One of my favourite things in life is dining at a restaurant that lives up to its hype. China Poblano in the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas is worthy of all its acclaim…and then some!

My recent trip to Las Vegas for my bachelorette party was organized by my friends. I gave them a list of restaurants I would like to try, and I was thrilled when they took me to the Jose Andres restaurant China Poblano. I really wanted to try the crazy mexican/asian fusion tapas menu to see what all the fuss was about.

The moment we walked in, we were wowed! Very cool asian and mexican decor with touches of red and whimsy everywhere we looked. I loved the masks on the walls and the casual feel of the restaurant. Gorgeous!

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China Poblano has an extensive menu, and everything looks great. It was hard for us all to decide on dishes. Our waitress recommended sharing family-style as a way to get the most out of the menu and we happily took her advice. She also explained the restaurant has two kitchens (one asian, one mexican) and dishes would arrive whenever they were done (rather than all at once)… and it ended up being perfectly paced.

We started off with the standard chips and salsa and were thrilled by the chipotle-laced salsa – a flavour none of us have experienced in a salsa before. One of the chefs was walking by and confirmed the chipotle ingredient, but wouldn’t give us the secret recipe! I don’t blame him.

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The first few items hit us in a delicious wave, that made for a beautiful table of food! We knew we were in for something special.

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The Queso Fundido was a bowl of hot melted Menonita cheese with a bit of tequila blanco mixed in, that you wrap up in an incredibly fresh and light tortilla! This one was really fun to eat.

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The Tuna Ceviche was one of the largest dishes of a ceviche I have ever been served. It was on ice, so stayed fresh and cool the entire time it was at our table (not long as we gobbled it down quickly). The mix with soy sauce and pecans had a really original and surprising flavour.

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The rest of our dishes then began arriving – starting with the Chicken Ji Song – lettuce leaf cups filled with a spicy/sweet chicken and topped with thinly sliced fried sweet potatoes. This was also really fun to eat and we all loved it.

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One of the biggest crowd-pleasers was the Happy Buddha Vegetable Spring Roll. I know it’s “just a spring roll” but something about this mix of cucumber, carrot zucchini and water chestnut had us all singing its praises! One of the best dishes of the night. Maybe it was the dipping sauce that had sesame seeds mixed in.

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My personal favourite of the night was the Dan Dan Mian (in part because I love saying that out loud)! These hand-cut wheat noodles with spicy pork sauce and peanuts were a delight. Very spicy, but incredibly rich flavour and to-die-for noodles. Love!

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Our last two dished came when we were getting very full, so we weren’t sure how we were going to tackle them! But, because this is a Jose Andres restaurant, they were incredibly delicious and we managed to eat every last bite. The Mongolian Beef Lettuce was our “salad” for the night with a tangy but not spicy beef, romaine lettuce, ginger, soy and Chinkiang vinegar. A nice lighter feeling dish after the noodles.

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Our final dish of the night was the favourite for many at our table. The Empanada de Pollo con
Mole Poblano was a dish of three empanadas with corn masa, chicken and mole poblano. The mole in particular was wonderful.

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All in all, this was one of the best meals of my life (and most fun – sharing with all of my great friends). Everyone at the table called it an incredible experience – from the ambience to the incredible food! The sight at our table post-feast says it all… clean plates (with a feather boa remnant from our bachelorette party here and there)!

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I highly recommend China Poblano for an experience you will never forget the next time you are in Las Vegas.

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