nomad-bowls-collage

REVIEW: Tuna, Chicken, and Steak Nomad Bowls from Nomad Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Bring Viable Food Options to Disney World’s Best Bar

Ask a Disney’s Animal Kingdom regular where to spend an afternoon and they’ll tell you Nomad Lounge. Having been lucky enough to eat at Tiffins, but being on a Satu’li Canteen budget, Nomad is the perfect balance of fresh, artisanal food at a price that’s relatively affordable, especially when you take in the ambiance.

Located in Discovery Island, near the entrance to Pandora, I’d actually never eaten at Nomad Lounge, but we finally went in to try out the new bowls.

Social distancing is still in place at Nomad Lounge, with the option to sit outside by the waterfront being the best way to go (unless you really need air conditioning.) Menus are available digitally by scanning a QR code with your phone.

nomad-lounge-drinks-review-2020_1

Outside, you’re seated at plush chairs or sectional sofas, making for a comfortable lounge-y experience. We, of course, had a stowaway from Windtraders with us.

Nomad Lounge – Specialty Cocktails

Spice Trader Classic – $13.00  

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Dolin Vermouth Blanc, Lemon Juice, and Strawberries topped with Soda Water

nomad-lounge-drinks-review-2020_3

Nomad Lounge is known for its creative and expertly crafted cocktails, so I opted for one of the more refreshing-sounding items, the Spice Trader Classic. If you like the earthiness of gin, with a bit of a refreshing zesty twist, you’ll love this. It’s not too sweet or too fruity, and depending on your alcohol tolerance, you’ll probably only need one of these.

Annapurna Zing – $16.00

Bombay Sapphire Gin, Passion Fruit Purée, Mint, Simple Syrup, and Lime Juice topped with Ginger Beer and a glowing Lotus Flower

nomad-lounge-drinks-review-2020_4

I continued on my gin journey with the Annapurna Zing, another incredibly refreshing cocktail topped by a beautiful lotus blossom glow cube. This one was slightly sweeter than the Spice Trader, but not in a cloying way.

Nomad Lounge – Bowls

Chicken Manchurian Nomad Bowl – $13.00

Steamed Rice, Red Cabbage Kimchi, Ginger-Scallion Oil, Crimini

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_1

Out of the three bowls we tried, the Chicken Manchurian is probably the most entry-level one, with breaded, spicy chicken layered on top of a bed of rice, pickled purple cabbage, sautéed mushrooms, and some crunchy fried rice noodles on top. Tiffins uses these fried rice noodles as garnish in most of their dishes, and I could probably eat my weight in them. For presentation, the whole thing is sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds and a threads of saffron—a classy touch.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_3

If you couldn’t tell from the bright red coating on the chicken, it’s fairly spicy, but the pickled cabbage and mushrooms, paired with the steamed rice, help make each forkful a flavorful one, as opposed to being a spice bomb. Still, if you’re shy about spice or heat, I’d probably stick to the steak bowl, which we’ll get to at the end of the review.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_4

At $13.00, this costs about the same as a chicken bowl from Satu’li, albeit a much smaller portion. Still, the flavors in this really make up for it. If I were only mildly hungry and looking to spend a relaxing hour or so sipping a cocktail and having a bite to eat, this would be my choice.

Initially, the plan was just to snack on a bowl—these are easy to share with another person as long as you don’t mind eating out of the same dish. However, after seeing how delicious this one bowl was, we decided to spring for all three.

Togarashi-spiced Tuna Nomad Bowl – $15.00

Steamed Rice, Red Cabbage Kimchi, Ginger-Scallion Oil, Crimini

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_10

Being a sushi lover, all bets were off once this got to the table. Here, they take a tuna steak, sear it to perfection with a deliciously seasoned crust, and cube it up for you to snack on daintily with the rest of the bowl.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_15

At $2 more than the chicken bowl, not only do you get an upgraded protein in the form of fresh tuna, you also get some shelled edamame as an added side.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_11

I don’t always trust seared tuna around Walt Disney World, if not at most places. Typically, it’s too seared, meaning you end up with a tough, fully-cooked tuna steak in lieu of delicious, tender raw tuna. At Nomad, they did it just right, with a crisp seared top and perfectly rare middle.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_18

If I had to pick between one of the bowls, it’d definitely be this one. Between the perfectly cooked and seasoned tuna and the delicious accompaniments, you can’t go wrong. The rice in all bowls is perfectly fluffy, along with the slightly sour kick from the cabbage, which isn’t too pungent or vinegary.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_21

The edamame are steamed and slick with the coating of ginger scallion oil, and tender, but not mushy by any means.

nomad-lounge-drinks-review-2020_6

I mean, come on. Look at that. Each bite of tuna is also perfectly saturated in the sauce, meaning you don’t need any extra soy sauce or seasoning.

Marinated Hangar Steak Nomad Bowl – $16.00

Steamed Rice, Red Cabbage Kimchi, Ginger-Scallion Oil, Crimini

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_22

Here we have the Nomad Lounge bowl for the less-adventurous eaters, but thankfully it’s still by no means any less delicious.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_23

Here, they’ve scaled back on the toppings—no edamame this time, and it’s the most expensive of the bowls at $16, but you do get a few slices of perfectly-cooked and tender hangar steak.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_26

I’m typically not a huge steak person, but like the tuna, this was seared to perfection, with a super flavorful crust and a tender, medium-rare middle. With all the other bowls, I found the mushrooms to be good, but not necessarily a great pairing—maybe some marinated shiitakes or wood ear mushrooms would’ve been a more adequate choice here, menu-wise—but when it came to the steak, the cremini mushrooms worked perfectly, lending the dish some much-needed umami.

nomad-lounge-bowls-review-2020_28

Value-wise, if you aren’t doing the “Nomad Bowl flight” and getting all three, I’d probably recommend skipping the steak bowl and opting for either the chicken or tuna. Despite the more filling steak, it felt like the smallest portion for the price… however if you’re a meat and potatoes person, this is probably the most straightforward bowl. I could probably order this, sans toppings or sides (yes, just steak and rice) for my father and he’d be happy with it, just because the quality of the steak is still incredible.

Overall

Overall, Nomad Lounge is a hidden gem for a reason, and if you usually only come here for drinks, we highly recommend trying out these bowls. If you typically order the same thing every time (I’m looking at you, Bread Service people), try the Nomad Bowls for a change. If you’re here with a friend, order a couple of drinks and all three bowls, and you’re pretty much set for most of the day. With crowds getting worse, if you need “Serenity Now!”, walk up to Nomad Lounge, get a return time, and then let yourself relax in a comfy sofa overlooking the water and the occasional character cruise. Before you know it, you’ll be lazily lounging with some delicious food, occasionally waving at Meeko, and life will be good.

Nomad Lounge is open daily from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM in Discovery Island, adjacent to Tiffins. Will you be making a reservation at Nomad Lounge for your upcoming trip? Let us know in the comments!

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x