TR: Orchid Asian Cuisine @ The Venetian
Greetings all. I never got around to reporting about my final dinner in Vegas, which was at Orchid in The Venetian. I'd had a spectacular rollercoaster ride at the blackjack tables (thankfully ending in the positive) on the Sunday afternoon before my 9:30PM flight, so my buddy and I decided to grab one last meal before we left. He and I had eaten and imbibed pretty heavily the night before at the Wine Spectator event (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/392365) and had lunch at the Carnegie Deli that day, so we were both looking for something on the lighter side for dinner. I decided that some upscale Chinese was in order, so we decided to try out Orchid.
What was formerly Lutece (which I'd never been to) has ben transformed into Orchid, an upscale Chinese resto which is Hong Kong Cantonese in style. We started with the sampler platter, which was a nice-sized servings of spicy jellyfish with pork hock, BBQ pork (char siu style) and roast pork belly. Both of the porks were stellar renditions, but the surprise to both my buddy (who is Cantonese) and I was the jellyfish. These were tender to the point of melt-in-your-mouthness, and were undoubtedly the best version of this dish either of us have ever had.
Minced chicken with crystal lettuce wrap arrived next. These were clearly better than the ubiquitous chicken lettuce cups that you find at P.F. Chang's and other upscale Chinese venues that cater to a non-Chinese demographic. The filling was tangy, yet light, and the lettuce was fresh and crisp.
For our mains, we shared the soya Chilean sea bass and the chef's signature beef tenderloin. Both were great and used high quality ingredients. The sea bass was grilled with a very light soy marinade, so the butteryness of the fillet was highlighted rather than obscured. The beef tenderloin was charred nicely and dusted with pepper.
Though I decided to forego drinking wine with our meal (partly due to the varied nature of what was ordered but also b/c the Orchid's winelist has punitive markups across the board), we ended the meal nicely with glasses of the '83 Dow's port (a relative bargain @ $20 per glass).
Overall, the service was smooth and gracious. The room itself is shaped in a weird configuration, so it seems smaller than it really it (though Orchid is by no means a large resto). Bill with tax and tip came to $165, and I didn't have a quibble about it. Orchid is comparable to high-end Chinese restos I've been to both stateside and in China. Next time, I'll try the seafood offerings to see if they're truly worth the prices posted.
We walked right in, but it was maybe 30-45 minutes after they opened. There were several tables already seated, but we snagged a table by the window. The room did fill up with a number of additional parties as we ate, but it was never in any danger of being packed.
It may be different on a Friday/Saturday evening, but I doubt that there'd be a long wait even on those nights based on the prices being charged. Though the Venetian gets its fair share of Asian high-rollers, I doubt they're eating there every night when there's lots of other choices around.