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‘Hammer Chicken’ Is The Signature Dish Of This Showboating Las Vegas Cantonese Restaurant

Founded by entrepreneur Sir David Tang, China Tang is known for bringing traditional Cantonese food into a fine dining atmosphere. The original London restaurant still retains that white tablecloth charm as it serves up signature dishes like Peking duck and whole steamed fishes. Its new Las Vegas location, however, is presenting Tang’s native cuisine in a whole new, millennial-focused light.

Vegas travelers who head to the MGM Grand will find a China Tang quite different from the more buttoned-up model in the UK. Instead, the food, decor, and presentation has been catered more to the younger crowds that flock the Strip in search of raging, casinos, and delicious eats.

china tang

China Tang Vegas’s signature dish, the Hammer Chicken, exemplifies this new approach. This gold mine of social media content is roasted inside of lotus leaves and a clay shell before being wheeled table-side, flambĂ©ed, and smashed open.

It’s not just about getting you to snap pics and record video, though, as the taste is just as buzzworthy. Foodbeast’s own Elie Ayrouth, who got to try the Hammer Chicken, said that “it was better with every bite.”

The succulent chicken melds with the umami of mushrooms and pork belly that were stuffed inside, and a rich, savory sauce deepens the flavor of the dish. “It looks simple once out of its wrap and chopped for plating, but the chicken was juicy and the mushrooms just seemed perfect,” Ayrouth added.

Photo courtesy of China Tang/MGM Grand

The cocktails are no stranger to flavor and visual contrast either. You’ll be talking about the Yu’s Garden, a steaming iced tea (yes, you’re reading that right), for weeks to come. Ayrouth was definitely taken by surprise with the tea, saying that that it was cold but served out of a steaming tea pot “totally fucked with my head.”

Another eye-catching beverage is the Tiki Five Spice Drink. Served with a flaming shot inside of a hollowed-out lime, it’s equal parts eye candy and flavor bomb.

Even the decor has been lightly altered to shift to China Tang’s new target audience. The Foodbeast crew happened to be filming while the restaurant was making this transition, and the PR team took painstaking care to ensure that no white tablecloths were caught in any of the footage.

Here’s what that new remodel looks like, according to Ayrouth:

“The place feels grand. The tables are exaggerated, the bar is sturdy and it feels like a homestyle Chinese experience. I like that they’re not doing too much to attract a “younger audience,” it’s all in the subtleties.”

It ensures that everything stays consistent with the new model of upscale, but accessible and inviting to the younger crowds.

With the flames in the food and drink, the inviting atmosphere, and the amazing flavors, China Tang is subtly attractive as a dining spot that doesn’t need hours of dedication or planning. The regional authenticity, the unnecessary yet fun presentations of the food and drink, and the millennial-targeted decor all give China Tang’s high-end reputation a modern makeover.

Is that enough to make it appealing to their new target audience? Ayrouth says yes, because it can be slotted into the busy schedule of a Vegas party crowd and still be memorable enough to go back.

“This is definitely an itinerary spot to me, built out for an evening of friends I know would be down to see shit lit on fire at a table, flavorful chicken and cocktails that will make your head spin,” he says. “I think I’d go small bites and bar sitting on a return visit. Cocktails, the hammer chicken and a few rounds of dim sum — this is definitely a splurge-worthy spot with the friends before hitting the club.”

By Constantine Spyrou

Constantine's life revolves around eating, studying, and talking about food. He's obsessed with eggs, gyros, and the future of food.