This is the fifth post in the series titled An Exploration of Asian Food in Vegas. Other posts in this series include Red Rock Casino and Resort, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill, and Exploring Downtown Las Vegas.
I must confess, I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I first heard of Mr. Chow's not because of its food, but because of the numerous celebrity sightings there. For some reason, it seemed like rich and famous celebrities loved dining at Mr. Chow, and paparazzi were always ready to snap a photo or two. The restaurant name came up so often that I started to recognize it. I didn't live in Beverly Hills, so I had no clue what kind of Chinese restaurant would command such popularity with Hollywood's hottest stars.
Years went by. I totally forgot about Mr. Chow. I probably got busy with things in life like law school, the blog, and other activities.
And then one day about 4 years ago, we spotted it in Beverly Hills while touring Los Angeles with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. I snapped a photo of it, remembering that it was famous. I proceeded to forget about it again until this past Las Vegas trip. I found out that a Mr. Chow had just opened a new location at Caesar's Palace in 2015. I was very curious to see what made Mr. Chow so popular with celebrities who could afford pretty much anything for dinner.
First of all, the space is gorgeous. Located on the second floor next to Rao's, there are super high ceilings, tons of light, and elegant yet modern decor. I was impressed the moment I walked in.
Soon after we sat down, a server dressed in all white pushed over a Champagne cart. We could choose to start our meal with a glass. The options varied from mid-priced champagnes up to a lovely Krug. I knew Bryan was tempted to order the Krug (it's one of my favorites!), but we decided to try something different that we had never tried before. It was refreshing and lovely, but definitely not something I would do every time, because the by-the-glass prices are quite steep!
The menu includes a lot of a la carte items, with appetizers ranging between $15-$20 for most items, and meat/seafood dishes costing between $35-$50 each. There are also a couple tasting menus, like the classic 2-course dinner for $62/person, the Mr. Chow 2-course dinner for $66/person, or a 3-course Peking duck meal for $74/person.
Our meal started out with Little Dragon Shanghai dumplings ($14.50), soup-filled dumplings also known as xiaolongbao in Mandarin, which translates to "little dragon dumpling." These were reasonably good. Bryan thought they were comparable in quality to the ones at Joe's Shanghai in New York. I thought the flavors were decent, but not as good as those from Din Tai Fung in Los Angeles. I also wished for a bit more soup inside. All in all, these dumplings were better than what we can get in Boston, but there are better dumplings to be found in the U.S.
I really enjoyed the next dish, something I had never had before. They described it as snap peas stir fried with carrots, "mountain jam?" (perhaps I misheard) and lily buds. The "mountain jam" completely reminded me of gingko nuts which I ate in Japan a lot. I loved this dish. The ingredients were light, crispy, and delicious.
The Honey Walnut Shrimp was also very good. We had tried this dish in numerous Asian restaurants in Vegas, and this one was by far the best. The candied walnuts were nice and crispy, and we liked how the breading on the shrimp was not too heavy. All in all, it was very good.
The next course was one of my favorites and again something I had never tried before. Called Green Prawns, the dish gets its vibrant green color from spinach marinated shrimp which have been cooked just *barely*. The shrimp were almost translucent and very soft and tender. Tossed with cashews, the entire dish had a slightly alkaline flavor, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Overall it was very, very good.
The next course, Spicy Beef, reminded me a lot of General Gau's style except made with high quality meat (i.e. filet mignon). It was also spicier than a typical General Gau's. The texture of the meat was incredibly soft and the crispy exterior was very thin and delicate. All in all, this was a very good dish that was executed flawlessly.
We ended with a simple shrimp fried rice. It was fine - nothing particularly special - but enjoyable nonetheless.
Desserts came on a cart that the server wheeled over to our table. We felt like something lighter, so we opted for the Grand Marnier-soaked oranges and the lychees (which I'm pretty sure were canned, and if they weren't, I couldn't tell the difference).
The food at Mr. Chow is very good, but definitely comes at a steep cost compared to what you would find elsewhere on the Strip, and even more-so off-Strip, (e.g., in Chinatown). Don't be fooled by the high a la carte prices. The portions are not very big, and you'll need to order several dishes. However, if money were no object, I can totally see why celebrities would enjoy this place. The dining room is gorgeous, the servers are excellent, and the restaurant offers high end wines and champagnes to go with your Chinese food. The menus are all written in English, and things are very, very clean. Most importantly, the food is very good.
If you're looking for good food with no-nonsense surroundings, on the other hand, you'll feel like you're paying a premium to dine here.
In short, I thought the food here was excellent and definitely one of the best Chinese restaurants I've enjoyed on the Strip. Perhaps if I got lucky at the casino or if somebody else were paying, I'd gladly come back in a heartbeat.
Mr. Chow Las Vegas
Private elevators located on casino floor level
3570 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
This trip (food, lodging, transportation) was sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. I was not paid to write this post or any other post in this series. All opinions are my own.