Red Lantern

1200 Athens Avenue

Lincoln, CA 95648

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Formerly Koi Palace, Red Lantern takes the reigns for high class Chinese food at Thunder Valley Resort. While dining, I found out that the only reason the name changed to Red Lantern was because their contract with Koi Palace ended, but Thunder Valley kept the same menu and staff for their newly renamed restaurant.

When it comes to tasty Chinese food, Red Lantern is able to get the taste and presentation just right. Service was also quick and attentive, especially from our server Mack. Being the nice Chinese restaurant in the casino, Red Lantern’s prices are a little high for what you get.

On this sitting, we began the meal with an appetizer, the Thunder Roll. This was the first time I have ever ordered it, and I was quite impressed with the taste. A little pricy at $10, the roll resembles a tastier version of Arigato’s tempura roll. Following the appetizer came all of the main entree dishes. Today, the dishes included the empress chicken, salt and pepper sea bass, chicken fried rice, zesty orange chicken, and sizzling beef tenderloin.

Each dish was delectable. Although I am not really a fan of empress chicken, Red Lantern did pull off the signature dish well. Salt and pepper sea bass melts in your mouth. In addition to the fried sea bass pieces, the fried asparagus proves to be an excellent pairing for the dish. Chicken fried rice was full of flavor and went well with all the meat dishes. If you thought that Panda Express had good orange chicken, then you never had the zesty orange chicken at Red Lantern. This orange chicken is tender, zesty, and you can actually taste the orange flavor! And finally, the sizzling beef tenderloin  was super tender, which also worked well paired with asparagus.

Overall, Red Lantern at Thunder Valley is a direct replacement for the original Koi Palace there, and the food surely hits the mark when it comes to authentic Chinese restaurants. The only downside of the restaurant is the price. For the occasional meal, Red Lantern will provide delicious Chinese food originating from a large descriptive menu provided by knowledgeable staff.

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