Chinese fine dining on the Strip
Blossom, the fine-dining Chinese restaurant at ARIA Resort & Casino, prominently features a birdcage motif that gives it an air of authenticity — in Chinese culture, the birdcage is a symbol of style and sophistication.
Encased within an intricate wooden lattice, its central sunken-in dining area is refined and elegant without being over the top, thanks to a soothing color palette of rose, metallic sea foam and gray.
This poised vibe extends to the food. The 100-plus-item menu is predominantly Cantonese with Sichuan thrown in for flair, but also boasts a large selection of the favorites that are popular in America, such as eggrolls, kung pao chicken and chow mein.
Concrete pillars dot the space — like trees in the forest — adorned with a glass mosaic that forms leaves and branches. The chandeliers, however, have the most profound impact on the room, ranging from birdcages to ornate clusters of dewdrop-inspired crystal and metal lighting fixtures.
Along the perimeter, find banquette seating separated by rose-colored partitions. Two private dining rooms and two semiprivate dining nooks create a cocoon for those who like to feast under the radar.
Don’t miss the three-dimensional stamped concrete dragon-motif wall roaring through the corridor that leads to the restrooms.
Expect to hear “get the shrimp toast” if you happen to encounter a Blossom regular prior to your reservation. Heed this advice. Executive chef Chi Kwun Choi, who has been at the restaurant’s helm since it opened in 2009, has a skilled technique with this delicacy. Butterflied shrimp is flash-fried on white toast sliced at just the right thickness to balance the oil and bread.
The Australian lobster tail in spicy XO sauce generously comes with two six-ounce pieces of buttery white meat. And the shrimp paste romaine lettuce hot pot is unlike any other “salad” you have ever tried before — sizzling, yet still crisp.
Don’t visit this Vegas restaurant expecting dim sum. Lunch is only offered two weeks during the year: between Christmas and New Year’s and during the Chinese New Year celebration.
Whether you are well versed in Cantonese cuisine or interested in expanding beyond the standard fare, the servers at Blossom suggest one appetizer, two entrées and a noodle or rice as just the right amount for a comfortable dinner for two.
If you are looking for a taste of something extraordinary, they can also recommend off-the-menu items like the spicy water fish hot pot or an on-the-menu Instagram-worthy dish like the Peking duck.
During this elaborate tableside show, a whole golden-brown duck is presented. The server carves the bird at an angle as the fleshy pieces — each consistently sized, ensuring just the right texture — fall away. The meat, crowned with a sliver of crispy skin, rests delicately on either a puffy bao (stuffed bun) or a paper-thin pancake, topped with hoisin, scallion and cucumber. Once complete, the duck is then taken to the kitchen, minced and re-presented in crisp lettuce cups.