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By Pandora

Zine Restaurant At The Palazzo In Las Vegas

I had the opportunity on my recent trip to Las Vegas to sit down & enjoy dinner at Zine, located in the casino level of the Palazzo hotel. Upon entering Zine the sounds of the busy casino faded away and I was greeted with warm hues of oranges, reds and browns giving my eyes a needed break from the flashing lights of the slots.  Wood floors, paper lanterns & statues give a hint of a more traditional Asian design, while the lofted ceilings and TV’s keep a modern feel. What I enjoyed most about the set up of Zine was the lighting, they found a way of muting the lighting in such a way that you don’t feel like you are sitting in the dark but they are also not so bright that you feel as if you are on display.

The menu was several pages giving a good variety of food to choose from; but sadly my stomach would not allow me to sample that much. So here is a breakdown of what was ordered & how it faired.

APPETIZER

BBQ Pork Bun: 3 buns arrived in a metal container. They were bright white giving the appearance that the dough is not cooked but that is because it is steamed instead and inside of the bun is a small portion of BBQ. The BBQ is not overly sweet or heavy on its own, and the bun is fluffy with a light taste. Eating the two together as it is intended you get a sweet mild BBQ taste. If you are looking for tons of BBQ or sauce you will not have that as there is far more bun than BBQ, but it is a tasty few bites to start off the meal.

SOUP

Hot & Sour Soup:  Every single bite is full of mushrooms and other goodies. There was a subtle heat that grows but never burns. I never really tasted the sour portion of the soup. It was completely filling though and try as I might I could not seem to reach the bottom of the bowl. The bowls are much deeper than many Asian restaurants I have been too and it kept the soup hot even all the way to the bottom.

MAIN DISHES

Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin With Golden Garlic Flakes: It is a mouthful to try and order this off the menu but at least from the name alone you know exactly what you will be getting. The beef was the most tender I have ever had; it almost just melts in your mouth. The seasoning was light letting the meat really speak for itself while still giving you hints of pepper & garlic. The roasted garlic flakes added a nice consistency balance with a crunch against the tender meat.

Taiwanese Style Wine & Basil Chicken: Served in a ceramic pot the chicken is coated in light batter that does not feel heavy or greasy. The basil was subtle at first but grew more in flavor as I ate. It really did carry the dish. So if you are not fond of the taste of basil perhaps not the best choice from the menu. The wine taste was not as evident. The chicken was cooked perfectly & was tender to eat. It is very easy to eat more than your fair share. 

Both dishes were served with a side of rice, we chose steamed. Also there is more than enough to feed one person if you are not starving & plan on having apps, soup, and maybe even dessert.

DESSERTS
I will apologize for the lack dessert pics. Anyone that knows me knows that sweets are my favorite and when I’m in the vicinity of them something sort of takes over & I have no patience whatsoever.

Mango Pudding: The pudding is a thicker consistency than the type you make at home and had an almost firm texture, as you add the side of cream to it there is some softening & it becomes more pudding like. There are pieces of mango throughout and the taste is both sweet & refreshing. It is a very nice way to end the meal.

Mochi:  Mochi is a ball of ice cream that is coated in the same flavor rice dough as the ice cream. This gives it a slight gummie bite before reaching the frozen treat. I absolutely love mochi & have had it before this evening.  At Zine they give you 3 flavors of mochi; chocolate, mango, & strawberry. Each ball is cut in half providing you with a way of eating it easier with a fork if you choose. If you have no patience like me be careful; eating them too fast can cause a brain-freeze (but it is worth it).

Our service was fast and accurate the whole night. As soon as we finished with one course within minutes the dishes were being cleared away and the next course was brought in. However we never felt rushed. The servers kept an eye on how things were going but did not hover or constantly interrupt asking you questions. Everything was beautifully plated making it hard to want to dig in messing it up, but no regrets about it once we did. There is a simple elegance to the restaurant and the food; but no fear there is no real dress code there, you are invited to dine in jeans & a t-shirt or all dressed up. The food is filling while not giving you a heavy weighted down feeling.

The most expensive dish that I found on the menu was $98 which was for a lobster meal. But I did see a couple that were much lower reaching around $18. Most main dishes average around the high $20 to mid $30 range, which for the service you receive, the taste of the food, and the environment I feel that this is relatively inexpensive considering you can pay about the same for a meal at local restaurants and not even get close to the same level of quality.

Hours are 11AM – 1AM