Experiencing Tiffins Restaurant at Animal Kingdom
The food leans toward Indian and African cuisines, but there are other options (more about the food later in this blog). Tiffins is on Discovery Island, just before the bridge that leads to the Pandora section of the park. The word “Tiffins” means a portable meal in India and can also be used to refer to the containers you put the food in.
Like most Disney Signature dining locations, Tiffins has a theme. It just might be one of the richest themed choices in all of Walt Disney World! The “stars” of the restaurant are the Imagineers’ favorite meals, as well as places they travelled to while doing research for the planning of Animal Kingdom. The walls boast many types of amazing artwork, photos, and maps, with almost no wall space left empty.
Tiffins is divided into 3 Main Dining Areas, each one noticeably different than the others. The largest one, the Grand Gallery, is most impressive. If you are seated elsewhere, it’s fine to walk over to check it out and well worth it. The size of the room, combined with displays of animals on the walls that are all lit up, really is amazing. Guests will see rhinos, monkeys, elephants, and gorillas, large as life, beautifully lit from within.
Also in the Grand Gallery are the gorgeous and elaborate Totems. These carved wooden poles, five in total, inspired the tree of life and were made by families from Bali. Each pole is unique and has animals carved within.
The other galleries are smaller but still very nicely themed. In Trek Gallery, photos, artifacts, and art from Asia festoon the walls. In the Safari Gallery, guests can enjoy art, architectural styles, and artifacts from Africa displayed on the walls. The artwork in the galleries was done by the Imagineers while they were on location!
What makes Tiffins extra special is that in addition to the wonderful décor, the food is every bit as good, and so is the service. They specialize in African, Asian, and South American cuisines, but there are choices from other continents, including North America and Europe. For those who enjoy spice, this is the place to go! The dining options are very unique. On the other hand, there are choices for those who are not fans of spice or of flavors they are not familiar with. There is something for almost everyone (However, if you are a total “burger and fry” eater, Tiffins is probably not a good choice), and the atmosphere is beautiful and relaxing. The wait staff is very friendly and always willing to take the time to answer questions, whether they be about the menu or the décor of the restaurant.
Tiffins does not serve breakfast, only lunch, and dinner. There are daily specials, as well as a children’s menu. My friend and I ate lunch at Tiffins recently. Our meal began with a very nice bread service of Pomegranate Focaccia bread with a mix of Pomegranate, Olive Oil, and Molasses for dipping. The bread was on the sweet side and was included at no extra charge. We also got the bread service (there is a fee for that) and enjoyed it. While not as interesting as Sanaa’s (for those who may have eaten there), it was still quite good. There was Roti Naan which is very much like pita bread; Popodam, which was crunchy; and one more Bread I would compare it to a hearty rye. They were served with 3 types of dipping sauces: Lime Chutney, Hummus, and Yogurt.
I have been to Tiffins a few times and have never been disappointed in my choice of entrée. This time both my friend and I opted to go for the Tamarind-braised Short Rib. The short ribs are braised for 72 hours before being cooked. We both agreed we would definitely order them again; they were juicy and tender. The very tasty side dish consisted of a combination: Parsnip-Potato Purée, Cauliflower, Cipollini Onion, and Medjool Date vinaigrette.
My friend had wine with her meal; I had a non-alcoholic drink called Hibiscus Henna. It consisted of watermelon, hibiscus, lime juice, and soda water. I enjoyed it; it was very refreshing.
There are three dessert options. Celebration chocolate gateaux contains almond praline, white chocolate cremeux, ganache, and chocolate-Amarula sauce (this choice has Alcohol in it). The Lion King consists of caramel mousse, chocolate brownie, and strawberry-mango Sauce. There is also Passion Fruit Tapioca which has créme chocolate crumble, citrus Fruits, and coconut crème (this one is plant-based). There are soft drinks, an extensive wine list, as well as a number of cocktails available at Tiffins.
Tiffins also has a very nice lounge, the Nomad Lounge, arguably one of the best in all of Walt Disney World. The décor is beautiful, and it’s open and airy. Small plates of food are available to order, in addition to beverages. There’s an outdoor patio area for the Nomad Lounge as well. Guests can sip beverages and eat snacks while watching others pass by on the way to or coming from Pandora.
Tiffins is a wonderful dining experience. The atmosphere, combined with the service and food, is fabulous. It’s one of the Disney restaurants I have found to consistently have excellent quality in every sense of the word. Tiffins serves lunch daily from 12:00 PM to 3:55 PM. Dinner is 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM daily. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Annual Passholders are entitled to a 10% discount for themselves and up to 3 guests.