Sunday, 27 May 2018

Satuli Canteen is the most recent quick service addition in Animal Kingdom and has one the most diverse menu options Disney has ever showcased in a QS outlet. A positive movement and hopefully a sign of things to come.

I have to say I wasn't expecting anything spectacular here, but I was intrigued to try it and I am so glad I did.

Satuli has now become my no.1 spot for daytime dining in Animal Kingdom, through a combination of quality food and some decent air conditioning!

If you don't want to shell out on table service dining at lunch time, you will only find 2 restaurants in AK which offer shelter and air con; Satuli and Restaurantosaurus. Personally I wouldn't waste my time in the second, which offers nuggets and sad excuses of burgers, however if you have extremely picky eaters this may be your only option.

Animal Kingdom offers some other tasty and diverse food offerings but unfortunately most offer little if any shelter and so they just aren't ideal until the sun goes down making Satuli my top choice.

Decor, Theming & Service

Satuli Canteen sits towards the very back of Pandora in AK. You will find it generally by going the opposite direction to everyone else as it is at the other side to both attractions. A wise move on Disney's part here as it is hard enough to squeeze through the crowds here at the best of times.

You will also most likely smell it as you get close. The meats served here are chargrilled and BBQ coal smells waft through the area nearby.

As you would guess the theming is to Avatar, but my observations were that you were meant to be dining where the lab workers would dine, in a sort of mess hall/cafeteria. I could be completely wrong but this was what I picked up on from the layout and details.

Like most quick service outlets you order at a till point and then your food is prepared and trayed up just behind.

When Pandora first opened I think a lot of people (myself included) assumed that your food would be delivered to your table, like at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom, but this isn't the case. However what is a really nice touch is the crockery that the food is served on. Now its not china by any means but you get proper metal cutlery and the plates and bowls aren't of the paper variety which really sets Satuli apart in my mind.

Seating is quite close, but you expect that in a quick service location. There are lots of normal 2/4 seater tables but I noted there were also a number of larger round tables reserved for parties of 6 or more which is great for big groups and families who can struggle to find seating.

There are also a number of seats outside but in the peak of the day I would recommend staying in... did I mention they have air con?!

Now we ate at 2pm, so just after peak time, but we found plenty of free tables and an overall relaxed vibe. The restaurant wasn't as loud as some other quick service outlets and offered a bit of respite from the busy park.

The Food

Click to enlarge

Now onto the main event. As I mentioned above, if you do have exceptionally picky eaters you may want to give this a miss as the food can appear a little daunting, however if you really break it down there isn't actually anything overly spicy or too 'out there'. 

First up we have the curried vegetable pods which I wanted to try purely through curiosity. They are served with vegetable crisps and a vegetable slaw.

 If you have ever had a boa bun in a Japanese restaurant then that is the easiest way to explain the casing. If you haven't, then a British dumpling is also a good analogy but let me tell you it was light and fluffy and not what you would expect from a quick service location at all. And as for the portion, this picture doesn't do it justice. Those dumplings were the size of my fists!

The inside was full of vegetables, predominantly peas carrots and sweet potato I think, in a mildly spiced sauce which wasn't hot at all.
The slaw on the side was fresh and seemed to have a little coriander and citrus. The balls on top had a sweetness to them, a bit like a mango chutney.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was the overwhelming dusting of cinnamon on top of the buns. Now I'm not a big fan of cinnamon full stop so don't be put off trying them. This is just my personal preference. These were a big hit with the rest of the party too.

Next up was my personal favourite, the Satuli Bowl. This is a sort of build your own thing. You can see on the menu above that you have a number of choices which means that picky eaters should be well catered for as technically you could just have chicken and rice or beef and sweet potato hash etc.

I had chicken on this occasion but I saw other people having the beef which also looked really good.
I chose the whole grain rice and charred onion vinaigrette, both of which were really good. The vinaigrette had a really charred bbq flavour which enhanced the charred meat and the rice was fresh and not overcooked or stodgy as you might expect.

Once again you got a garnish of slaw and boba balls. The slaw I really liked but the boba balls are more novelty and wouldn't be missed if they weren't there but I think this really is more for theming than anything.

Drinks wise you can choose from a few different beers, 2 of which are only found in Pandora so this might be a drawing point if you are into your ales.

Soft drinks are self serve which is great as you can refill your cup and share to save a few dollars. Another point which 99% of you won't care about, but I'm going to tell you anyway... they serve Pibb here!!! Yeh I knew you wouldn't care, but I love Pibb and I have never found it on Disney property until now. Its a bit like Dr Pepper but I find it less sweet and I love it. So if you are partial to a Pibb, Satuli is the place to eat.


If you are intrigued to try new foods and are in animal kingdom before sunset then do not miss Satuli Canteen. Being able to sit down in an air conditioned room is never more appealing than in animal kingdom, which for some reason always seems to be twice as hot as any other park and as I mentioned earlier is hard to come by in AK.

Although the theming isn't what you would describe as magical or nostalgic, the food is fresh, tasty and dare I say healthy! It has a slightly more adult feel than some QS locations and if nothing else will give you some Instagram-worthy pics!


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