Boma – Dinner

December 12, 2009

Boma was a very special evening for us. We put the kids in the Neverland Club at the Polynesian Resort. (They LOVE it there but that is another post.) We drove over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner with just the grown-ups.

We started our evening upstairs in the Victoria Falls Lounge. The lounge which was decorated in dark wood with deep red tones was fairly empty and we were easily able to have our choice of tables. We sat and had a few drinks with glow cubes, as seen in the picture above.

About 15 minutes before our reservation we went downstairs to check-in. There is a long staircase connecting the bar to the restaurant or there is an elevator just down the hall for those needing it.

We were immediately taken into the expansive dining room that was enclosed on one side by huge glass windows during the day time I am sure you can look over the hotel grounds. Were were seated at one of the tables next to the window. The tables around the edge of the dining room are very close together and I almost felt as if I was disturbing the person behind me every time I took a bite of food. This is not a restaurant for those seeking privacy or space.

When Boma was first described to me it was said to be an nontraditional buffet in that it had “pods” rather than the long buffet tables. What I had pictured in my head was small stations spread around the room with a carving station at one, salads at another, etc…. It was still a buffet but each table had 3-4 items on each table. You could either jump in the line at any table or try to go through the whole line of about 10 pods but it was just so crowded and chaotic when we were there that I just tried to stick to 2 or 3 tables to try a few new things. I heard more dishes breaking here than at any other restaurant and it was usually because diners were bumping into each other trying to navigate the “pods.”

I started off with a salad and soup. Unfortunately the pictures of my soup did not turn out so well. I chose the coconut curry seafood soup. First of all I am neither a big fan of coconut or curry but thought this soup was the most interesting to me. I was greatly surprised. I could not taste the coconut milk and the curry was but the slightest hint in the aftertaste. The seafood was blended into a creamy rich broth and blended until smooth. It was divine. I actually chose to have seconds on this dish.

The plate above shows a mixed green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing that is served on every salad bar in Walt Disney World. To the left was a cold corn and mixed vegetable salad. The fufu, white and sweet mashed potatoes blended with coriander and cinnamon, is slightly above the corn salad. This was a very interesting dish. It was very sweet with just a small bite of tartness from the spices. I was very glad to have tried it but was not something I would want to eat in large amounts.

In the top center of the plate were two kinds of hummus – original and red pepper, with pita bread for dipping. The final portion, upper right, was a vegetable couscous. This was delicious. Unlike the vegetable couscous served in the Moroccan Pavilion which had small pieces of vegetables this had large chunks of tomatoes, onions and red peppers.

My second plate was my hot plate. One of my favorite items from previous Food and Wine Festivals at Walt Disney World is Bobotie. A mixture of ground lamb and rice with curry, onions and raisins under a covering of thin corn breading. This was the dish I was most looking forward to and it did not disappoint me. It was sweet and spicy all at once.

Next on the plate was a slice of beef coated with spices from Africa. The beef had a nice pink center just as I like it but the slice I had was very stringy and chewy. I had more of the vegetable couscous on my second trip to the buffet. I also tried a sausage flavored with similar spices from Africa as the beef and a corn bread like roll. The food could have been warmer when served but overall there was nothing that stood out as exceptional but it was all very good.

Tucked at the end of the buffet near a small pond is the dessert portion of the buffet. This was the hardest section of the buffet to maneuver. If you weren’t careful, as I wasn’t, you can get stuck over by the pond with everyone coming at you from another direction and you cannot get through the line.

The desserts overall on this night were okay. The first items on the buffet were standard cookies – chocolate chip, oatmeal and sugar. We passed right by those. The two standouts for the evening were the bread pudding with vanilla sauce in the top center of the plate and the small tropical fruit tart on the right side of the plate. Looking almost like an egg yolk, this little one bite treat packed a great bit of flavor into it. Tasting mostly like mango it was a delicious sweet treat at the end of our meal.

The zebra domes that Boma is most known for were gone on both of our trips to the dessert buffet. Sadly, I guess they were not meant to be on this trip.

Our first trip to Boma was complete. Would I return? Most likely. It is definitely a place for slightly adventurous eaters. You will not find plain anything other than chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese or spaghetti on the kids bar.

The best thing about the restaurant is that the types of food offered were different than anywhere else in the Walt Disney World Resort. Even Tusker House, sometimes referred to a Boma – light, is still not quite the same as this. The down side was the travel to Boma if you are not staying in the hotel or you do not have your own transportation can take quite a bit of time away from your day and it was extremely crowded and chaotic. But we will most likely be making a reservation on our next trip.

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