Before my family and I decided to eat at Nine Dragons on a whim one trip, long ago, I had read multiple terrible reviews of this restaurant. Some said the food was cold or too salty, some even said the service was bad. So why did we decide to step through the doors of this restaurant? First, I never trust everything I read online, second, my family and I were so in the mood for Chinese and we aren’t huge fans of the quick service in this pavilion.
So while we were a bit hesitant at first, we went for it. Ever since, it has become a must-do restaurant, that we’ve even introduced other family members and even other Disney park goers to. The food is always hot and delicious and the ingredients seem very fresh! The ambiance has light music and cool air conditioning. Nine Dragons provides a beautiful view at the World Showcase lagoon, if you request a table by the windows. Last visit, I was able to have that view, plus watch Mulan greeting guests and it was so perfect and magical.
For a drink, I am a huge fan of their iced teas, particularly the raspberry. I think I drank 2 or 3 in one sitting last visit…it’s THAT good. For my lunch or dinner, I always order something that isn’t technically on the menu, but the secret is…they can make it for you for dinner or lunch! I learned this after one visit when my dish was the special, and at the next visit, it wasn’t. Ask, and you shall receive ;). So I get the General Tso’s chicken and it is seriously my favorite variation of the dish I’ve ever tried. It’s spicy, a little bit sweet, PEPPERY (I love black pepper, red pepper, all pepper really), and just absolutely delicious. It comes with a side of sticky rice, which always is a great compliment. Another favorite of my family is the fried rice, which is made with chicken, hame, egg, and grilled shrimp.
And for dessert? I love the red bean ice cream, which is a traditional Chinese flavor. It’s honestly unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before-cool, not to sweet, but still very creamy and refreshing. My new favorite is the Chinese ginger cake, which I was given complimentary for my birthday last summer, along with a sweet card with my name written in Chinese by my waiter. We got along so well and he was just the sweetest! This cake was one of the best I’ve ever had at Disney. Light, fluffy, with a pleasant taste (not to mention, I could eat so much of the icing) and I’m not even a huge fan of ginger flavors.
Another bonus it the sheer amount of food, which comes in handy if you’re very hungry after all the walking in the World Showcase. They do not skimp on portions here, so come hungry! Sure, it could be considered as “Americanized” Chinese fare, but that’s not always a bad thing. If you’re a fan of that type like I am, you’ll love it. Plus, the food is served so nicely in white china and everything looks so clean. It’s definitely not your typical takeout place, that’s for sure.
Not to mention, the service has always been outstanding. The waiters and waitresses are top-notch and so calm, kind, and generally will go out of their way to make sure you have a very relaxed experience. You also get to practice Chinese while you wait on paper platters in front of you. Fun, delicious, educational…why wouldn’t you just love Nine Dragons?
Overall, this is just a really pleasant place to eat. It’s a nice break from intense themed restaurants and it’s not too fancy or upscale, if you’re not feeling a signature restaurant. Still, it’s definitely very, very nice. I would recommend it to anyone! What are your thoughts on Nine Dragons? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @pixiedustedprin.