A few months ago we were lucky enough to be staying at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, which is home to the only US outpost for French master Pierre Gagnaire – Twist.
Typically when dining at a restaurant for the first time we opt for the degustation or equivalent to maximise our dining experience, but given we had two weeks of extreme eating ahead of us we thought that we should start our holiday being slightly sensible. OK – who am I kidding… our decision not to go the tasting menu in this instance was due to the fact that you couldn’t get the much talked about langoustine 5 ways!
It wasn’t long after we were seated that our table was adorned with all manner of breads, spreads and appetisers, including a refreshing apple sorbet palate cleanser (out of shot) which we were able to enjoy while sipping our cucumber champagne cocktails. It was definitely a great way to ease into the evening
With our table cleared we waited in anticipation for what turned out to be a langoustine feast! At $58 it was by no means cheap for an appetiser, but when you consider the amount of food you get and all the work that’s required for the 5 separate dishes you walk away feeling like you received the bargain of a lifetime!
Each preparation was obviously carefully considered to show off the different flavours of the beautiful sweet meat – from the delicate raw taste to the intensely rich seafood flavours enjoyed in a jelly made from a langoustine stock reduction. We were not only directed to eat in a progression from right to left around the table, but also to take a sip of sake between each plate.
I found it difficult to pick a favourite, but given the mousse was the kind of dish where you close your eyes on every mouthful to savour each spoon I suppose this was the stand out. Needless to say, we took our time eating each of the amazing tastes!
Our main courses, while delicious and perfectly cooked were somewhat overshadowed by the langoustine and I think if we had of known how large the servings were going to be, we may have opted to perhaps just have another apetiser rather than the large rich dishes that we’d ordered. Not only did you get a large plate of the main protein, but an accompanying side plate!
Donny had the Duck, which came with a shredded duck salad, and I had fish with morels and an artichoke side which balanced out the rich flavours of the morels and the sauce perfectly.
Feeling incredibly full, we opted for lighter desserts (and didn’t even consider the 5 dish dessert tasting!) – me a dessert take on a mojito & Donny a yuzu parfait which were the perfect refreshing end to the meal.
I was feeling like I was about to burst after the addition of petit fours to the mix and it soon became clear to me why they have beautiful plush bench seats in the lifts back to our hotel room for the night!
If you have an empty stomach and some time to kill in Vegas, we’d highly recommend a visit to Twist… we’ll be going back, that’s for sure