Satu’li Canteen is a counter-service restaurant in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – World of Avatar. The restaurant offers American food but is more health conscious than the typical fast food/theme park grub. Satu’li Canteen does take part in the Disney Dining Plan (1 counter-service credit) but doesn’t accept any other discounts currently. In this post, we’ll review the restaurant’s theme, cuisine and value.
The movie Avatar didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. I remember seeing it once when it came out in theaters, seemingly everyone in the world saw it in theaters, and haven’t revisited since aside from a few 20 minute spurts on cable TV. That said, I love Pandora – World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom. The land does a beautiful job of letting guests explore the, admittedly, beautiful setting that the movie puts forth. That beautiful setting and story extends all the way to the restaurant, Satu’li Canteen.
Without a doubt the land will be known for its beauty but there is man-made devastation in a portion of Pandora that doesn’t seem to fit in. This is the story that (I assume) the movie started to tell and the land continues to tell. Satu’li Canteen is inside of military mess hall that was used when humans were trying to take over(?) Pandora. All of this is fairly obvious just based on the surroundings. This makes the restaurant less beautiful than the rest of the land but it does fit in with the theme.
That’s not to say the restaurant is ugly. There is some artwork hanging from the ceiling that fits in with the rest of Pandora. I liked the woodwork throughout the restaurant, which felt somewhat organic. Still, with the beauty of the land, it’s a somewhat odd choice to make the restaurant so generic. With beautiful sights around every corner in Pandora, the atmosphere in Satu’li Canteen is a bit of a letdown. On the bright side, the inside offers a nice respite from the heat of Animal Kingdom. If it’s cooler outside, then there are plenty of tables to take in the sights of the land.
While the atmosphere is slightly underwhelming, the food certainly isn’t. Satu’li Canteen continues to fit the Pandora theme by having a very natural and healthy menu. Animal Kingdom has always promoted conservation and a slightly different lifestyle than a typical theme park and the food here certainly endorses that. But, if I lost you at the phrase “natural and healthy menu” then come back because the food is truly delicious.
Satu’li Canteen’s main entrée are bowls full of ingredients guests choose. The first ingredient is the protein in the bowl and your choices are chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu. The next decision to make is the base of the bowl and the choices are Red and Sweet Potato Hash, Hearty Salad, Rice and Black Beans and Noodles. The last choice is the sauce on the bowl with either a Charred Green Onion Vinaigrette, Black Bean Vinaigrette, or Creamy Herb Dressing.
At this point, we’ve tried nearly all of the bases and dressings. The Hearty Salad is obviously one of the healthier options and we found it good but not great. Considering the other options I would probably go with something else but this isn’t a bad choice. Both the Noodles and the Black Beans and Rice options are solid, with the Noodles being similar to chow mein noodles and the latter adding a more Mexican twist to the bowl. My absolute favorite base is the potato hash as it’s mostly salty with a little bit of sweet thrown in. I’m not a big sweet potato fan but it works well here. As for the dressings, I like the Creamy Herb Dressing the most although it’s admittedly the least healthy.
As far as the proteins, we’ve tried both the Beef and Chicken. I like the Chicken, as it’s grilled and cut into fairly small pieces. The real star here though is the Beef which is cut into thin slices and cooked to (usually) a medium. The spices on the meat make it though, especially when combined with the hash and creamy dressing. It’s a winning combo. These bowls, if only picking one meat and not the combo, are $14.99 for the Shrimp, $13.99 for the Beef and $12.99 for Chicken. The combo of Beef and Chicken is $16.99 and the Tofu option is $12.49. I’d absolutely recommend the Beef out of these options and find the price to be surprisingly fair. It’s a little higher than some counter-service options but you get what you pay for in this case.
We also tried the cheeseburger pods and thought they were decent but nothing more. I wouldn’t recommend them for adults (the bowls are a much better choice) but I do think kids would enjoy them. If you do want them, I’d recommend getting them as a kids meal if not on the dining plan as it’s a better value.
For dessert we ordered the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse. Not only was the dessert pretty, it was delicious. I don’t really enjoy cream cheese but really loved this dish. The blueberry flavor was great and mousse was rich and creamy. This is one of the better desserts in Animal Kingdom.
All in all, Satu’li Canteen is a wonderful addition to Animal Kingdom’s strong counter-service lineup. Without a doubt, this is a step in the right direction for those who want to eat both healthy food and quickly. I can’t think of a better option in all of Walt Disney World that combines both of those options. While the atmosphere could be better as it is throughout the rest of Pandora, Satu’li Canteen is still a nice place to cool off. I highly recommend Satu’li Canteen, no matter your food preferences. While the menu may seem a little more adventurous, I think the quality in food is as high as any other counter-service restaurant on property.
Overall Rating – 9.5/10
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Categories: Restaurant Reviews