Las Vegas is known for many wonderful things, and one of those is buffets. Paying a fixed price to stuff your face so full of food that you expand 3 pants sizes before waddling off full of buttered crab and regrets. We chose the Cosmopolitan buffet "Wicked Spoon" , due to the high rating and acclaim it scored online, but it is a bit of a walk to get there, hidden at the far end of the hotel away from the retail and bar area.
The line to get in was reasonable, and the price is around $45 per person, with the potential to get bottomless wine or beer for about $51 per person. Mind you, the prices flex from lunch to dinner, and weeknight to weekend. This would be a typical weekend price. They also have the option of bottomless cocktails or mimosas for brunch, but, sadly for me, this is not a dinner option.
The buffet is fairly large and modern looking with lots of warm brown and gold colours, and the stations are laid out horizontally spread out across the dining area, which means there is a lot to choose from. We were seated right beside the dessert station, so I had one eye constantly on all the delectable sweets. Oh, and speaking of large, their forks could choke a horse! The head of the fork stretched across my 4 fingers, it was so long!
The dishes in Wicked Spoon are prepared in small portions in individual dishes, so you don't worry much about taking a huge portion of something you don't like, blending weird flavours together on the same plate, and other diners digging their filthy paws into the food you want to eat. The food is switched out often, and since the hygienic sit time for food is 2-3 hours, this is a plus. The individual portions are a definite bonus, and allows for creative plating and design, which makes the food look much more appealing, in my opinion.
The first food stations are salad and seafood. We picked up several shrimp dishes to sample here, such as shrimp ceviche, raw shrimp that marinades in citrus juice and spices, which had a zesty kick and it was well seasoned with the right amount of salt. Sadly, their version of shrimp and grits left a lot to be desired, with lackluster spicing. The grits were rubbery like old oatmeal and had almost no flavour. Neither my husband nor I finished this small bowl of food, and chose to set it aside. The highlights of this section were the goat cheese salad with a fruit compote and roasted nuts, and their sweet beet salad, which you can see in the first picture below. The goat cheese salad was a particular pretty bite, and beautifully balanced with the mild, slightly musky cheese and the sweet, honey-flavoured nuts.
The next station was meats and side dishes. They had a cutting station with juicy prime rib, hulking portions of beef ribs, tender lamb shoulder, and sausages. Not what I would call an exceptional selection of meats, but the portions were generous, and the meats were cooked to pink perfection. Looks can be deceiving, though, as it was all terribly underseasoned and tasteless. Meat needs salt, and my portion had none. Meat station's saving grace, though, is their individual palm-sized portion of seared steak served in a tiny frying pan. It had lovely, tender pink meat cooked medium with a sticky reduced, oniony sauce on top. Very tasty. If you're the type to get excited about mac and cheese at all, prepare to be completely disappointed. The spicy mac and cheese was poorly executed from start to finish. No salt, rubbery texture, and about as spicy as a shoe. My husband's face fell at the first bite, and pushed it sadly away. Mac and cheese shouldn't be dry, but it was, and it tasted of nothing. The potato choices were all fine, and their smooth mash was particularly lovely paired with the lamb. Avoid the brocollini at all costs, though! The lonely veg was found at the end of the counter all alone, and I understand why. No one wants to be its friend. It tasted like concentrated bitter evil with a garlicky aftertaste. It was inedible.
Onward to dessert!!! I'd been waiting for this all meal and was sure to save room for all manner of sweets, puddings and chocolate. Our experience? Disappointing. It's hard to make truly bad desserts, but Wicked Spoon did a fine job of it. Everything just.....LOOKED better than it tasted. I will say that they make a heavenly chocolate chip cookie, though, and I could have eaten a million of them. Even the chocolate-dipped strawberry tasted of fake, waxy chocolate, and the other desserts used far too much sugar to taste the actual ingredients. The mousses were far too soft and runny instead of being light and airy. They were also quite grainy in the mouth. Their mini cheesecake cups didn't taste of cheese and lacked any sort of texture with everything, again, being too bland and soft like baby food. Their plating is absolutely beautiful, and I love the decorative chocolate pieces and flecks of gold and silver, but the taste, for us, just wasn't there. Obviously, I was let down. You can sprinkle gold on crap, but in the end, it will just be glittery crap. Even their gelato was flavourless. I chose a tiramisu gelato that tasted very much like an inexpensive version you'd find in a gas station with stong, fake-tasting coffee flavour lingering in the mouth afterward. I can recommend their mini chocolate cones, cookies, and carrot cake for sure.
To sum up, I believe that Wicked Spoon, at one time, stood at the top of the buffet game with all the bragging rights intact, but things seem to have gone downhill from the overwhelming praise this establishment received. I found the food to be average with ups and downs. Some of the food was good, mind you, but very little was excellent. Nothing stood out as being extraordinary and expertly made by skilled professionals. It was pretty food, but shallow. It's certainly quantity over quality. Perhaps we came on a bad day, but my opinion is that you should save your money and put it into a real restaurant where you will be equally as full, but receive a better quality meal, but be sure to check reviews first.
Vacation just never seems to be long enough, but the day came where I had to get back to work. This time, I'm not in a pro kitchen, but back at culinary school for the next 10 weeks.
What does that mean?
Well, it means that I have a brand-spanking-new chef book full of new information, tips, tricks and recipes that I can pass on to you home cooks out there!
The theme this week: Bread and Soup.
So stick around and learn with me as I take one step closer to being a full-fledged chef!
Until next time, stay Chefy!
