REVIEW: Satuli Canteen Lunch and Dinner, Pandora – The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The Satuli Canteen is the quick service dining location in Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, offering a fairly unique menu compared to other counter service offerings at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Discover healthful dishes and familiar flavors from another world—wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins.
Between your aerial adventures on Avatar Flight of Passage and family-friendly voyages aboard Na’vi River Journey, tuck inside the Quonset-hut structure called Satu’li Canteen—long ago an RDA mess hall, now a peaceful dining facility adorned with Na’vi art and cultural items.
Owned and operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), Satu’li Canteen supplies travelers all the comforts of home—courtesy of a unique, fast-casual menu that’s been crafted from Pandora’s natural abundance.
Featuring international-inspired cuisine, vegetarian options and specialty libations, it’s the perfect place to refuel as you venture through the Valley of Mo’ara.
I would best describe the inside of the restaurant as an Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant located in an abandoned hangar. That’s pretty much what it is. It’s a strange blend, but it isn’t unpleasant. There isn’t much indoor seating, but the outdoor seating looks to be comparable in size, so it should work out when crowds descend upon the land.
The ordering area is massive, featuring a number of bays utilizing what remains of a former RDA commissary (in storyline).
Here are the menus for lunch and dinner (including the one for those with allergies). We’ll cover breakfast in a separate review.
Chopped Wood-Grilled Chicken Bowl ($11.49)
Wood-Grilled Chicken Thighs marinated with Garlic and Olive Oil topped with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Boba Balls served with your choice of Base and Sauce
As you may notice in the photographs, the ubiquitous Disney Parks plates are not to be found here, instead, you get a “real” plate and silverware to dine with. A nice touch that we have seen at some of the nicer counter service locations in recent years.
This particular dish has the Creamy Herb Dressing, which ended up being my favorite, especially mixed with the Red and Sweet Potato Hash (which is also a winner). The chicken was cooked well enough and mixed with the sauce and base in a nice way. The vegetable slaw and yogurt boba balls are fine, which is good, BECAUSE IT COMES WITH EVERYTHING.
Slow-Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl ($12.99)
Slow-Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef marinated in a blend of Garlic, Herbs, Red Pepper Spice, and Red Wine Vinegar topped with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Boba Balls served with your choice of Base and Sauce.
You’ll see two unique orders of the beef above, one with Mixed Whole Grain and Rice, and another with the Red and Sweet Potato Hash, but both have the Charred Onion Chimichurri. The chimichurri is pretty bland and adds almost nothing to any dish, and especially in this case with the rice, which is flavorless to begin with. The beef itself is a real winner, tender with a lot of flavor for a counter service offering.
Sustainable Fish Bowl ($12.99)
Panko Breaded Sustainable Fish topped with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Boba Balls served with your choice of Base and Sauce
The fish in this case was mahi-mahi and I thought it was solid, crunchy on the outside with a flavor in the vicinity of sweet and flaky inside. Again, the rice and the chimichurri are under this and I just would not recommend this combination.
Chili-Spiced Crispy Fried Tofu Bowl ($11.49)
Crispy Fried Tofu seasoned with Chili-Spice topped with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Boba Balls served with your choice of Base and Sauce
The chili-spiced fried tofu was possibly my second favorite to the beef, offering a good flavor with a little kick if you aren’t in the mood for meat. It mixed really well with the Creamy Herb Sauce and the Red and Sweet Potato Hash, a combo I would have again. One thing worth mentioning is how huge these dishes are. I had a hard time finishing this dish and I usually can clean a plate pretty well.
I also spiced this dish up with tabasco, which is available at the condiment station.
