Yak & Yeti Restaurant is a table-service location in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. The restaurant serves Asian cuisine and keeps in theme with the village of Anandapur in Animal Kingdom’s Asia. Yak & Yeti is part of the Disney Dining Plan as a table-service credit (it’s not a great value on the Dining Plan but you could do worse). The restaurant also accepts Tables in Wonderland and offers an Annual Pass Discount. This review will include photos, our thoughts on our meal here as well as what value Yak & Yeti holds.
I’d been interested in dining at Yak & Yeti for years due to my love for Asian food and the beautiful Animal Kingdom land that surrounds the restaurant. What held us back from ever going to the restaurant, aside from usual logistics, was that the reviews on the food were lukewarm. The restaurant, unlike others in Animal Kingdom, is run by Landry’s – a group with a few restaurants in Disney World that aren’t exactly known for their cuisine. Along with Yak & Yeti, Landry’s also runs Rainforest Cafe and T-REX, neither of which can boast anything other than a somewhat interesting atmosphere. Yak & Yeti is certainly a different type of restaurant than those two but there was a connotation with being named in the same breath as them.
What Yak & Yeti (and Landry’s) definitely succeeds in is accomplishing the theme. Animal Kingdom’s Asia is a beautiful and deep land, full of relics and story. The restaurant continues that story by acting as a boutique hotel for travelers who will be adventuring up the mountain or staying in the village of Anandapur. The owner of the ‘hotel’ is a collector hence all of the artifacts throughout the restaurant. All of this story is explained on the back of the menu and it works pretty well. What’s more impressive than the story though is simply all of the sculptures, artwork and trinkets that Yak & Yeti showcases. It’s a beautiful place to explore and would certainly work even without a backstory.
Yak & Yeti is divided into two floors. If you have the option, request a table on the second floor as there was slightly more space, detail and the views out the windows are nice. Even if you’re relegated to the bottom level, there is plenty to look at and enjoy. The colors throughout the restaurant are fairly bright and liven up the place along with some creative lighting. Overall, Yak & Yeti does a wonderful job from a theme perspective. Fitting in with the beautiful land outside the doors while finding it’s own unique place in the park’s story.
The food is slightly less successful, although I certainly wouldn’t call it disappointing. Here’s a look at the menu. There were (and likely are) several specials offered inside of the restaurant that weren’t on the online menu.
We mainly stuck to entrees for this meal although someone in our party did order the Lettuce Cups (generally an appetizer). If memory serves, she really enjoyed them and recommended them.
I ordered the Steak and Shrimp Stir Fry (one of the specials at the time). It came with Steak, Shrimp, Onions, Carrots and a Teriyaki Sauce. Fried Rice was served alongside of it. This dish was just okay. I did like the shrimp but the steak didn’t have much flavor. Along with that, I thought the dish was a little heavy handed on the sauce, making it too sweet for my tastes. The flavor wasn’t very nuanced, with the sweet taste of the sauce being the main takeaway with every bite. There was nothing about the entree that was bad, it just wasn’t overly interesting to me.
Melissa ordered the Honey Chicken and we both liked this. This was another sweet sauce but it didn’t overpower the dish. The vegetables countered the sweet Honey Chicken pretty well. The pieces of chicken were fairly large and generally a good mix of the batter and chicken. While it was good, I’m not sure that I would order this again. Instead, the noodle dishes looked more interesting to me as did a few of the specialties. Those categories of the menu seemed more ambitious albeit at a steeper price.
Melissa’s entree was $20 while mine was about $25. Neither was an incredible value but it’s on the lower side of table-service restaurant while also offering something more unique than sandwiches. All of the Noodle dishes, save the Lobster Garlic Noodles, are all right around $20 and there’s only one thing on the menu (again, the Lobster Garlic Noodles) over $30. That makes Yak & Yeti the cheapest table-service restaurant in Animal Kingdom and an interesting place to go if you’re on a budget but want a more relaxing meal.
Does the lower cost make the restaurant worth going to though? I’m not sure that I’d go that far. We loved the atmosphere in the restaurant and all of the detail but the entrees weren’t as good as other table-service restaurants we’ve eaten at. Yak & Yeti might be a good place to go and share a meal and dessert or an appetizer. If Animal Kingdom didn’t have such a strong restaurant scene (we like Tiffins and Tusker House more and the park has excellent counter-service options, as well) then we’d be more apt to recommend Yak & Yeti. As it is, the restaurant offers a great atmosphere with average food.
Overall Rating – 8/10
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Categories: Restaurant Reviews