Dim Sum: Shark Fin Dumpling, Pork Dumpling, Lobster Dumpling, Steamed Pork Bun, Scallop Custard, Har Gow, XLB, Tea Smoked Duck, Soy Chicken, Baked Pork Bun, Shrimp Balls, Egg Custard, Azuki Bean Sesame Balls, Sweet Sticky Rice, Fried Taro Buns, Sticky Rice, Mussel and Arame Dumpling
Cold Table: Maine Lobster, King Crab, Tamago, Snapper, Tako, Vegetable Bean Curd Roll, Duck Prosciutto and Pear, Grilled Scallops with Tomatoes and Artichokes, Lobster Salad with Yuzu Ponzu, Crab Cake and Sweet Peppers
Hot Table: Salted Chicken Congee, Lobster Bisque, Tomahawk Chop, Steamed Sea Bass with Pork and Mushroom Confit, Yee Fu Noodles
Desserts: Pina Colada, Mango Tapioca, Choco-Mousse, Caramel Coffee Crunch, Coconut Lychee Financier, Green Tea and Raspberry Opera, Fruit Tart, Pineapple Beignet, Crispy Praline Nutella, Coffee Truffle, Yuzu Cheesecake, Five Spice Chocolate Cheesecake, Caramels (Yuzu, Salted, Walnut, Rum)
Officially the first Chinese restaurant in the United States to ever garner a Michelin Star, Wing Lei had literally been on my bucket list for 5 years when a friend informed me of their twice-yearly dim-sum brunch, the $68.88 feast featuring both hot carts and a full buffet of items both traditional Chinese and Americanized fare in the gorgeous, gilded, and newly renovated room at Wynn. Generally not particularly interested in buffets given the lackluster quality of ingredients plus intrinsic flaws related to large-scale production and hot plates it was with good faith that I presumed a team the likes of that at Wing Lei would do a stellar job with sourcing as well as preparation and true to form from the moment our party of three arrived it would be hard to find fault in any aspect of the afternoon as the setting, food, and service shined. A no reservations affair playing host to a mixture of young and old, Asian and Caucasian, it was with dim sum that the majority of tables began and with carts circulating at intervals of no more than ten minutes each and every item arrived hot and fresh, the offerings shining with delicate shark’s fin, snappy lobster, and textbook har gow amongst the most impressive steamed items while fried taro root dumplings, juicy XLB, and crispy duck plus pork belly with a crackling crème brulee skin also wowed. Moving next to the vast expanse of items both hot and cold, it was in the soup station that I found two of my favorites – the congee as rich and textural as the bisque proved buttery and sweet (if not particularly Chinese at all) – while split 1.5lb lobsters, King Crab Claws, and prepared to order sushi was all immaculate, an easy place for those so inclined to more than make up for the cost of entry. Focusing less on steam-tray hot items but very impressed by cured duck balanced by sliced pears, fatty yet supple Tomahawk chop, and tender grilled scallops, meaty sea bass, plus lobster salad in delicate ponzu it was at last to desserts that I moved and sampling each one of the sweets it would be difficult to say which I enjoyed the most as the dense caramel coffee crunch and coconut lychee financier were as good as any similar dessert served on the strip, yet given the choice to revisit just one item it was to the Yuzu Cheesecake dipped in White Chocolate that I returned – the creamy center with light citrus and a smooth chocolate shell redefining a dessert I rarely, if ever, order on a restaurant menu. Undoubtedly a decadent brunch but also a case where I feel I got exactly what I paid for suffice it to say I can’t wait for the Year of the Sheep…and more exploration of Vegas’ wide selection of Asian cuisines, both casual and upscale, in the interim.