Ask for directions to find Tia To, on the Casino floor of Crown. For first-timers, you may be dazed and wanting to turn around, as was my feeling, walking through the Casino floor amongst bright lights and noisy slot machines, in an attempt to find this restaurant. Avoid this route! Go in through the food court instead!
Outside the restaurant are more gaming machines and tables of gamblers, not the type of venue I usually frequent, but given that we wanted something light to eat before enjoying the fireworks display, and with reasonable prices compared to its neighbouring venues, Google led us to here.
Ask to sit on the cushioned chairs near the beautiful and colourful wallpaper. Ignoring the outside sounds, reminiscent of Las Vegas hotels on the Strip, you will enjoy the food here. We ordered the calamari for entree - lightly coated with tempura batter and served with lettuce, cucumber and carrot, which we took upon ourselves to make a lettuce wrap (though wrongly doing so with calamari) as one would with Vietnamese spring rolls. Light and cooked to perfection; I would have been happy with a second serve of this.
For mains, my dining companion chose the duck, and I chose the prawns with bok choy, both accompanied by steamed rice. Serves were large enough for 2-3 people, freshly prepared, flavoursome, and healthy albeit a little too salty. Better value for money than the street food stalls along the river with both of us being unable to finish our meals.
We were also lucky to see a lion dance for Chinese New Year celebrations. The lions danced around the restaurant, collecting red envelopes from those who wished to give, finishing with a fantastic performance in the front of the restaurant, including eating a whole lettuce and then spewing out a shower of lettuce pieces. Wonderfully entertaining and the staff were patient while patrons cheered on and watched the lions.
Tia To offers a variety of delicious authentic Vietnamese menu items, polite wait service, walk-ins only, and a casual atmosphere. With mains being around $25, and gluten free and vegetarian side options available, if you can ignore the gaming, you will enjoy the food.