If you haven’t been to Casino Rama Resort lately, you are in for a pleasant culinary surprise. Two of the casino’s popular restaurants have undergone a renovation recently, and we caught up with Executive Chef, John Cordeaux to chat about what diners can expect from these reimagined spaces!
Can you tell me about the changes at Willow and what people can expect from the new a-la-cart menu?
John Cordeaux: We are still a Cantonese restaurant but we have given the menu a new twist adding some Thai, Hong Kong and Singapore dishes. We have added a small East meets West menu for lunch having some fun with plays on Asian pasta dishes and Asian style burgers using Bao as the bun.
Why was the decision made to renovate Willow?
JC: We wanted all of our guests to experience the delights of our Asian buffet consequently creating an expanded Asian buffet in Couchiching and making the Willow restaurant only an á la carte has become a win-win.
Can you tell me about the live action cooking stations? What kind of things will be happening?
JC: We have introduced a smoker with a capacity to smoke up to 300Lbs of product at one time. This will mean that we will add to our existing beef carving station an additional smoke carved item, beef brisket, pork belly, beef ribs or coil sausage for example. We will be grilling shish kebabs of beef, pork and chicken that will have been seasoned with authentic Middle Eastern marinades.
On the dessert station in the evenings we will be baking cookies live on the station and serving them warm. As well, we have a lovely stone pizza oven where we will bake our pizzas, baked pasta dishes and other Mediterranean roast items. On the Asian station we have a Teppanyaki cooking table serving beef chicken and shrimp teppanyaki style.
What change are you most excited about?
JC: I am very excited about the whole experience that we are going to offer.
Why was the decision made to renovate Couchiching Court?
JC: We are always looking to elevate the dining experience here at Casino Rama Resort. This renovation was also undertaken to not only elevate the dining options but also to improve the guest experience in reducing time spent waiting to get into this very popular restaurant and also to make the ability to access all the offerings as easy and hassle free as possible.
Anything else regarding the renovations you want to mention?
JC: We will be offering for a limited time the addition of Canadian prime rib of beef carved on the weekends. Also, our dessert offering has now been modified to give the guest an increased selection of smaller bites giving our guests the opportunity to taste a varied selection of items. We have also increased our ice cream selection from one flavor of ice cream to two flavors of ice cream and two flavors of sorbet.