With the weather cooling down in Orlando, I find myself wandering around World Showcase at Epcot in search of some “warm your body” food. I instantly think of the popular restaurant in the China Pavilion called Nine Dragons. This restaurant serves lunch and dinner. This is the perfect menu with plum-chili, ginger-soy sauces, and spicy beef to warm me up! You are welcomed into Nine Dragons restaurant with a glass mural of two dragons chasing a pearl. It is stunning! Be sure to look up, because the ceiling in the lobby is just as amazing with more dragons in all gold. As you walk into the restaurant, you will see warm dark wood panels, bright Chinese lanterns, and artwork all highlighting the Chinese culture. There are several windows with views of the World Showcase. You can request a window seat when you check in with the host/hostess.
The tables are very close together in this open restaurant, very typical of the Chinese culture. With the open seating it tends to be very loud in Nine Dragons. The Chefs at Nine Dragons create authentic cuisine from China with traditional and modern touches. Most of the food is served family style, so everyone can share in the meal. One of my favorite touches in Nine Dragons are the place mats. Each place mat teaches you how to write Chinese. This fun activity keeps the family active until the appetizers arrive.
There are several appetizer choices from cold to warm selections. The cold appetizers include Dioa Yu Tai Cucumber Salad, Spicy Beef, Fragrant Chicken, and an Appetizer Trio. The Appetizer Trio serves two people and is a sampler platter of all three cold appetizers. The hot appetizers include Pot Sticker, Walnut Shrimp Toast, Shrimp and Taro Lollipops, Shrimp and Chicken Egg Rolls, and General Tso’s Chicken Dumplings. The Pot Sticker is a sauteed pork and vegetable dumpling served with Cilantro-Soy dipping sauce. The Walnut Shrimp Toast is a classic Chinese snack served Nine Dragons style. The Shrimp and Taro Lollipops are similar to the popular Chinese dish called dim sum, with a special Wu Xiang dipping sauce. The Shrimp and Chicken Egg Rolls are shrimp, roast chicken and bell peppers served with plum-chili and ginger-soy sauces. The General Tso’s Chicken Dumplings serves two with steamed dumplings with a tart Chinese Red Sauce. The cold and hot appetizers ranges in price from $5.98-10.98.
To warm up from the winter cold, you can enjoy Hot and Sour Soup, Chicken Consomee with Port Dumplings, or Vegetable and Egg Fried Rice. You can also enjoy one of these extra sides, along with your entree. The price for these soups and sides is $3.98.
There are many entrees to enjoy at Nine Dragons including vegetarian, meat, and seafood. The two vegetarian dishes are Vegetarian Stir-Fry and Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry. The meat entrees are Honey Sesame Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, Canton Pepper Beef, Kung Pao Chicken, Spit Roasted Beijing Chicken, and Chinese Chicken Salad. One of the most popular entrees is the Canton Pepper Beef with stir-fry beef with onions, green peppers, and red peppers with a savory broth. Another popular choice is the Spit Roasted Beijing Chicken that is rotisserie cooked with a side of mashed Taro.
For a lighter entree, the Chinese Chicken Salad is the perfect choice. This dish includes sliced chicken, mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, raising, and walnuts with a light Sweet Ginger Dressing or Peanut-Coconut Dressing. For seafood entrees, you can try the Peppery Shrimp with Lightly Spiced Spinach Noodles or Fragrant Five-Spiced Fish. The Fragrant Five-Spiced Fish is a light dish of sauteed whitefish with a Chinese Five-Spice sauce.
If you would like to enjoy both seafood and meat, Nine Dragons offers several choices including Shrimp and Steak and Nine Dragons Fried Rice. The Shrimp and Steak features grilled shrimp and steak served with bok choy and drizzled with a sweet Chinese red sauce. The Nine Dragons Fried Rice is a stir-fried rice with shrimp, chicken, ham, eggs, and vegetables with just a touch of chili spice.
If you are up for an interactive experience, you can order the Zha Jiang Noodles Sampler. This entree allows you to mix and match your own noodles with fresh vegetables and the option of sauces. The sauces are a sweet Minced Pork and a spicy Diced Chicken. This entree is a fun way for kids to experience Nine Dragons. The entrees range in price from $15.98-26.98. One of my favorite ways to enjoy Nine Dragons is the Family Dinner for $23.98 per person. This dinner gives you a sample of some of Nine Dragons best menu items. Each person can choose a soup, entree and dessert. You can choose from soup or side options including Hot and Sour Soup or Chicken Consomme with Pork Dumplings. For your entree, you can choose from Honey-Sesame Chicken, Canton Pepper Beef, or Sour Pork.
For dessert, you can choose from Strawberry Red Bean Ice Cream or Caramel Ginger Ice Cream.
Be sure you make an Advanced Dining Reservation for your next Disney World vacation. You can call Disney Dining or book with your travel agent. This restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan with only one sit down meal per person. Experience a little of the Chinese culture and food at the popular Nine Dragons restaurant at Epcot.
Canton Pepper Beef Recipe from Nine Dragons
- 8 ounces beef flank steak
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chicken base
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon wine
- 1 teaspoon chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken base
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- Slice beef flank steak. Combine marinade ingredients.
- Marinate beef in a bowl for at least 30 minutes. Cut peppers and onion into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Place approximately 1 cup of cooking oil in a heated wok or fry pan and heat oil to medium heat.
- Place marinated beef in heated oil and cook until almost done. Drain beef into a strainer.
- Set aside.
- Leave about a teaspoon of oil in the wok. Place it back on the stove. Stir-fry onion and peppers for 30 seconds. Pour sauce mixture over onions and green peppers. Stir occasionally with a spatula.
- When sauce mixture begins to darken in color, place beef back into the wok and stir-fry swiftly. The dish is done when the peppers have softened. Serve hot with steamed white rice.