by Beth Keating
December 7, 2023
For those of you who are a little more adventurous than the typical diner, Disney has added a new venture to its restaurant line-up. “eet by Maneet Chauhan” is the newest fast-casual locale to open at Disney World. We were there on Day #2 this week to try it out.
The spot is a bit hard to find, tucked away in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs, next to the Days of Christmas shop, and just past the carousel. You have to be looking for eet in order to find it – you won’t just stumble across the dining location. Even the very friendly staff noted that guests were surprised to find them back in the farthest corner of the Springs, with passersby perhaps a bit disappointed that they hadn’t known about the eatery before having enjoyed an earlier meal elsewhere in the complex.
The food at eet was good, though, so it won’t be long before word spreads and the restaurant becomes a hidden gem, especially for those looking for something a little different for their meal.
The restaurant is the project of celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan and her husband, Vivek Deora, an award-winning hospitality duo. You may know Maneet from Food Network’s Chopped and Iron Chef. She has also had restaurants in Chicago, Nashville and New York. The couple is bringing this Indian-inspired restaurant to Disney Springs to show off “their family’s culture and traditions to one of their favorite vacation spots.”
The menu has a variety of dishes for guests. While some of the offerings had a mighty strong kick (especially by Disney standards), most were very approachable, and could even be a good introduction to international cuisine for newer diners. The portion size was fairly large and immanently shareable, so it would be worth ordering several dishes to sample amongst your table to get a full range of options.
Our prediction is that the “eet Bread Service with Pimento Whipped Paneer” is going to be one of their best sellers. That’s one of the options we tried, and we’ll definitely go back for it again. The service was prepared with two different naan breads and five sauces, as well as a large scoop of pimento whipped paneer and a few crisp veggies for $18.00.
The naan bread came in two versions: buttered naan and garlic naan. The flatbread was as big as the plate, more than enough for your dipping adventure, but should you need more, there are extra orders of the naan available for $5.00 for the garlic naan, and $4.00 for the butter naan. There’s a spicy green chili naan ($6.00) as well.
The five dips that came with the naan ranged from sweet to “Wow, that’s spicy!” Coriander honey was our favorite, with a thick, sweet profile that coated the naan perfectly. The mint was a bit of a surprise, and ranked as our second favorite. We almost wouldn’t have called it a “mint” dip if our server hadn’t told us so. It was bright and herby, more of a pesto in appearance and texture, with only a hint of mint in the undertones. It would also be great as a topping on grilled meats!
After a quick bite, we set aside the red Tamarind Coriander chutney – waaay too spicy for our more heat-reluctant palates. We put the lid back on that one and moved on to the garlic pickle chutney. It was thinner than a typical chutney, and had a smoky underpinning that was sweet with just a bit of lingering heat. The last dip, lime pickle, was more of a chutney-style thickness, and similar to a tart jam. It was good, but not as much of a favorite as the first two options.
In the middle of our plate was the real prize, the pimento whipped paneer, a light version of a cheese spread that took us off-guard by how fluffy and creamy it was. We were expecting a firmer pimento cheese, but this was delightfully airy. Spread on the buttery naan, we could have eaten this all afternoon. There were also a few masala vegetable sticks (carrots, celery and radishes) to break up the spices between sampling.
The second dish we tried on our visit was the Chicken Tikka Naan Pizza ($14.00), one of two naan bread pizzas on the menu. (The other is a saag paneer with spinach sauce). This is a good introduction to Indian food for the newbies in your group. The pizza is served on naan bread, crispy in spots, with a lightly charred bottom. Two kinds of cheese (mozzarella and a more powdery parmesan) provide a nice texture contrast with each other, and the tomato butter sauce was lightly sweet with just a touch of heat, but pleasantly so. There were a significant number of chunks of high quality white meat chicken incorporated into the sauce, and everything tasted very fresh. This pizza was a winner, and worth getting again, though it might not be the most “authentic” Indian food on the menu.
You can also build your own bowl ($18.00) with a myriad of different combinations. First, you choose your base from cumin basmati rice, turmeric riced cauliflower, or salad greens. Then, pick your kabab, from tandoori chicken, paneer tikka, basil cilantro shrimp, or masala roasted cauliflower. Last, you’ll choose the sauce, from tikka (tomato), saag (spinach), moilee (coconut curry), or korma (cashew saffron).
For a little more fun (and also a little more heat), you can opt for the Walking Taco ($12.00), a split bag filled with crunchy Indian puff snacks topped by spicy pork chili, Indian pico de gallo, and tamarind chutney and cotija cheese. A Tandoori Chicken Poutine ($14.00) puts an interesting twist on the usual dish of gravy-topped fries by piling chaat masala fries with tandoori chicken, white cheddar curds, and a tikka tomato butter sauce. This one is sure to be popular with diners.
For a more traditional option, there are samosas ($9.00), a two-piece potato and pea pastry served with two different chutneys, and for a little lighter touch, there are two salads available, a “street style puffed rice salad” ($12.00) with lots of unique flavors like mango, strawberry, mint and tamarind; or the samosa chopped salad ($15.00), with chopped greens and a chaat vinaigrette.
A kid’s menu is also provided, with smaller choices of the pizza ($9.00), a dish of two Hawaiian roll beef sliders ($9.00), or a more familiar chicken fingers dish ($9.00). They come with fruit or fries, and apple juice.
There are two dessert choices available at eet, a rather messy Chocolate and Strawberry Naan ($8.00), a large naan flatbread topped with sauces and diced strawberries; or the Gulab Jamun Cheesecake ($9.00), a New York-style cheesecake with saffron, cardamom, strawberries and gulab jamun.
eet has a pretty extensive drink list for a fast-casual place, but a few of the unique drinks include the eet Citra Pale Ale ($8.00), made just for the restaurant, and a selection of Lassi, including our favorite, a Mango Yogurt Lassi ($5.00).
To dine at eet, you’ll order at a counter, where they will give you an electronic tracker to place on your table (which you’ll choose yourself), and a cast member will bring your food to your table when it’s ready – which on our visit, was really quick! The food arrived at our table nearly before we did. We stopped briefly at a service counter to pick up our napkins, drinks, and utensils, then went into the dining room. Like magic, our food was there even as we were getting settled.
In addition to the bright red, vibrant main dining room, there is a patio you can dine in. Pop music plays over the sound system, giving the restaurant a lot of energy, and the open kitchen gives it a lively feel as well.
While there are spicy options on the menu, many of the dishes are more “Americanized” versions for a wider range of visitors to Florida, as well as offering fun takes on foods, such as the tandoori chicken poutine. (Maneet’s style has been called “global fusion with roots in Indian cuisine.”) There are so many choices to explore at this eatery that we’re sure we’ll be back to visit again.
Our advice? Go soon, before the crowds figure out that this little nook is hiding in the back of Disney Springs! Just follow the wonderful scent of spices wafting out the front doors, and you’ll know you are in the right place.
Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.
Support the Daily Dose of Disney with Ray Keating podcast at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1724143. Subscribe at the $8 or $10 level, and get The Disney Planner: The TO DO List Solution by Ray Keating. Remain a supporter and you'll get a FREE BOOK by Ray Keating every six months going forward. Thanks!