When people ask me my number one Disney dining tip I always tell them do not be afraid to try anything. Especially when you visit the World Showcase at Epcot. This might be why I avoided eating at Nine Dragons in the China Pavilion. First off, I remembered eating there a long time ago, and I remembered it was not anything that special. Second, I am in the middle of the World Showcase, I literally could enjoy a meal from ten other countries. If I want so-so Chinese food I can order that at home. But, I am all about second chances. So, I decided to take my advice in a way. I wasn’t going to be afraid to try Nine Dragons for the second time.
The artistry and style of the interior are what stand out the most when you first step foot into Nine Dragons. The sophistication of the décor reminds me of the high-end Chinese restaurants you find in major metropolitan cities. The three main dining rooms are adorned with decorative wooden screens, dark wood beams on the ceilings, and accented with bright and colorful lanterns. I love the quiet, understated elegance that Nine Dragons provides.
While the interior of Nine Dragons is beautiful, it is the food that really shines here. As I said before, I had eaten here a long time ago, and the food wasn’t bad. It just was not something that stood out in my mind. However, I can promise that my most recent meal will stand out for a long time to come. We started our meal with a couple of different appetizers to share. I am a sucker for spring rolls. This is what I judge all Chinese restaurants on. If you can make a good spring roll, then I am a happy camper. The vegetable spring rolls were perfectly cooked, light and crispy. Now the spring rolls were good, but the braised pork belly steam buns were out of this world! The fluffy cloud like steamed buns filled with savory decadent pork belly, topped with a chili aioli for a little kick, some thinly sliced onion, and chow mein noodles for a little crunch. The flavor combination explodes with your first bite, and I loved the texture contrast between the pillowy bun and the crunchy noodles. I will definitely be ordering these steamed buns every time I visit Nine Dragons. Our main courses consisted of the Canton Pepper Beef and the Honey Sesame Chicken. The Canton Pepper beef was a delicious stir-fried beef with onions and peppers in a flavorful brown sauce. The chicken was lightly battered and deep-fried pieces of white meat served with light honey sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Overall, everything was delicious. It was one of the best Chinese meals I had in a long time.
I am so happy that I decided to give Nine Dragons a second chance. The atmosphere had an understated sophistication, the food was amazing, and the staff was warm and friendly. I felt like I had enjoyed a meal at a completely different restaurant. This was not the same Nine Dragons that I had eaten at years before. Nine Dragons will definitely be on my list of favorite Disney restaurants for years to come.
Nine Dragons does accept the Disney dining plan, and meals can range in price from $15 – $35 per adults. If you would like to visit Nine Dragons during your next Disney vacation you can make your reservations 180 days in advance.