Culinary Tour of Boma and Jiko

May 2015 Trip Review

It was then nearly 3:45 so I headed downstairs to the check-in desk for Boma restaurant. I told them that I wished to take the Culinary Tour and they told me to have a seat there in the waiting area and the tour would be starting shortly. I will note here that not only is this tour free, but you don’t have to make an advance reservation (you just show up at Boma a little before 3:45 on any day of the week). Also you don’t have be a guest of Animal Kingdom Lodge to participate. Anyone interested in learning more about these two great AKL restaurants is welcome!

NOTE: If you are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, check the Recreation Calendar that you are given in your Welcome Packet at check-in to confirm the start time. In the reviews that I had read previously, this tour began at 4:00 but it started at 3:45 when I was there in May. If not a hotel guest, it might not hurt to call in advance to make sure the tour is being offered that day and at what time.

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Also note there is another interesting dining event on the above calendar called “Dine with Animal Specialists”, which includes a four-course lunch at Sanaa. This is something I had never heard of before. As far as the Wanyama Safari listed in the bottom right, that I know about and would highly recommend. (See my three part review of this experience in my last dining report. LINK )

Ok, now back to the Culinary Tour, which began promptly at 3:45 with the introduction of the Boma cultural representative, who is shown in the photo below…

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Though the tour began with only a handful of guests, there were several latecomers who joined our group so we ended up being a group of about 12. Our tour guide seemed to take these late additions in stride. As far as the restaurant portion of the Boma tour, our guide explained the significance of much of the restaurant’s decor, including the tables.

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Although this part of the tour was interesting, my favorite part was of course hearing about the food. For this we started at the Carving station, with one of the chefs telling us about the preparation of their meats…

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I believe this was their Spice-crusted Beef Strip Loin that they were getting ready to carve…

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And at least four accompaniments, which I think were something called Masai Mara plus Boma mustard, Horseradish, and Sambal…

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Next was the soup section of the buffet, where we all got to sample their delicious Carrot Ginger Soup…

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They had already began putting out some of the salads and other items from the cold section of the buffet, in preparation for the restaurant opening at 4:30…

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Some of these that caught my eye were this Watermelon and Tomato Salad and Lentils and Hearts of Palm Salad with Goat Cheese, Chives, and Almonds…

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I believe that the salad pictured in the back was a Marinated Artichoke & Preserved Lemon Salad and I’m not sure but I think the one in front is their Chicken Salad with a Chili-Cilantro Vinaigrette…

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Two kinds of Cous Cous Salads, the one in front (with the pearl couscous) had tiny shrimp and the other was called Tunisian Cous Cous Salad…

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For fans of the Garden Salad, the one at Boma looked pretty good…

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And of course, there were several dressings and toppings to go along with it…

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Fresh fruit lovers, there is the usual assortment of fresh fruits on the Boma buffet (oh, and applesauce too ;))…

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Moving on down the buffet line, we came to the Breads section, which included things like pita bread, sun-dried tomato hummus, regular hard rolls and butter, and mealie bread (that looked like mini cornbread muffins)…

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Then last but not least was the Dessert station, where they had out a few desserts including Coconut Cheesecakes (I think) and their Kenyan Coffee Tarts…


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And of course, their famous Zebra Domes…

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We were each given a zebra dome to try…

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While I found several different descriptions of this dessert online, I thought this one sounded about right: Zebra Domes consist of a thin layer of white cake, a dome of Amarula Liqueur mousse, coated in a white chocolate ganache with a dark chocolate ganache drizzle. I’m sure I’m in the minority on this one, but for me these were just okay. I actually had my eye on those Kenyan Coffee Tarts, and secretly hoped that they might make an appearance at the concierge lounge that night so that I would have the opportunity to taste one. ;)

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That completed the Boma portion of our tour, but I lagged behind for a bit to listen to the drummers who were performing near the restaurant entrance…

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By the time I caught up to the tour group I had missed the introduction of the Jiko cultural respresentative and whatever she said about the Cape Town Lounge & Wine Bar area…

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But I did get to hear most of the tour regarding the restaurant decor…

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Some of what was told to us I had read about previously, but I did learn a few new interesting things regarding Jiko.

Our Jiko tour concluded at the Chef’s counter in front of the restaurant’s two tandoor ovens…

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Set out on the counter were four sets of the Jiko Bread Service, along with a plate for each of us to partake…

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The Jiko Taste of Africa was something that I had had twice before, so I knew exactly which breads and dips I most liked and dug right into my favorites…

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While all of these are good, my favorite combination was the Kalamata Hummus with the Naan bread. Yum!

Before leaving Jiko (at the end of the approximately 45 minute tour), we were each given a Jiko menu for that evening…

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And I have to admit that after looking over the menu, I felt a few pangs of regret that our reservation was at Sanaa and not Jiko that night. :worried:

So overall, I thought this free tour was great and absolutely worth the time. If you are a guest of Animal Kingdom Lodge or even if you aren’t staying there but would like to take a mid-afternoon break from the parks, this tour is both interesting and a good way to sample a few of the foods offered at these two great restaurants.

Want to know what I did next on this trip or just want to share a comment on this review? Click here to go to this trip’s blog post!

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