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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

More Fabulous Foodie Finds In Sin City

This week I’m continuing our Las Vegas culinary adventures with local boy Royden Ellamar, executive chef at Sensi in the Bellagio.

Chef Ellamar was born and raised in Hilo and attended the culinary program at Hawaii Community College. His son Tayden is following in his footsteps as a cook at Sage restaurant in the Aria. He has the distinction of being a Food Network Chopped champion, and his dream is to someday open his own restaurant in Hawaii. This chef is creative, talented and his food is ono!

Sensi’s design is very elemental, with a dazzling waterfall and stone pillars accented by granite and wood. The huge, open kitchen shows off the talents and precision of the well-trained staff, with Chef Ellamar at the helm.

Tandoori and wood ovens produce breads and papadum crisps. Environmentally conscious, the restaurant uses sustainable seafood — organic and naturally raised — and local produce as often as possible. Menu choices include salads and sides; ricotta gnocchi; lobster and crab sushi roll tempura; roasted octopus with squid ink aioli; cedar plank tuna; steaks and chops — and live lobster wok-fired, steamed or grilled in a dazzling presentation.

For dessert, don’t miss the ice bubble with assorted gelatos and sorbets. Ask for the secret as to how the ice bubble is made — you will be amazed!

Cravings Buffet at the Mirage is a gastronomic voyage that transports you through an array of dining experiences. The food stations represent culinary regional dishes including Latin, Asian, Italian, Fishmonger, Rotisserie, carving stations, barbecue, shrimp siu mai, dumplings, steamed mussels, grilled sea bass and steamed catfish — all delicious. The menu changes daily with new taste treats.

Salads are made to order with your selection from dozens of fresh ingredients, and the raw bar features crab legs, chilled jumbo shrimp cocktail, oysters and other specialties.

The addition of the new, state-of-the-art beverage bar is so much fun, offering diners dozens of choices of hot and cold beverages, including cappuccino, hot chocolate, specialty coffees and soft drinks that you can combine to your own tastes. Selected beers and wines offered throughout dinner make this buffet a great value!

For dessert, try sugar-free cheesecake, muffins or apple pie, made fresh each day. Other delights include an assortment of melons and fresh fruit, gelato with toppings, mini doughnuts, bread pudding, pies, cakes and cookies — all of which change daily.

The service is excellent and the prices reasonable; good for the whole family to enjoy.

At the Bellagio, Jasmine’s Fountains Sunday Brunch is an elaborate and festive treat. Assistant general manager Connie Shin is a gracious hostess, and executive chef Hiew Gun Khong presents an array of impressive selections for every taste. The décor is welcoming and elegant, and the location on the lake is perfect. Each table is served a tableside bakery trio with fresh baked muffins, warm miniature pastries, Danish pastries and compressed melon skewers.

The lakeside shellfish bar includes Alaskan red king crab, green-lipped mussels, fresh-shucked oysters and jumbo poached shrimp. Sushi, salmon, caviar, Eggs Benedict, delicious dumplings, Cantonese pork buns, soups, omelets and waffles are just a sample of the amazing taste treats at the buffet.

The sweets and desserts have their own room and pastry chef, offering chocolate-dipped strawberries, miniature French pastries, homemade truffles and chocolates, and the chef’s choice of specialty items.

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