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Your Disney Vacation Specialist
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A culinary adventure: Tiffins

Walt Disney World can be a foodie’s paradise – with so many restaurants to choose from you can find something for everyone; from the pickiest of eaters to those wanting new and exotic Tiffinscuisines, Walt Disney World makes making everyone happy a breeze. Food inside theme parks is never truly amazing to me – even at Disney, I tend to feel rushed, harried, and like I just spent a mortgage payment on good, but not great food. In my opinion, that is just the nature of trying to cater to such an overwhelming large crowd. So while we do eat inside the theme parks while we are at Disney, it is more about convenience with good food rather than a dining event. And then I tried Tiffins.

Tiffins is a gem tucked away in Animal Kingdom. This signature restaurant draws inspiration from around the globe in terms of both it’s food and the decor. As you walk into Tiffins you notice the artwork that is all around you. From totems to photographs, artifacts and sculptures – the entire restaurant pulls from both the inspirations for Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as paying homage to the final crafted park.

I was lucky enough to dine here with an educational program hosted by Disney and I fell in love and knew that it would be back with my family on our next trip. On my most recent visit with my husband and two kids – we had an amazing experience and all found a dish we loved.

For our first course, the table split the Tiffins, Signature Bread Service – with several different types of breads and dips, everyone had their favorite (although my daughter and I fought over who got the last of the black eyed pea hummus), the Selection of Artisanal Cheeses, and the Marinated Grilled Octopus. While the breads, dips and cheeses were all delightful, the octopus stole the show among the first course options. I will be the first to admit, I am not a big fan of most fish and I have a traumatic octopus dining experience when I was a small child so my son and husband wanting to order this had me a little wary. After all, I remember all too well the cold, chewy, pickled octopus I ate as a kid. But the boys overruled me and the octopus it was! Wow! The outside was charred, giving it a crispy skin that gave way to a tender but firm flesh. It was not chewy – at all – and the flavors around it were amazing. It definitely didn’t have a “fishy” taste and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

TiffinsFor our main courses, my husband and I both had the Wagyu Strip Loin and Braised Short Rib, my son enjoyed the grilled swordfish, and my daughter opted for a lighter choice with the Apple-Walnut salad from the appetizer menu. The beef dish is simply amazing. To me, it is the second best beef dish at Disney (the oak-fired filet at Jiko still rules my heart) but the strip is flavorful, firm, and has a beautiful salt and herb crust that lends itself beautifully to the flavors of the meat. The short rib is actually a little deceiving when it appears on the plate, I am used to short ribs having almost a pot-roast like look to them in the presentation but this one is sliced so it appears as a firm cut of meat and plated with the strip. Don’t let appearances fool you though, the short rib is just as fork tender as you would expect it should be. Overall, an amazing dish worthy of the price tag (it comes in at a hefty $53). The swordfish was quite tasty. And while I am not, as I mentioned, a fish person, the fish was firm, cooked perfectly and the accompaniments brought out the flavors of the fish rather than overpowering it. I quite enjoyed the few bites of it that I snuck from my son. And while it didn’t make a fish lover out of me, it is certain to please the fish lover in your group. The salad was quite tasty (but in all honesty how exciting can a salad be?). I think it would have made a lovely appetizer, although it was on the large size for an appetizer portion.

And no meal is complete without dessert! We shared the Calamansi Mousse and the Lime Cheesecake. My husband and I are not normally sweet eaters but both of these options had us Tiffinsthinking that next visit we will each get our own dessert rather than share. The lime cheesecake was light and airy; combined with the sweet and tart of the lime – it made for a wonderful, refreshing end to our meal. The Calamansi mouse is a mango mousse – although most people think of mousse as the dense, heavy chocolate mousse that we all know and love. This is about as far from that as you can get. It is,like the cheesecake, light and whipped with a sweet and tangy mango flavor that leaves you wanting another bite. For the chocolate fans out there there is a South American Chocolate Ganache that, as a family, we didn’t experience but I did sample during my solo trip. My advice – if you are going to order this, share it and love chocolate. While it was delicious, it is a dense and decadent dessert and after about one bite I had to throw in the towel!

Tiffins also features an extensive wine selection both by the glass and by the bottle from around the globe. They even carried one of my favorite South African boutique wines!

You truly forget that you are inside a theme park as you dine at Tiffins! With fantastic decor, amazing food, impeccable service and an unhurried atmosphere, you may just find yourself a new favorite restaurant!

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