Friday, August 05, 2011

Koi Palace and Chicago Concert at Thunder Valley Casino

Last Saturday, I saw Chicago (the band) at Thunder Valley Casino and had dinner at Koi Palace inside the casino before the show. The two times I have been out to Thunder Valley this summer (once 2 weeks ago for the Train concert) have pretty much been two of the most fun nights I have had this summer (so far....*wink*)!!

The evening began with dinner at Koi Palace. My friend Susan and I were seated right in front of the fireplace at a big round table. That made me happy right away. The ambiance at Koi Palace is very elegant, and I would describe it as romantic, despite the casino setting just outside its doors.

The menu at Koi Palace is Cantonese-style Chinese food and very authentic. They serve lunch, dinner, and there is a dim sum menu. Chinese food is one of my favorite cuisines, and I had never truly eaten at Koi Palace (only there for a glass of wine once), so I was excited to try it out.

For our appetizer, we had the Koi Lettuce Wrap. It is served with romaine lettuce leaves, and ground chicken with pine nuts. I liked the pine nuts because I no longer eat peanuts and rarely have legumes.

I also loved that the chicken component was pretty much just chicken and pine nuts and the sauce was on the side! I am a big fan of sauce on the side. The sauce was a plum-type sauce and not too heavy on the sugar. Another win for me.

I can never get enough vegetables, so I got a side of stir-fried bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms to replace the rice that would have typically come with my dish.

For dinner I ordered the Mongolian Beef. The beef is stir-fried with onions and red and green bell peppers and is lightly sauced. The beef was very tender and the portions are plentiful--the beef lasted me about three meals, as I took my leftovers to go and ate some of Saturday night's dinner on Sunday and Monday!

Susan ordered the Beef with Asparagus in Black Bean sauce. The sauce was flavorful but light, not overpowering the flavors of the beef and asparagus. The beef is cut and prepared similar to the Mongolian Beef, only with a different sauce.

The best thing to note is the food we had was not over-seasoned. Usually when I have Chinese food, it tends to be too salty, but every dish was perfect.

Our host for the evening brought out another dish for us to try because he wanted us to taste something on the seafood list on the menu. The Honey Walnut Prawns were presented to us and right away I saw something I liked--they were not slathered in sauce like other restaurants that make this dish usually serve it. The walnuts were only slightly glazed, not covered in sugar, and the shrimp were still a bit crispy in their light coating of sauce. I thought the presentation was simple and beautiful.

FYI: If you have leftovers, you can choose to leave it there with the restaurant until you are ready to leave the casino or until after a concert. This way, you don't have to go play at the blackjack table or try and get into a concert with a to-go box in your hands. :)

We were given a little tour of the kitchen. I can tell you that everyone is hustling, and the crew is running around like crazy, but that the kitchen stays very clean and organized. At Koi Palace, they have a great team behind the scenes.

Here is a shot of the soup station. Lots of wonton soups getting ready to be served!

Vegetable prep area. That would be my favorite place!!

Live seafood tanks in the back.

Large view of the dining room, shot from the bar area.

Koi Palace's hours are as follows:
Lunch: Served daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Dinner: Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm – 2:00am
Sunday Brunch: 11:00am – 3:00pm

You can make a reservation by going to their page on Open Table here.

We were also given a little sneak peek of the kitchen inside High Steaks (the Steakhouse restaurant inside of Thunder Valley Casino).

Housemade desserts all lined up with beautiful quenelles. I think it was strawberries and balsamic with creme fraiche on top and some sort of chocolate torte.

I will be back at High Steaks very soon to give you another look inside and at some of the items on the menu!

And then it was showtime! The weather was perfect and so was the band! I had seen Chicago one other time at Mountain Winery. They are one of my favorite bands of all time. I grew up to their 80s stuff, and the classic 70s stuff.

We sat in the very back in the "bleacher" type section and the pics I took are from my seat, and I took them with my iPhone. The point I am making is that there is really not a bad seat in the entire venue.

Thunder Valley is an awesome place to see a show! There are still a few dates left on their calendar, so if you are a fan or even a semi-fan of any of the remaining line-up (listed below), I highly suggest you come out. It's a great time. Also, they sell concessions (Fatburger!!), and of course have a full bar right (beer, wine, cocktails) at the show if you don't have time to grab dinner beforehand.

The rest of 2011 Thunder Valley's concert season is as follows:

Friday, August 5th: Doobie Brothers (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Saturday, August 6th: Peter Frampton (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Friday, August 12th: Huey Lewis and the News (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Saturday, August 20th: Gabriel Iglesias (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Friday, August 26th: The Fixx, Wang Chung, & Naked Eyes (Pano Hall)

Saturday, August 27th: MMA Gladiator Challenge Unleashed (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Wednesday, September 7th: Human League & Men Without Hats (Pano Hall)

Saturday, September 10th: The Hitmakers with Jesse Zaragoza (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Sunday, September 11th: Daryl Hall & John Oates (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Friday, September 16th: Big and Rich and Gretchen Wilson (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Saturday, September 17th: Ramon Ayala (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Sunday, September 18th: KC and the Sunshine Band (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Thursday, September 22nd: Lynyrd Skynyrd (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Saturday, September 24th: Vietnamese Autumn Breeze Concert (Outdoor Amphitheater)

Friday, September 30th: Amy Hanaiali'i Legend of Hawaiian Music (Outdoor Amphitheater)

For more information or to buy tickets for any of the shows click here.

You can find Thunder Valley on twitter here and on Facebook here. Have a great weekend, everyone!!


Koi Palace, Thunder Valley Casino Resort said...

Thank you so much for visiting us, and for your uber kind review! We certainly aim for perfection every single day and are glad you appreciated our seasoning / saucing philosophy: delicious but healthy. :)

cakegrrl2007 said...

Thank you for having me out. Hoping to catch a few more shows out there this season. ;)