The Yak and Yeti Restaurant inside Animal Kingdom has never been at the top of my “must try” list. This is mainly because I can find many great vegetarian and vegan options at quick service locations for much cheaper. However, I recently noticed an addition to the menu that intrigued me…a vegan Korean cauliflower dish. I was off to Asia to try this new item.
Yak and Yeti is a table service restaurant located in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom. It’s meant to be a small village eatery inside a hotel where weary travelers from various parts of Asia mix and mingle sharing their culture and food. The decor is an eclectic mix of Asian artifacts, statues, posters, and mismatched furniture. I enjoyed the immersive theme of the restaurant and hoped the food would be just as diverse as the atmosphere.
When we were given the menus, the only item marked with a leaf (indicating it was vegetarian friendly) was the Korean cauliflower. I asked our server if there were any other options available to vegetarians and vegans. Our server, who happened to be a vegan, was a very helpful and a breathe of fresh air after dealing with a rude cast member at guest relations. She brought us the food allergies menu and then gave us an entire rundown of what can be modified. Here is the list and how to modify various items to be vegetarian or vegan (aside from salads and the already vegan Korean cauliflower).
Lettuce Wraps- substitute tofu for the chicken
Vegetable Lo Mein- substitute rice noodles for the egg noodles and ask for a different sauce
Sweet and Sour Chicken- substitute tofu for the chicken
Korean Beef- substitute tofu for the beef
Vegetable Stir Fry- on food allergies menu
Tikka Masala- on food allergies menu (vegetarian not vegan)
We were elated to see how many options were available to us and had a hard time deciding what to try. After wavering back and forth, we decided to still try the Korean cauliflower and we also tried the modified Korean beef.
Let’s start with the Korean cauliflower. This is a “spicy” oven roasted cauliflower with Korean BBQ seasoning and served with a side of quinoa. Like most things labeled “spicy” at Disney, it has a kick but nothing too overpowering. I actually enjoyed the cauliflower and the sauce served over it. It wasn’t overcooked or bland. The quinoa was prepared like a fried rice. It was good but could have used a little more spice to it. This was one of the cheaper items on the menu and it was tasty enough to order again.
Next, we tried the modified Korean beef. The dish came with firm tofu, peppers, onions, pineapple tossed in a Korean BBQ sauce and served with a side of jasmine rice. This dish had a few of my favorite things (tofu, pineapple and BBQ sauce). The Korean BBQ had a slight kick with a tangy sweet and sour taste. I really enjoyed the flavors of this dish. Despite being a little pricey, I would definitely get it again.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with my experience at the Yak and Yeti Restaurant. I was skeptical going into it and was already in a bad mood from an unpleasant cast member encounter earlier in the day. The server brightened my day with her enthusiasm and helpfulness. I still think the food is a little overpriced, but the quality and variety available to vegetarians and vegans is worth a repeat visit.
Have you tried any other modified menu items at the Yak and Yeti?