What do you get when you combine the centuries-old cuisine of China with 1800s NYC industrialism, contemporary Hong Kong's vibrant culture and the whimsical flair of Sin City? The answer is Mott 32, a gorgeous and glorious new addition to Venetian/Palazzo's ever-evolving restaurant family. And this one deserves a place at the top of your list of must-do Vegas adventures.
Situated on the north side of Palazzo's casino floor (next to the popular Grand Lux Cafe), Mott 32 may be one of the most visually striking restaurants in the city. Brought to life by famed Hong Kong designer Joyce Wang, the venue is positively teeming with cultural references, subtle nods and innovative touches.
From a film tribute to Anna Wong (Hollywood's first Chinese-American starlet) to a giant metal abacus and artwork of stunning detail and significance, diners could easily get lost exploring the massive 11,400 square foot space. There's even an exclusive “Boom Boom Room” private dining area where guests can request a special "Red Menu," designed to conjure joy, happiness and good fortune.
The name Mott 32 is a nod to New York City's first Chinese convenience store, which opened at 32 Mott Street in 1891. The fact that the original Hong Kong location took its name from a NYC Chinatown business demonstrates the global scope of their vision. It's enhanced by a commitment to ethical sourcing and using organic, sustainable ingredients.
Of course the real reason that you should visit, and will want to return, is for the food, cocktails and service. As you might imagine, all are world-class and exemplary. Recipes are primarily of Cantonese style, with influences from both Beijing and Szechaun cooking.
After enjoying a couple of Mott 32 Mules from the lounge (more on that later), my party settled into a secluded booth beyond the main dining room. There we had the pleasure of sampling a presentation of dishes selected for us by the Chef.
We began with a refreshing plate of Marinated Cucumber and Garlic ($9). The Starter Menu includes a wide variety of vegetables and meats like Wild Mushrooms with Black Truffle Sauce in a lettuce cup ($20), Sesame Prawn Toast with Autumn Sauce ($18) and Cubed Australian Wagyu Beef with mustard sauce ($22).
Heading over to the lengthy Dim Sum section, we sampled the unusual but stunning Hot & Sour Iberico Pork Shanghainese Soup Dumplings ($14 for 4 pieces), an absolute must. They were followed by Crispy Sugar-Coated BBQ Iberico Pork Buns ($13 for 3), whose tangy flavor offered a marvelous hint of sweetness. If your taste buds long for Chinese barbecue, try BBQ Pluma Iberico Pork ($39). It's amazingly tender and sweet, thanks to a layer of Yellow Mountain honey.
Mott 32's astounding meat and seafood dishes are carefully prepared using generations-old cooking methods, seasonings and recipes. The house specialty is Mott Duck, a Peking duck that is air-dried in a special refrigerator, marinated, then Applewood-smoked in a custom oven. The entire preparation of Mott Duck takes two days, requiring that you order well in advance of your meal. The crispy-skinned bird is carved tableside using a signature "Mott cut" to lock in natural juices. It's served with a variety of vegetables, flavored sauces and thin steamed pancakes.
The remainder of the Mott 32 menu is a delightful array of vegetables, noodle and rice dishes, Clay Pot entrees, Bird's Nest and traditional soups, dried seafood and sustainable-sourced Abalone. Our presentation included Wok-fried Chinese Broccoli with Minced Pork ($20), Angus Beef with Broccoli ($32) and a stunning Wok-Fried Maine Lobster with Ginger and Scallion ($58).
After indulging in a traditional Chinese or Western dessert, you'll want to head over to Mott 32's stunning lounge. There you can delight in creations like Anna Wong, It's Five O'Clock in Hong Kong, Forbidden Rose...and the wonderful Mott St. Mule (all $18).
While sipping one of these photogenic libations at the long bar, you can take in your own reflection courtesy of the upper-level wine "cellar." Staffers deftly dart up and down a ladder to acquire selections from a wine list that focuses on Burgundy and Bordeaux from the world's finest regions.
Mott 32 is open daily from 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. For reservations or information call 702.607.3232.