Posted on Monday, June 19, 2017
I wanted to give Animal Kingdom's newest dining location, Satu'li Canteen another try and see how a different variation of the "build your own bowl" theme compared to the last one I tried. (If you didn't happen to read the first review, one of the main entrees to order at Satu'li is a "build your own bowl" where you get to pick one of four proteins, one of four bases, and one of three sauces… that all goes into a bowl with a smattering of julienned raw vegetables and Boba pearls.)
On my first visit I ordered the Slow-Roasted Sliced Beef as the primary protein in a "build your own bowl" entree and found it to be a bit undercooked, cut incorrectly so that it ended up being slightly tough, and a fairly small portion size for the price being charged.
This time around, I gave the Chopped Wood-Grilled Chicken Bowl a try. This one is said to combine "Wood-Grilled Chicken Thighs marinated with Garlic and Olive Oil" along with a base which was the "Quinoa & Vegetable Salad" and a sauce, the "Black Bean Vinaigrette".
All in all, I did like it better than the sliced beef bowl. Although the amount of chicken seemed to be about the same (volume-wise) as the beef, it was a $1.49 less than the beef bowl, so the price seemed a bit more in-line with the current state of Disney counter service pricing.
The wood-grilled flavor was present as was the garlic. A few of the precut chicken pieces were crazy high salted, to the point were it was a bit uncomfortable to have in your mouth… but the other 90% of the chicken was appropriately seasoned.
The Quinoa & Vegetable Salad which was sitting under the chicken seemed a bit light in the Quinoa department, but again, was a good mix and balanced well against the chicken. The Black Bean Vinaigrette to me, seems to borrow from Asian cuisine (think soy sauce) and probably combines garlic, ginger, shallots, rice vinegar, soy, and fermented black beans. The sauce will have a tendency to ramp up any sodium level issue in the other components… so this felt like one salt-heavy mix, even though it was probably the combination and quality of garlic, rice vinegar, and chili sauce. To summarize, I would order this one over the Beef Bowl.
To close the meal out, I finally got to sample the second dessert on the menu… which would be the "Chocolate Cake" (you would think they could have come up with a more Pandoran name there).
The Chocolate Cake is said to include a Crunchy Cookie Layer and Banana Cream Topping. As a whole, it has some "dark chocolate-like" qualities that feel more like unsweet bakers chocolate, and not actual "dark" chocolate. The Banana Cream was not pronounced enough to taste, but the Crunchy Cookie Layer at the bottom was kind of cool. It has a course sugar type of mouth feel that give the dessert a nice texture component against the very smooth cake.
There were a few, very small, cut mango cubes in the bowl and couple of red Goji Berries on top of the dessert. If you've never had Goji Berries… this isn't a good way to find out what they are. These could have been pimientos for what little flavor they had. Five or six even smaller sesame seeds top the Goji Berries, and there was a shaved chocolate circular disc as a garnish as well.
It's a very, very pretty dessert. I think the Chocolate Mousse Cake at Epcot's Sunshine Seasons is still my favorite. If I had to choose between Satuli's Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse or the Chocolate Cake… meh… honestly, they're about the same. Neither really seem to be flavor-forward enough for me to call either one a "must try" item.
Satu'li has different food and flavors than you can find anywhere else. It's a great counter service location that should be visited at least once. The idea of Satu'li featuring "healthful dishes with wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins holds true. I just don't feel like I have found those one or two "wow" items with high craveability yet.