Food: Las Vegas and Travels27 Jun 2010 11:34 pm

The only thing I may love more than restaurant design is hotel design.

Scratch that.

I love hotel design more than restaurant design. Therefore, it was with great interest that I checked out the new hotels of CityCenter in Las Vegas on the last visit. Overall, I found they were all pretty sterile, pretty clean, pretty new…then we went for lunch at Mandarin Oriental.

Angles of CityCenter.

The hotel is stunning. Even just walking around the sparse public areas, it was easy to tell it was something different. The valet was friendly, less frantic. The elevator was plush. Yes, you read correctly: plush. There was a tufted velvet seat in case you were SO weary you could not bear to stand for 10 seconds.

There was calming minimalistic music chiming and droning through the halls. Lighting, reflective surfaces, texture all used to great effect. There is a sky lobby on the 26th floor. It’s a stunning hotel.


I’m easily impressed though.

Anyhow, we went for lunch at MOzen bistro, which is the “casual” restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental. I will admit it wasn’t high on the list of places to visit, but after six days of wedding shenanigans I was tired of making decisions.

MOzen does pan Asian cuisine well. Their menu, at first glance, is a jumble of random Asian foods. Indian curries, Singaporean hawker food, Japanese sushi, Thai noodles… it looks like a nightmare.

I’m happy to report, as with many restaurants, the pleasure is in the execution. There aren’t many places that do an amazing curry on the Strip, but I can fully support the curries that MOzen makes.

It’s not the cheapest restaurant – fitting for the hotel with some of the highest standard rack rates on the Strip right now as well.

High ceiling-ed dining room overlooking the other hotels and condos of CityCenter.

An amuse bouche of pickled daikon, pork tenderloin and curried potato salad.

Grilled stingray with sambal and lime, wrapped in banana leaf.

Sashimi and sushi rolls made to order. The mackerel was sliced a little thickly, but was still quite fine.

Mike got the lamb shank curry with naan. It came with a side of lentils and rice, and house made pickles – it was bloody huge.

I got the tandoori chicken tikka wrap with cucumber mint raita, a house salad and super crispy fries.

Mike’s parents joined us part way through. His mom got this gorgeous looking cocktail, made with gin and gold flakes. That’s all I remember.

At the end, peanut butter jelly macarons. The server called them macaroons which made me twitch a bit, but other than that and accidentally being sent a vegetable wrap (which they came back for quickly) there were no mistakes in service. It was attentive and kind, but sort of forced. The food is what shone.

I’ve heard they do a great breakfast, and they’ve just started a Sake brunch which looks like a classy (if drunken) dim sum.

Afterwards, we did a little tour of the public parts of the hotel and visited Pierre Gagnaire’s Twist. Next time, my friend, next time.

Then onto the monorail to travel to the Bellagio and visit the spring gardens. They were extra impressive this year. I enjoyed the giant ant sculptures and rose snails.

MOzen Bistro at Mandarin Oriental
Las Vegas
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily

2 Responses to “Las Vegas: MOzen Bistro, Mandarin Oriental”

  1. on 30 Jun 2010 at 9:20 am lequan@luvtoeat

    Great post! I’ve never been to Vegas but always hear wonderful things about it. Your food looks amazing. Beautiful pictures as well. Thank you for sharing.

  2. on 01 Jul 2010 at 11:15 am Chris

    Whoa. That does look like some thick mackeral! A surprise, as it’s not the most popular sashimi offering by any means.

    I love the looks of everything though, especially the ants and the amuse bouche.