I have stayed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas many times for work. Each time I head to the monorail to take the train to the convention center I pass several restaurants including MGM's fine-dining sushi offering, Shibuya. I have wanted to try it for years but never had the time or inclination to actually go in.
But that was before Jiro and my current hankering for sushi. After two nights of really bad room service and quick breakfasts and lunches on the run, I decided I needed a break and a treat. So I showed up at the restaurant right when they opened and sat at the bar and ordered the chef's tasting menu, Omakase.
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Here is what I ate (please pardon the quality of the photos, it was low-light conditions and I am still learning to use my camera, so there is a lot of visual “noise” in some of them):
Kushi oyster with apple Momiji and orange Ponzu
This had a very fresh and lovely taste and I could have eaten a dozen of them, but as it was just the amuse-bouche I had to be happy with one! Although don't you think it looks lonely in its little box?
Sashimi with garlic, ginger, and Sichimi pepper
Hamachi Tartar with tobiko and garlic-infused Ponzu
Sashimi with fresh Kizami wasabi, wasabi oil and Hawaiian red salt
This course introduced garlic which would be prevalent in the next three courses. I found it a bit overpowering considering the delicate nature of these fish. But the quality of the sushi itself was top, melt-in-your-mouth fresh.
Chu Toro with ginger soy sauce and spiced crunchy garlic and Kanpachi with Yuzu juice and black truffle oil
Again the garlic was a little too much for me. I did not taste fish, I tasted garlic.
Australian Wagyu beef with lemon Tamari soy, tarragon oil, and garlic chips
This was absolutely incredible. I sort of pushed aside the garlic chips (I had had enough with the garlic!) and wrapped the little microgreens into a roll with each slice of beef. It was like eating butter, so tender!
Australian lobster tail and Day Boat scallops in Uni sake butter sauce
If you watch any amount of late-night Food Network, you will know that Uni butter or Uni mayo is all the craze right now, especially on Iron Chef. These days you can't watch an episode without someone incorporating it into their meals, especially Michael Symon. I had never had it.
I am not a huge fan of uni. I won't order it, but if it is given to me as part of a meal or sushi combo I will eat it. I have to say that the uni butter was quite good. But very rich, you can only eat that in small doses! The scallop was cooked to perfection, unfortunately, the lobster was not. It was overdone (which is often the case with lobster in restaurants) and therefore rubbery.
Braised Kobe-style short rib with sautéed foie gras and sweet and spicy soy
As I have mentioned before I am not a huge fan of warm foie gras, but it was such a small piece that it was okay. I hate to keep repeating myself but the beef was so incredibly tender that it just melted in my mouth, cliche, but true!
Crab Miso soup with green onions and Shiitake mushrooms
Good miso, nothing exceptional. Nice to have the crab with it, added some texture.
Nigiri: sushi chef’s choice with grated fresh wasabi root
The second half of the plate is shown in the first photo of this post. It was a good selection of very fresh sushi. No complaints and I a refreshing way to end the meal.
Raspberry-Yuzu Calpico Pannacotta, Choco-Lychee mousse cake, Mochi ice cream
After such excellent savory dishes, I was not feeling like eating dessert. I ate the pannacotta which was perfect, not too sweet, and very smooth. I am not a fan of lychee but had a bite just for tasting sake and I took a bite of the mochi. I could have skipped this course (and taken more sushi!).
Overall it was not a bad meal. Everything was of fantastic quality, but the garlic was just too much for my taste. They serve artisanal sushi and sashimi and the chef knows his beef. I am glad I did the tasty menu, it gave me a chance to explore the restaurant's offerings. I would not likely order it again but would go back and get a few select dishes based on my samplings.
And the price is too expensive, although it is on par with what you will find in most casinos in terms of their fine dining options. However, for the price of this meal Mr. Misadventures and I had the best Japanese meal we have ever eaten outside of Tokyo (and we have both been there a lot) a few nights later with about the same amount of servings plus four beers and it was cheaper than my meal at Shibuya.
I can't wait to tell you about that meal…stay tuned!
There are more photos from this meal and this restaurant in myOmakase Tasting Menu at Shibuya Las Vegas Flickr album!