The Nine Dragons Restaurant in the China Pavilion reopened yesterday after an extensive rehab. Since I was at Epcot today, I decided to stop by for lunch and check things out. My friend Donald and Allears photographer Linda Mac joined me.
The first thing guests will notice is that the atmosphere has been toned down a bit. Gone is most of the traditional “red” color in favor of more muted tones. I feel the designers did a nice job of modernizing the motif without forgoing the time-honored beauty of this restaurant.
Along the back wall of the dining room is a showcase that displays magnificent pieces of glass art. One of the cast members did his best to explain their meaning, but unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to understand what he was telling me. But even without an explanation, these works of art are stunning.
I have eaten at the Nine Dragons Restaurant a number of times over the years. I have always been satisfied with my food and the service has been good. But other than the beauty of the restaurant, there wasn’t anything offered that differed from my neighborhood Chinese restaurant – except that I was paying three times the money. Today I was in for a pleasant surprise.
Everything offered now has a contemporary flair to it. I felt like real chefs had created the food rather than something you’d find at your local shopping mall. For appetizers we ordered the following:
Shrimp and Taro Lollipops - delicious and playful take on a traditional dim sum favortite $9.98
Shrimp and Chicken Egg Rolls - tender shrimp, roast chicken and fresh vegetables served with plum-chili and ginger-soy sauces $7.98
Spicy Beef -sliced thin and tender, then tossed with Cilantro-Chili dressing $8.68
For entrees we ordered the following:
Honey Sesame Chicken with white rice - $16.98
Peppery Shrimp with Spinach Noodles $17.98
Sweet and Sour Pork with Spinach Noodles $13.98
When I ordered the Sweet and Sour Pork, I was told that it came with noodles. This didn’t sound good to me so I requested white sticky rice. I wish I hadn’t. Linda let me try the Spinach Noodles that accompanied her Peppery Shrimp and they were very good. Plus, the green noodles would have contrasted nicely against the red/orange Sweet and Sour for a better presentation.
Before our food arrived, our server appeared at the table with a lacquered box full of chopsticks and offered them to us.
All three of us were pleased with our selections and feel we might visit more often now that the restaurant offers a more upscale menu. Starting tomorrow, September 26, reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
The previous post in this blog was Food & Wine 2008.
The next post in this blog is Friends from Japan.