You’ll spot Nine Dragons immediately upon approaching the China Pavilion from Norway. The large windows also provide natural light along with some great views of World Showcase. 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.
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!
All right, enough with the dragon-spotting… It’s time to eat, so grab a cool place mat and join us! This allowed us to try each appetizer of the Cold Appetizers: Diao Yu Tai Cucumber Salad, Spicy Beef, and Fragrant Chicken (pictured from left to right below). The Spicy Beef lived up to its name with the level of kick, and the meat was certainly fresh. I hadn’t thought much of the Cucumber Salad when I saw it listed on the Trio, but it was my favorite of the bunch. I found the Fragrant Chicken to be neither fragrant, nor particularly flavorful, unfortunately. While the Cucumbers and Spicy Beef were fine, my recommendation is to stick with the hot appetizers here, with which we’ve had better experience in the past.
Something in me is resistant to being at a sit-down restaurant and not having some sort of hot dish (Why?
Additionally, the dressing was served on the side, and I appreciated being able to put on as much or as little as I wanted (another bonus for anyone striving to stay on the healthier side of things). Fortunately, the flavor was mild enough that it gave just a hint of peanut taste while adding a nice creaminess to the salad.
My friend ordered the Honey-Sesame Chicken with a side of fried rice, and kindly shared some with me. The flavor was good, the meat was high quality, and I really appreciated that it was just salty enough without tasting like a pile of sodium. Since I went with a proper salad for my entree, I was even more open to dessert than usual ;).
I went with “Heavenly Clouds,” primarily because it had all ingredients that I like (Coconut Rum, Honeydew Melon Liqueur, Pineapple Juice and cream)… but also, yes, because I liked the name! The other great surprise was the most recent item from the dessert menu: Banana Cheesecake Eggrolls.
Made to serve two, this dish is also served with a scoop of your choice of ice cream, and we chose the always refreshing Strawberry Red Bean. Nine Dragons continues to present a bit of a conundrum when it comes to choosing Table Service meals at Epcot.

If you’ve been understandably on-the-fence with this one, maybe you’d enjoy stopping in at an off-hour for drinks and dessert or appetizers. I have never even considered Nine Dragons to have lunch or dinner because unless they do something different from the 10 Chinese places I can get takeout at home in a less than 5 minute drive, then what’s the uniqueness? With so many amazing dishes available to WDW, they could really knock us out with some really authentic and really interesting fresh dishes. Chinese food is a bit like Pizza, it’s really great when prepared well and freshly, but that only tends to be about 5% of the time. 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.
Dark and ornately carved woods are dominant in the decor, but the restaurant is peppered with fun and colorful lanterns that keep things from feeling too heavy or overwhelming. We arrived at a rather off-time for lunch (2:00 pm), when much of the noon-time crowds had dispersed. 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. While I was aware that this appetizer was served cold, upon tasting it, I couldn’t help but feel that it would be improved as a hot dish. I have no idea…), so I ordered the Soup and Chinese Chicken Salad Combo, which includes your choice of Hot and Sour Soup or Chicken Consomme with Dumplings.
The chili heat seemed to intensify with each bite, which I really enjoyed, though it might not suit everybody’s taste. I made a guess when choosing my dressing, and went with the Peanut-Coconut (the other choice was Sweet Ginger). The Peanut-Coconut dressing smelled very much like a natural peanut butter, and I wasn’t sure how I would like it on my salad. Nine Dragons does have a Dessert Wines selection, but I decided to try one of the Specialty Cocktails from the regular menu as part of dessert, because several on the list sounded quite sweet.
Our server (attentive, friendly, and warm throughout the meal) had also mentioned that this was her favorite. While neither I nor my friend detected a ton of cheesecake flavor in the pureed banana and cream cheese mixture (until the aftertaste), the soft, creamy and sweet banana balanced really well with the crisp, fried shells. The thing is, it’s difficult to recommend using a Table Service Credit on the Disney Dining Plan here when the entree choices aren’t unique enough from what most people will be able to find near their homes for less cost (albeit, maybe not in quite-so gorgeous surroundings).
It would give you a chance to experience the atmosphere – which is truly enjoyable — and find out what you think.
The outdoor colors of Nine Dragons echo those in the Pavilion’s entrance gate and the replica of the Temple of Heaven. So, feeling overcrowded was not my experience, but the potential for it is something you’ll want to consider when choosing a time.

As it turns out, this salad is one of the healthiest fresh options I’ve found on Disney property. My friend and I felt that we found a few nice surprises outside the norm and overall we enjoyed our most recent trip. If nothing else, it gets you out of the FL heat, and gives a pretty quiet respite in the middle of the day. Sarah Anderson and Luke Fischbeck, the duo at the center of the Los Angeles art collective-cum-band, crouched on stage or sometimes wandered into the thick with a microphone and primitive percussion. Lanky, fine-boned and skyscraper tall -- Anderson, who often calls herself Sarah Rara, is 6-foot-1, Fischbeck 6-foot-5 -- they closed in on a peaceful drone oscillating between tribal drum circle and tropical meltdown. At the forefront of a growing number of bands that yolk together artistic and musical practices, the Lucky Dragons have performed at several museums, including the Whitney in New York and the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Like kindred local spirits Los Elegantes and My Barbarian, or YACHT from Portland, Ore., they view performance, visual art and music as one seamless expression. The homemade synthesizer, developed in 2005 by Fischbeck, is made with conductive tentacles that convert bioelectricity -- skin contact -- into musical sounds. With a ministerial calm, as Fischbeck had on many other nights, he introduced the instrument that the Dragons have salaciously dubbed Make a Baby into the palms of the willing.
For the most part, the duo makes and plays music with their laptops, but they also have a battery of makeshift synthesizers and percussive tools fashioned from found objects, including the seedpods of Gold Medallion trees in their Echo Park neighborhood.
Their songs often build off of a knotty skeleton of tribal beats, with near-New Age washes of synth and hypnotic delicate textures, earning them comparisons to other soundscape-creating bands like Iceland's Sigur Ros.
A few days prior, Fischbeck, who studied electronic music at Brown and Harvard, explained trying to involve the audience. It also extends to the band's structure: Fischbeck started the band in 2000, four years before he met fellow Brown student Anderson, who he says slowly faded in over the next couple of years.
The group also often involves co-conspirators from the experimental music community, including multi-instrumentalist David Scott Stone, High Places' Rob Barber, who handled effects processing at MOCA, and Pit er Pat drummer Butchy Fuego.
At one point, Anderson, dressed in white with her blunt bob grazing her jawbone, paid homage by serenading Kiki Smith's glass sculpture of spermatozoa. As museums suffer from budget cuts and ponder their relevance at a time when film and, on a smaller scale, community-based art spaces have captured the zeitgeist, they've turned to resourceful ways to lure in young visitors with immersive, performance-heavy environments. Whether it's Yeasayer playing among the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, or Animal Collective collaborating with artist Danny Perez on a site-specific performance piece for the Guggenheim, more museums have seen the value of incorporating bands into their programs.

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