Welcome to the July PinterTest (yes I'm a bit late), where I take Pinterest images, and try to recreate them to see if they're as easy as they look, or are completely hopeless projects.
There are few things better than the wonderful scent of bread fresh out of the oven, and I'm always on the lookout for great, new bread ideas. That's why when I saw the "bread cones" on Pinterest, I just knew I had to try it out.
The forms are made by reusing paper and thin cardboard lying around the home to roll a cone shape (as seen below). The paper is then wrapped in aluminum foil, which keeps the harmful ink from getting into your bread, prevents the paper from burning, and keeps the bread from sticking, providing you grease the foil well before use. You can see the full instructions on Wonderful DIY.
I used a straightforward dough recipe with a low yeast content so it doesn't get absolutely huge in the oven. The finished product tasted really wonderful. like a great bread with lots of crust. I chose, as you can see, to top my bread with an egg wash and sesame seeds.
For filling in the fluffy, crispy cones, I made a chicken salad flavoured with onion, celery, apple and touch of curry and cayenne pepper. Some fresh lettuce and crispy bacon (of course!), and we had ourselves a tasty little sandwich.
While the bread cones are whimsical, adorable, and totally delicious, the only criticism I have for them is that they aren't exactly what I would call practical. I made fairly large cone molds, but there just wasn't much room inside for filling, and the very bottom of the cone is a lump of solid bread. So if you like your sandwich with a large bread to filling ratio, this is definitely up your alley. We just put a generous spoonful of filling, some extra salad, and a bit of bacon on the side, too, because, well....bacon!
I think these are absolutely fantastic to mix up the sandwich game and makes for fun presentation. They would also be a great project for the kids!
If I were to make them again, though, I'd try to make the cone a bit wider, especially at the bottom so a bit more filling can fit inside.
If you'd like to try these recipes for yourself, you can find the links below:
If you have any ideas or suggestions for a monthly PinterTest recipe, please leave a comment below, or feel free to contact me personally. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In Part 6 of our Las Vegas Adventure, we talked about the best darn "tea" in the world at Ku Noodle, but what did we do after that? Well our livers certainly couldn't afford to sit in there all day and sip on tea, so we moved on to the third resort to open on The Strip, and the oldest still in operation, Flamingo Hotel and Casino.
Flamingo was opened in 1946 by infamous mobster Bugsy Siegel. Today, the hotel and casino has the streamlined moderne style of Miami and South Beach. The resort features a wildlife habitat complete with giant koi fish, Chilean flamingos, and ringed teal ducks. Around the resort is also located exotic bird stands where you can have your picture taken with brightly-coloured parrots and macaws.
It was raining, oddly enough, but we still made our way through the lush gardens to see the variety birds, and ended up in Club Cappucino, a little coffee shop on the other side of the gardens near the casino floors and shopping area. We ordered a Pistachio Cheesecake to split. I decided on a Blended Iced Caramel Latte for myself, while my husband ordered, as usual, Cafe Americano. While the cake didn't have much pistachio punch at all, it was still a tasty little treat with moist layers of super fluffy sponge, cream, tart raspberry and some lovely little chocolate discs adorning the top with just the right amount of snap. My iced latte was extremely sweet and, as usual, far too big for me to finish. It was lovely and creamy, though. I'd order it again, but I wish these drinks came in a size smaller, because I never really want to carry them around.
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Next was the beautiful Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a luxury resort on the Las Vegas Strip that opened in 2010. Called "The Best Hotel in the World" by Gogobot, The Cosmopolitan boasts 2,995 rooms, many of which feature private terraces. The hotel also has 28,000 sq. m (150,000 sq ft) retail area with the Cosmopolitan chandelier lying at its heart. This massive, multi-story spectacle contains glittering strands and curtains of beads to create an art installation and unique cocktail experience all in one. Breathtaking!
My plan was simple. Go into the overpriced shop and look at perfume, since mine ran out. Simple enough, right? WRONG!! I was lured in by the promise of a free sample, and instead of a tiny packet, I was handed off to a flamboyant and extremely aggressive salesman who proceeded to slather expensive cream under my eyes with the promise of ridding me of my dreadful under-eye bags.
During this process, he told me how delicate and perfect my skin was (it's really not) like someone wanting to wear it as a hat. Meanwhile the cream begins to burn my skin like hydrochloric acid. He creepily assured me that my first time was the worst, and that it's the eye cream he himself uses, ignoring my pain. After insisting that my face is burning off, he attempts to sooth my sizzling under eye area with cool cotton balls, but then began slathering my inner arms with a slew of creams and scrubs quoting me hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. At this point, I'm feeling extremely anxious and stressed about the situation, feeling like a frightened animal backed into a corner. Finally, I made some sorry excuse and run out of the shop as if I stole something, dragging my poor, patient husband as far from the shop as physically possible.
I never did get to look at perfume.
We rushed on to get dinner at "Wicked Spoon", Cosmopolitan's highly-acclaimed buffet restaurant. But that will have to wait until the next installment of my Las Vegas adventures.
Until next time, stay Chefy!
If you're new, and a little lost, you can start reading from the beginning of my Las Vegas adventures here.
Surrounding the chandelier is a multitude of shops with everything you could ever want, need or dream. There is a tailor featuring a wall of antique sewing machines, a Dean and Deluca with cocktail and cooking instruments, cigars and gourmet popcorn, and a posh little beauty boutique called Skins 6|2.
Hey there! My name is Lea, and I'm a Canadian Culinary student trying to survive chef life in Denmark. I want to share my journey, and some great food and experiences with others. I believe that anyone can be quite chefy!