Cheeseburger Steamed Pods – Bao Buns ($10.99)
Steamed Cheeseburger Pod stuffed with Ground Beef, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickle, and Cheddar Cheese served with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Vegetable Chips
These were good, but I think a bit overhyped. Don’t get me wrong, I like them, but the meat to bun ratio is way too uneven. If they loaded some more meat and cheese in here, it could be one of my favorite entrees at a quick service, but the flavors just don’t even out right now. The meals are also a little on the small side, so don’t get these if you are starving. They might actually work better as something to share as a quick snack or something to split between your entire party should you all just want to try them.
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My favorite part of the meal was the vegetable chips which have a really pleasant flavor palate with a salty tinge.
Vegetable Steamed Curry Pods – Bao Buns ($10.99)
Steamed Vegetable Curry Pod with Eggplant, Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, Carrots, and Shallot Cilantro Cream served with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Vegetable Chips
While the cheeseburger pods are getting all of the attention, I actually think that these were just as good, if not better. There is a curry spice sprinkled over the pods, but on the chips as well, adding quite a bit of spice to the plate. The vegetable mix in the pod makes for a unique and tasty flavor. If the cheeseburger version isn’t of interest to you, these are a good option.
“Teylu” All-Beef Hot Dog Wrapped in Dough ($6.79)
All-Beef Hot Dog wrapped in a Parker House Dough served with Vegetable Chips and Grapes, and Small Dasani Bottled Water or Low-fat Milk
A big step over the usual kid’s hot dog dish, the wrap-around bun is quite good and a vast improvement. The delicious vegetable chips are included with this as well.
Cheese Quesadilla ($6.49)
Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese in a Tortilla served with Vegetable Chips and Grapes, and Small Dasani Bottled Water or Low-fat Milk
Back in the day, I used to really enjoy the cheese quesadillas when they were located at Pizzafari, and these are very similar and pretty good if your little guy or girl are in the mood for such a thing. Quesadillas aren’t complicated, but these were made with quality ingredients and you could taste it. AND AGAIN THERE’S THE VEGETABLE CHIPS.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse ($5.29)
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse with Passion Fruit Curd
The most discussed dessert leading into the opening of Pandora, this item is no longer even a cheesecake and has already been greatly reduced in size. It’s good enough, but personally not something I would order again. It did prove popular with others at the table, so maybe it’s just my taste on this one, but it has such a weird, gelatinous texture and the flavor wasn’t what I expected at all. Way too much passion fruit for me.
Chocolate Cake ($5.29)
Chocolate Cake with a Crunchy Cookie Layer and Banana Cream Topping
While the former cheesecake now mousse dessert received top billing, this was by far my favorite of the two. The flourless chocolate cake flavor of the airy dessert blends perfectly with the crunchy cookie layer at the bottom and the banana cream on top. This is a must order in my book, one of my favorite desserts in all of Walt Disney World.
Pandoran Sunrise ($4.49, $13.49 with Navi Flute Cup)
Exotic blend of Tropical Juices including Pineapple, Mango, Lime and a hint of Melon with a Pineapple garnish served over ice (also served in a Na’vi Flute Cup)
The Pandora Sunrise is probably worth skipping for something at Pongu Pongu instead (namely the Night Blossom). It’s refreshing, but pales in comparison. For a better value, fountain drinks with refills provided by self-derive fountains are available, with many more options than you might usually expect, including Sprite Zero, Barq’s Root Beer, and Coke Zero in addition to the usual variety.
The Navi Flute Cup is pretty nice, including a flute that can be detached and played.
Dreamwalker Sangria ($9.50)
Refreshing White Sangria with a hint of Blue Curaçao
Carbonated non-boozey garbage honestly. It’s light and fruity with a grape tartness due to the ones placed on top, but I wasn’t able to fully grasp flavors over the blue curaçao.
Satuli Canteen is likely the best overall counter service restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, especially with mobile ordering offered (based on our experience). With a good variety of options with a number of customization aspects, it would be hard to not find something for everyone at this eatery. With the portion sizes leaning towards the larger and fountain beverage refills available, it also feels like a better value than many other options.
Satuli Canteen will open to the public on May 27th, 2017 inside of Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.