t be accessed unless you DO have park admission for the day, if you find yourself facing this very scenario and really don’t want to go far to grab your next meal, the Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a table service restaurant that DOES NOT require park admission to enter it as it sits just outside the park’s entrance.

We’re always checking out the latest menu changes, newest snacks, and tasty treats around Disney World! Be sure to check out a few more of our most recent reviews below, and stay tuned with us at Disney Food Blog for more!

REVIEW: Magic Kingdom’s New Snack Is a Delicious Annoyance

Need Disney Restaurant Advice? We’ve Got EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Have you ever dined at Tiffins? Tell us all about your experience and what you grabbed to eat in the comments below!

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