Sa-Ten Gets a Perfect Ten

06.13.2016 by: Tom Harris
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sa-ten exterior

Sa-Tén's exterior with outdoor seating, across from several Canopy galleries

Sa-Tén is a café with a limited menu in the Canopy complex of art spaces off of Springdale in East Austin. Its tucked-away location and unassuming, faintly industrial exterior hides a warm, welcoming space with rich wood paneling and adorable squirrel-print wallpaper that serves up some unreal yumtastic noshables.

The interior, with our meal. Take a look at that squirrel wallpaper!

Food is affordably priced and thoughtfully prepared. Delightful garnishes—a slice of grilled lemon, say, or a few bits of roasted edamame—underscore an attention to detail that is rarely seen at this price point. When your humble correspondent ate there for this review, the most expensive dish on the menu was $14. Many dishes come with a choice of sides (an understated potato salad and a bright, citrusy kale salad being two winning examples), but additional sides may be purchased for the particularly hungry or inveterate grazers.

This time out, we ordered a smoked salmon toast (one of several toast options), a yakitori bowl that was on special, and three sides—grilled asparagus, the aforementioned kale salad, and some potato wedges. As Sa-Tén is a café, we also ordered an ohayo, their house special drink (a sumptuously decadent breve with brown sugar). Each dish was a standout and it was hard to choose a favorite.

This is the yakitori bowl. Bless you, bowl.

This Guy ($9) was a sumptuous survey of contrasting textures and flavors. Delicate strips of pickles provided a cleansing counterpoint to savory, lightly charred grilled chicken thigh.

Smoked salmon toast with sides of asparagus and kale salad

The toast ($7.50) would be a hearty snack ordered on its own—a side or two added to it makes for a rich meal. The bread is thickly sliced and pillowy, broiled with cheese and smoked salmon. Ridiculously delicious.

Those dreamy potato wedges

Served with your choice of oyster mayonnaise or cilantro dipping sauce (latter pictured), these piping hot, crispy potato wedges ($4) were a toothsome delight.

An ohayo, Sa-Tén's signature drink

The breve was less sweet than I was expecting—just a welcome subtle hint adding a bit of depth to an already rich cuppa. It was the perfect way to wind down a glorious meal.

{Sa-Tén's Official Site}

TAGS : East Austin , Sa-Ten