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FE&SEditorial Archives2004April — Facility Design Project of the Month

Ah Sin
at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

East has met West in a new, eclectic concept in Las Vegas. A variety of specialties from China, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and France is featured on an expansive menu at Ah Sin, a restaurant and bar located in the Paris Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Woks, Korean barbecue grills, steamers, fryers, display cases and Japanese sushi knives are among the equipment and supplies that are on display at the newest restaurant in this nearly 2,900-room hotel.

Much of the food cooked on the main level is first prepared one floor below in a narrow kitchen and brought upstairs via a service elevator. Food used here is transported from the hotel's warehouse, which is located on the opposite side of the facility, and from its cook-chill area where soups and some sauces are made. A duck-drying room is equipped with racks that hold the poultry and high-velocity fans that assist by drying ducks in a sanitary manner. A duck smoker is used to cook the poultry, which is used in several Ah Sin dishes.

"We wanted to keep different types of foods separate to avoid cross-contamination and odor transfer," noted the project's foodservice consultant Adam Blumberg, principal, JEM West, Las Vegas. Blumberg's firm also was involved in the development of all other foodservice operations in the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

Ample storage space was crucial to the success of Ah Sin, added Paris Las Vegas Hotel's executive chef, Olivier Dubreuil, because the menu requires so much mise en place. "It would be inefficient for staff to walk to the other side of the hotel during the day to pick up ingredients," he stressed.

Additional equipment in the kitchen includes prep tables, convection ovens, a buffalo chopper, a cooking range, a table for making noodles and a 10-foot-long, two-tiered fish trough, segmented to hold different types of seafood on separate beds of crushed ice so their flavors don't migrate. A poultry thawing trough was also installed, so these items don't have to sit in their own juices while coming up to room temperature. "Though the thawing trough is in a walk-in box," commented Blumberg, "it is both mobile and plumbed to a floor sink outside the box."

One of the first stations seen by customers as they enter Ah Sin is the sushi area. Chefs' selections are displayed here on the front counter. While customers watch, chefs design nigiri, temaki, sashimi, hosomaki, rolls and specials using Japanese knives that are designed with a flat edge.

At the backside of the sushi counter, seafood is stored in an undercounter fish file refrigerator until needed, then cut and filleted on three boards, which are set side-by-side, recessed into the counter and cover a water trough. "The area can be used as a scrapping sink, as well as a cutting station," noted Blumberg, who said he had first installed this setup at one of his other Las Vegas projects, the restaurant Nobu. Water released in hand sinks at this station, as well as at others, is controlled by foot pedals.

At one end of the sushi area is a petite service bar, which is, according to Blumberg, "the smallest I've ever designed." Across from the sushi counter is Ah Sin's satay bar. Chefs' selections are displayed here in glass-fronted cases. Korean barbecue grills are built in here, so customers can either watch or assist while chefs cook Malaysian satay, which is made with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, prawns, lamb, scallops, lobster or short ribs and sauces. "We wanted this station and others to be fun for customers so they could participate in the culinary activity," emphasized Dubreuil.

Crpe makers for another featured menu item, Cantonese crperie, are positioned nearby. Cantonese crperie, Ah Sin's form of moo shu, features varieties made with barbecued pork, chicken, vegetable and/or roast duck.

Pictured here are varieties of dim sum, which have been prepared in Ah Sin's downstairs kitchen, and are cooked upstairs in a station located a few steps away from the satay bar.


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