While Eater 38 regular Mizumi remains closed for renovations, the acclaimed sushi restaurant’s chef, Min Kim, is taking his Michelin star chops in a more casual direction with Min’s Test Kitchen, a new pop-up concept at the Wynn Las Vegas. Inside the decadently designed Mizumi, the chef designed a menu of seasoned sashimi plated with hand-cut leaves and edible flowers, certified Kobe beef seared tableside, and a yuzu and passionfruit souffle with elderflower. While the waterside restaurant undergoes renovations that the chef says will include a new color palette to replace Mizumi’s signature red interior, the pop-up takes over Jardin with inventive new dishes, a vibey soundtrack, and a custom cocktail menu.
Chef Kim is drawing on his travels throughout Asia in building the pop-up’s menu, employing flavors and techniques from Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. One dish is the Korean fried chicken with peanut butter sauce, gochujang paste, and pickled radish. “It sounds generic but I make it differently,” says Kim. “The way I fry it and brine it, it comes out super crispy and juicy.” He also serves and pork belly bossam with pickled daikon, bite-sized lettuce, and fermented soybean sauce. A shrimp shumai is blended with wagyu for added richness.
Kim is also introducing new sushi dishes to the pop-up, not found at Mizumi. There’s a premium sashimi platter, with fish flown in daily from Japan. Wild snapper sashimi is married with cucumber, pomelo salad, seaweed, and a light yuzu dressing. A slice of seared salmon belly sits atop a ball of rice with spicy radish relish and ponzu. Spicy tuna finds a home on crispy rice with chili garlic and truffle. If you can’t decide what to order, leave it in Kim’s hands with the omakase option.
Located inside the garden-inspired brunch restaurant, Jardin, Kim is jazzing up the place with new decor and a nightly DJ. And Mizumi’s servers trade in their uniforms for something more casual, with graphic t-shirts and custom Nike Air Force sneakers. The resort’s resident mixologist, Meriena Mercer Boarini developed a cocktail menu just for the pop-up. “Mariena is brilliant,” says Kim. “The flavors go hand-in-hand.” Kim’s favorite cocktail of hers combines Korean soju, lychee, and chili flakes, for something that tastes almost like a margarita.
The pop-up is open now through this fall, when Mizumi is expected to reopen. Kim says the restaurant is getting stripped to the bones for the makeover and should be a stunner when it reopens later this year. Min’s Test Kitchen isopen from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.