In a makeshift mess hall, the food of a new world comes to life. The Satu’li Canteen is the main restaurant of Pandora: World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But what would food on this new planet taste like? How do you make it believable, and how do you create food that people might want to eat, all while trying to keep it authentic to the experience? That’s a tough call, and something that Disney Chefs had to figure out when it came to new food in this all new world.
The menu outside of the restaurant gives a glimpse at what you can expect. It’s definitely a little on the inventive side for Disney, let guests create their own food combinations. It works in a place like Chipotle, and Moe’s…surely it can work in Disney. Right?
Watch-Check out the Satu’li Canteen and alien food of Pandora
For starters, the food is pretty good. Alien though? It’s hard to make a chicken dish seem alien. They try by putting these little white balls on everything, but it’s chicken. It’s a good dish, and we personally loved the way you can choose from different options to customize your meal. The main attraction is of course the customizable bowls, but there are a few other options as well. The Bao Buns are very unique looking, and are filled either with a cheeseburger or a vegetable option.
The menu options aren’t your typical Disney, in park, fare. This is something that you might find more at one of their onsite hotel restaurants, or in Epcot. It’s a definite positive change. The plates are all glass, and there’s real, not plastic, utensils. It will be interesting to see how long that lasts at Disney, as the millions of people break dirty and steal the new items. There are two options to order, either you do it the old fashion way and stare at the menu, or you can order by using your phone. That option definitely seems to be the better way to go, especially when lunch and dinner crowds come crushing in, and nobody knows what they want.
Besides the food options, there are also a few custom alcohol choices. The options look good, like the Green Grog…but from talking to people sitting near us, the beers and alcohol aren’t anything really unique. The beer tastes like green Sam Adams, while someone swore that there was blue Powerade in the Sangria.
Being Disney, it’s all very expensive, and we are on a budget, so we just stuck with the food on this trip.
The food was a pleasant surprise, as it was all very flavorful. You can’t go wrong with the bowls, as you can customize what you want. I had the chicken, with sweet and red potato mash, which was done very well. The chimichurri sauce was a great way to bring everything together, but there are other options as well. My daughter had the steak and salad bowl, and while it was very good and very tender, the vinaigrette was pretty sparse. Again, very good…but just sparse.
Of course, we had to try the Cheeseburger Bao Buns. If you’ve never had a Bao Bun, it’s a very dumpling like dish, but more bread like and less doughy than a dumpling. The inside was stuffed with cheeseburger filling, and it was …a cheseeburger. It’s the outside that makes it look unique.
Again, it’s all very earth like, and would fit in at any land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The only thing that made it even remotely alien-like are the little opaque balls on top. What the hell are those things? I mean, Pandora did come from the mind of James Cameron, so is this bastard trying to plant aliens in our stomach? I mean, yeah…Ridley Scott came up with Alien, but Cameron is just the kind of guy to do something like that.
So…what the hell are those little balls?
Watch-What the hell are those things?!?
Did you watch the video? Then you know what those balls are! They’re great decoration, and not bad tasting either.
You can try for themselves on May 27th, when Pandora: World of Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Slideshow-Check out hundreds of pictures from Pandora: World of Avatar