This past week, I had the good fortune of getting to spend time at Disney California Adventure and experience all they have to offer for their 2020 Lunar New Year celebration. Accompanying these festivities are a number of festival dining locations, serving up dishes inspired by various Asian cuisines. Today, I wanted to share a quick look at two items available at the Red Dragon Spice Traders booth: Firecracker Three Cup Chicken Wings and Honey-Lime Green Tea.
Firecracker Three Cup Chicken Wings
- Price: $7.50
- Description: Crispy Chicken Wings tossed in spicy Red Chili Pepper Sauce of Sesame Oil, Rice Wine and Soy
- Our rating: 4.5 out of 5
The first thing that caught my attention when I received my order was how hefty the serving was. Maybe I’ve grown too accustomed to Food & Wine Festival proportions and pricing but I was pleasantly surprised by the four sizeable wings this $7.50 dish included. More specifically, my particular plate included two drumsticks and two wings — and I might have been singing a different tune had that mix skewed toward the latter.
In any case, in terms of flavor, I really enjoyed the sauce the wings were smothered with. Personally, I could have used a bit more heat, but there was a pleasant back burn present at least. Moreover, the spice is actually what lingered afterward, making me realize they were slightly hotter than I thought (but still probably about a 2.5 out of 10). The sauce also wasn’t incredibly sweet, which was welcomed for reasons you’ll understand shortly.
If there’s any complaint I have, I would have liked the wings to be a bit crispier (it is the first adjective in the menu description after all). As they were, I wouldn’t exactly call them “slightly soggy”… but I guess I just did. Granted, it’s important to remember that these did come from a kiosk and not a kitchen, so I do have some leniency. In fact, I give them bonus points for being piping hot and as fresh as food from such a location could really ever be.
Something else I will say about this dish — and what nearly kept me from ordering it — is that it is messy to eat. Therefore, I’d recommend scheduling a stop at the restroom to wash your hands on the way to your next destination after consuming these wings. Still, even with that minor inconvenience, I’d rate them a 4.5 out of 5.
Honey-Lime Green Tea
- Price: $6.00
- Description: Pure Amber Honey, Fresh Lime Juice and Gold Peak Green Tea
- Our rating: 3.75 out of 5
For those expecting a mostly tea flavor with a hint of lime and honey, let me tell you now that’s not what this is. Instead that was much closer to the green tea lemonades (or limeades, in this case) I often get from Starbucks. In other words, the tea is hardly a factor.
As much as I love hot tea, I oddly don’t care much for cold tea so this actually worked well for me. I also thought it paired nicely with the wings I ordered. At the same time, I did find it to be just a bit too sweet as I worked my way down the glass. That wasn’t enough to make me want to ditch the rest of my glass at any point, but I was left wishing it was just a tad toned down.
I should mention that, while I ordered the non-alcoholic version of this beverage, the booth also sells one complete with bourbon in it (for more than double the price at $13). Even as someone who doesn’t drink, I think it’s safe to assume that this beverage was designed to put booze in. That might also explain the overly-sweet recipe that is surely diminished when the whiskey is added.
Overall, though, I will say that the drink exceeded my expectations while still falling short of perfection. Thus, I’ll give it a 3.75 out of 5.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV