Next to watching movies of this gal in her prime, nothing gets ELV’s heart racing faster than a bowl of fresh-made Chinese noodles and some soup dumplings.
So when two uber-foodies and hotel execs (President Gary Selesner and General Manager John Unwin)….invited us to Caesars to sample their newest restaurant, ELV was in faster than you could say: “Boxer Rebellion.”
Now before you say it, we know that we’re not getting anything close to regular treatment when we sit down with two corporate bigwigs at one of their restaurants. But it was a hoot watching them put the staff through their paces and openly critique the food and the service in front of us.
Selesner describes the concept of Beijing Noodle #9 (or BNN9 for short) as taken straight from the cutting-edge noodle parlors and hip cafes that have sprung up all over the Chinese capital. Combining classic Chinese peasant and street food with super-cool design is all the rage over there, and from the day it opened a month ago, this corner just off Caesars’ main floor has been a hit with fellow travelers from the Far East.
The place looks like it’s been draped in a gigantic white, transparent, metal doily, and is meant to resemble either inverted Chinese lace cut into an arabesque pattern, or the inside of an inverted bird’s nest — all very symbolic and all very Chinese. As striking as all that white is when first viewed, it seems to contribute to a sense of calm throughout the dining room, as do the long, cylindrical goldfish tanks that frame the entrance. Feng shui indeed.
As for that food, it is mostly fabulous (although the first round of Imperial Seafood Soup Dumplings were none-too-soupy) — a fact that the Prez and GM were quick to point out to the chef and staff. But they were perfect on a return visit (anonymously, last night), as were the Chef’s Special Beef Pancake (resembling a small hamburger enclosed within its own bun), and the Chef Special Noodle with Tomato and Egg Beijing Style.
Although the menu is round-eye friendly — with concise descriptions of each dish — make no mistake: this is food by Chinese for Chinese (and other appreciative Asians). Chef Yu Li is straight off the boat, as it were, and he aims for that deep, mellow harmony of flavors that this cuisine perfected centuries before all others. Starches and soups are obviously the things to get, but an order of deep-fried duck and braised sea bass in clay pot are perfect ways to round out your meal here round-eye.
Almost everything on the menu is priced well under $20. Our dinner for two with four different dishes came to $82, including a $14 tip.
BEIJING NOODLE #9
In Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
9 thoughts on “BEIJING NOODLE #9”
ELV, a few questions:
Who was that movie gal? I may be old, but I’m not THAT old.
“Feng Sui”? Is that your way of combining “Feng Shui” and “Chop Suey”? Egads!
Are you finding that casinos/resorts want to open up more “authentic” Asian restaurants, probably to cater to their Asian clientele, as opposed to their guests going off-Strip to Spring Mountain Rd.?
It’s the Egyptian touches (picture #1) that I always like about Chinese restaurants in Caesars Palace. Don’t recall seeing such a motif when Bourdain did a No Reservations show in Beijing.
Nice touch with the number 9–the number of the emperor.
We had lunch here yesterday and overall I’m very impressed by the food. I really don’t care for the design, it’s a cross between the Jetsons and A Clockwork Orange, and its dominant color, white, is not something that creates a feeling of tranquility or relaxation. Then again I’m not sure it’s supposed to make you feel anything except that you are inside a cutting-edge place plucked from the streets of China.
What the restaurant does create is delicious authentic Chinese food. We started with the chilled cucumber and beef shank, moved onto two homemade noodle dishes (braised beef and eggplant), then to the seafood hot and sour soup (which is the best I’ve ever had – including the great bowls I’ve eaten in Hong Kong and Beijing). We also ordered two “pastry” dishes (one filled with pork the other with beef) – both were outstanding. The dim sum offerings we ordered (har gow and shiu mai) were two of the best examples of their kind I’ve had in the city – delicate wrappers filled with generous portions of quality pork and shrimp. The braised black bass the manager suggested was also outstanding. I didn’t love the Imperial seafood soup dumplings, funny because those were what I wanted to try the most, but think it’s because I prefer pork-based soup dumplings over the seafood variety. The only real misses were the noodle dishes which I thought were both pretty bland.
The place isn’t cheap. For three of us (granted we ordered enough for six) the bill came to $146 and change before tip. Will I venture there to eat this food again? As a local, probably not, because there are as good if not better examples of everything we ordered (save for that soup) up and down Spring Mountain at half the price. But if I was staying at Caesars Palace and had a craving for some delicious, authentic Chinese food, I’d definitely head back.
Thx John…was curious about this place. And even more curious to contrast it to the VERY expensive Chinese place behind Rao’s…
EC – we still need to get you to China Mama.
We ate there last night. Service was good, portion size was good, price was fine (can still get the same quality of food in china town on spring mountain road without the higher price) I could thou do without the space age small box decor. The biggest let down was the very small soup dumplings that had about a teaspoon of soup in it. Tell the chef to watch Anthony Bourdain’s show on the travel channel when he shows how to eat and make a REAL soup dumpling in China!!!
For what this is, it is a ripoff. Fortune Cookie say: “Miniature portions, and exorbitant prices will grace your table tonight.”
noodles were great, service was not… it almost felt like our server (jimmy) went out of his way to make us feel uncomfortable and a bother on his life… walking by our table giving us eye contact and just continuing to walk by as we tried to get his attention to order something or ask about something.. the noodles were great and some dishes as well but the service was horrible… i only wish i server was as friendly and couteous as one of the other gentleman that worked there (kwok) we only talked to him for 5 seconds but in those 5 seconds he was 100x more courteous and friendly than jimmy was the entire visit.
Shark fin soup on the menu! It was my first and last meal at this restaurant. My boycott began right away. Las Vegas caters to our foreign visitors but “we” shouldn’t condone or buy into inhumane and unsustainable fishing & farming practices. Instead, I’m making dinner reservations at RM Seafood in the Mandalay Bay where chef Rick Moonen is working wonders with sustainable seafood.
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