Review: Lunch at Nine Dragons in Epcot’s China

Welcome back to Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot’s lovely China Pavilion! We’re visiting this Table Service restaurant for lunch.

It’s been a while since we’ve visited Nine Dragons. While we truly enjoy the beauty of this spot (and will provide a few more glimpses for you today), the food has never really elevated it to a “Must Go” spot. In fact, for some it has been a “Must Skip!” So, it’s time for another visit to see how things are faring, and what — if anything — has changed.

You’ll spot Nine Dragons immediately upon approaching the China Pavilion from Norway. I find nearly everything to be eye-catching in the China Pavilion. The outdoor colors of Nine Dragons echo those in the Pavilion’s entrance gate and the replica of the Temple of Heaven.

Nine Dragons Restaurant

Nine Dragons Restaurant

Nine Dragons Sign

Nine Dragons Sign

But we’re more interested by what’s inside, so let’s have a look.

Atmosphere

There is a definite change in the color palette upon entering the space. Dark and ornately carved woods are dominant in the décor, but the restaurant is peppered with fun and colorful lanterns that keep things from feeling too heavy or overwhelming.

Nine Dragons Seating

Nine Dragons Seating

Lanterns

Lanterns

Lanterns

Lanterns

The large windows also provide natural light along with some great views of World Showcase.

Seating near windows

Seating near windows

Even if you aren’t seated near a window, some of the glass in the walls serve to let in some of that light, while also separating dining areas.

Table for Two

Table for Two

While we’re on the subject of seating, I know many people have found this restaurant doesn’t offer much in the way of elbow room in regards to space between tables. We arrived at a rather off-time for lunch (2:00 pm), when much of the noon-time crowds had dispersed. So, feeling overcrowded was not my experience, but the potential for it is something you’ll want to consider when choosing a time.

So, what about the dragons? They’re incorporated into several spots around the restaurant! You’ll find artistic dragons throughout the restaurant, from the beautiful green-glass wall at the check-in

Glass etching in entrance

Glass etching in entrance

… to the ceiling in the same area.

Look up!

Look up!

And they can be spotted in the dark wood entrance and exit of the dining area.

Check-in area

Check-in area

Woodwork

Beautiful woodwork

You’ll also want to check out the wall nearest to the kitchen in the central dining area. Because seating in Nine Dragons is divided up into separate sections, you may miss it, so be sure to take a stroll at some point during your visit.

This wall is where you’ll find… what else? Nine Dragons :) .

Display of Nine Glass Dragons

Display of Nine Glass Dragons

All nine of these glass sculpture dragons are truly beautiful; but out of respect for your time, I’ll just give you a glimpse of my top three dragons!

Glass Dragon

Glass Dragon

Glass Dragon

Glass Dragon

Glass Dragon

Glass Dragon

Okay, top four… because they are pretty cool!

Dragon Number Four!

Dragon Number Four!

All right, enough with the dragon-spotting… It’s time to eat, so grab a cool place mat and join us!

Nine Dragons Placemat

Nine Dragons Place mat

Eats

My friend and I went with the Appetizer Trio for starters (meant to serve two).

Appetizer portion of menu -- click to enlarge

Appetizer and sides portion of menu — click to enlarge

This allowed us to try [Read more…]

Six Secret Disney Dining Deals

Everyone’s looking to save money and to wring just a little bit more enjoyment out of their Disney dollars. We’re right there with you!

Six Secret Disney Dining Deals

So today, we’re bringing you the details on some of our favorite Disney Dining Deals!

These little-known tricks and tips could save you big on your next Disney World vacation, so let’s get planning!

Prix-Fixe Menus

One of my favorite ways to save a little dough around Disney World is by taking advantage of Prix-Fixe Meals — specialty multi-course menus that let you choose from a variety of the restaurant’s popular dishes for a discounted price.  While you’ll find them here and there in a number of places, lots of Epcot World Showcase restaurants offer them.

For real savings, check out the prix-fixe offering at Les Chefs de France in the France Pavilion.

This beautiful spot is one of my favorite places to dine in all of Disney World anyway, so saving money is a great perk.

Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Les Chefs de France in Epcot

Prix-Fixe Menu at Les Chefs de France -- Click to Enlarge

Prix-Fixe Menu at Les Chefs de France — Click to Enlarge

When you compare the price with the a la carte prices for each item, you can really see the savings!

Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Appetizers — Click to Enlarge

Entrees -- Click to Enlarge

Entrees — Click to Enlarge

With desserts set at $8.99, that’s a $7 savings!

Enjoy fan favorites, like Bisque de Homard and the Croque Monsieur. And you have your pick of dessert! We love the Profiteroles here!

Save Room for the Profiteroles!

We Pick Profiteroles!

The savings are a little slimmer at [Read more…]

Guest Review: Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot

Our Guest Reviewer today, Derek Newton, shares a critical review of Nine Dragons in Disney World’s Epcot. Let us know your own personal experiences at this restaurant in the comments below!

As a restaurant in one of Epcot’s original countries, Nine Dragons at the China pavilion is often overlooked. It should be. I wanted to write that Nine Dragons deserves a second look, but one look was enough.

Atmosphere
We chose Nine Dragons because it was one of perhaps two or three restaurants in Epcot we had not tried. Our reservation was for 7:30 pm on a Friday and we arrived early (by a good 20 minutes) to find the undersized reception area literally overflowing with guests.

After finally making my way to the check-in desk and having my name located on the reservation list, I was given a light-up, vibrating coaster similar to those guests receive at suburban chain restaurants like Chili’s or Friday’s. The comparison was truer than I knew.

To the staff’s credit, we were seated in fewer than five minutes – still 15 minutes before our reservation time. And in general, the staff from reservation desk to wait staff did their best to accommodate a cramped, uninspired décor and predictable, bland menu.

Before being seated it was clear Nine Dragons was no place for [Read more…]

Disney Food Round-Up: November 22, 2009

Eat Here Here’s our last Disney Food Round-Up before the USA Thanksgiving holiday, so I thought we’d start with a couple of Thanksgiving links; after that, we’ve got your regular weekly round-up links — great sites, all!

Thanksgiving Posts of the Week
First of all, be sure to visit the Disney Food Blog‘s extra special “Thanksgiving Disney Food Round-Up,” where I’ve gathered a bunch of links that pertain to Thanksgiving 2009 at Disney parks, including how to survive Thanksgiving week at Disneyland, the poll results for best Thanksgiving dinner restaurant in Disney World, and more.

Also, be sure to visit the Orlando Sentinel’s Daily Disney post about how Disney chefs lightened up Thanksgiving recipes.

Weekly Round-Up
Scroll down on this Disney Parks Blog post to read about awards received by Disneyland’s Napa Rose restaurant and Executive Chef, Andrew Sutton.

Speaking of Disneyland, the OC Register reports on a brand new bratwurst and baked potatoes counter service location, Troubadour Tavern, in Fantasyland.

The Disney Chick tempts us with another great recipe, this time for Sesame Chicken at Nine Dragons Restaurant.

Disney History has posted about an interesting vintage Australian Disney Cocoa Tin auction happening on ebay. I had no idea there were vintage Australian Disney Cocoa Tins.

Main Street Gazette is back from his vacation in Disney World and has reviewed Kouzzina for us! Opa!

Check out Touring Plans if you’re wondering about food for teens in Disney.

Scott Joseph Orlando reports that Victoria and Albert’s has earned the AAA 5-diamond award for its 10th consecutive year.

Stuff From the Park shares a couple of vintage 1960’s menus from Disneyland — Hills Brother’s Coffee House and Coffee Garden and Plaza Terrace.