Hailed from Hong Kong, the critically acclaimed Chinese restaurant Mott 32, known for their apple-wood roasted peking duck, made a splashy entrance to the Las Vegas dining scene showcasing primarily modern Cantonese dishes and quality ingredients.
I had high hopes that this restaurant will do what it does best and not cater to the American palate. However, a quick comparison between the Las Vegas and Hong Kong menu shows that the LV version is much abbreviated and that the most “offensive” (reads adventurous) Cantonese dishes, such as pig’s trotter, jellyfish, frog legs, preserved sausage…etc, are taken off the menu altogether.
Service: Fast and furious. The staff moves at an unusually quick and distracting pace even for a busy stateside Chinese restaurant. It seems as though the entire staff are constantly speed walking. Overall though, service is curt and our water cups are always filled, but don’t expect fine-dining service here…
Lounge to the right of the entrance
Not a bad place to grab a drink
Mahjong decor screaming Chinese
This is the “Boom Boom” private dining room
The gorgeous main dining room deviates from traditional Chinese restaurants
I’m glad to see that Mott 32 is going for a little more authentic Hong Kong experience in providing guests a bowl to eat in rather than a plate.
Barbecue Pluma Iberico Pork, Yellow Mountain Honey
The use of pluma cut is an encouraging sign since that’s the cut behind the neck which reads TENDER AF.
The quality of the Iberico pork really shines through with the char siu being succulent and tender. It’s easily the best I’ve had stateside but the the honey based sauce is a bit too cloying and viscous. How does it compare to its equally expensive peers in Hong Kong though? It’s a step below them for sure. @A5KOBE @JLee
Jasmine Smoked Pork Rib
These tender ribs are seemingly deep fried with a light batter before they’re tossed with a glaze that’s a touch too thick and sweet again. They’re then cold smoked in Jasmine tea leafs before serving. Is it drastically better than the sweet and sour spare ribs at Din Tai Fung? Quite a bit.
Talk about fast and furious service! At this point, I was given fresh plates and a bowl but my server left them looking like this in front of me…
The oldest trick in the book with compacted paper/cloth wipe expanding upon contact with hot water.
Crispy Free Range Yellow Chicken - Half Order
The wing is inedible and hard as a rock since it’s cooked to hell.
Chicken skin is very crispy and dark meat is quite moist but man is this chicken bland…
Breast meat, on the other hand, is a touch dry.
Sweet & Sour Pork, Dragon Fruit, Aged Black Vinegar
Each piece of pork is juicy with a crispy crust enveloped in a tart and funky aged black vinegar based sauce. I’ll be honest though, I’m not a fan of black vinegar since it’s a bit too pungent and musty to me but the execution of this dish is certainly the best I’ve had. On the other hand, while pineapple is traditionally used in this dish, Mott 32 substitutes it with dragon fruit which acts as a palate cleanser of sort with its subtle kiwi-like texture and flavor.
Minimal sauce pooling on the plate which means a job well done! @beefnoguy @JeetKuneBao
Maine Lobster Fried Rice, King Oyster Mushrooms, Edamame
In terms of flavor, it’s excellent with classic pairing of pillow-y soft lobster chunks and snappy mushrooms providing fragrance and crunch to the soy sauce flavored fried rice. But the rice itself is a touch too moist so I’m missing the incredible wok-hei ladened fried rice dishes I got from The Chairman and Tasting Court in Hong Kong.
Bamboo Green Forest
There are 3 main components to this dish: a layer of lime yogurt sitting on the bottom, fluffy sponge cake with a hint of matcha sitting on top, and a scoop of bright yuzu sorbet sandwiched between the other two things. Did it work for me? Nope. None of the components went well together. Combing the tart yogurt and sorbet just muddled the lime and yuzu flavors and the sponge cake gets overwhelmed both in terms of flavor and structure. The light cake simply disintegrates into a lump of soggy mess when it’s eaten with either the yogurt, sorbet, or both. This is simply a bad dessert IMO.
Double Boiled Egg White, Black Sesame
Mott 32 did an excellent job on the incredibly soft and creamy layer of egg white atop this classic dessert. But the black sesame puree itself trends watery and lacking that deep nutty flavor that should be present if the black sesame itself were roasted properly.
Sweetened Beancurd Cream, Mango Soup, Pomelo
The mango soup, like the sesame puree, is too watery and lacking the balance of sweetness/tartness and consistency of this classic dessert invented by Lei Garden. Moreover, the mango chunks in the soup are tart, firm, and fibrous. Putting them together means that the use of pomelo is redundant since it traditionally acts as a tart component to cut through the sweetness of the soup and mango chunks. The only saving grace of this dessert is the refreshingly silky and cloud-like tofu flower that floats atop the mango soup.
My expectation coming in was quite high given Mott 32’s reputation in Hong Kong. So it’s only natural that my first meal here is a disappointment since I’m only satisfied with 3 out of the 8 things I ordered.