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Foodie Reviews, Vancouver

Review: Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant

Hellooos! My second foodie review is of Western Lake! It’s a Chinese seafood restaurant. I’ve been here many, many, countless times for dim sum. I believe that Western Lake is known for their good food AND reasonably good prices. The quality of the food has been constantly good since its opening a few years back. The one thing that they really should improve on is the wait time for guests. The decor is just normal. Not too grand and not too shabby. It’s kept fairly okay. They could use more space however. It gets pretty tight! And if you get bad seating, you may feel a draft every time the entrance is opened.

I was particularly upset with my visit lask weekend because we had to wait for an absurdly long time before being seated. I understand that dim sum on weekends is expected to have long wait times, but this time, it was just outrageous!! especially because we were having dim sum in celebration of someone’s bday.

In preparation for the expected wait times, we “reserved” a table at half an hour before 1pm. Even though you “reserved” you still have to expect a waiting time of about 30 min. Okay, so we arrived and checked in at 1pm. They said that it’ll be about 20 min. Okay. 1 hr passes by and still no table. /fist/ /steam/. Finally at 2 something we got a table. I was pissed but luckily, their food was good.

If I haven’t lost you yet, you must be thinking where are the darn foodie pics?!?! Fret not, they’re right here. Prior to leaving the house, I made a mental note to bring the camera… but in the end, I forgot… garggghh! So bare with me, and my cell-taken pics.

At Western Lake, it’s ordering-sheet style dim sum and you get to check what you want. This way, it’s fresh! One side of the sheet has regular dim sum stuff, and the other side has kitchen specialties “served after 10am”.

The first dishes that came were the “deep fried prawn spring rolls“, “pan (though it’s actually deep) fried egglant with shrimp paste“, and the kitchen specialty “rice flour rolls in hot pot with spareribs“.

The spring rolls are just okay. It’s nice and crisp when fresh, and tastes good with the vinegar sauce you can dip it in. I wouldn’t order the rolls myself, but since Masis likes spring rolls (A LOT), we got them.

The eggplant dish is the only veggie dish I would ever order. I’d never order regular greens, aka Chinese broccoli, stems, or pea sprouts. I love the prawn paste that’s fried with the eggplant. The size of this dish can vary though. Sometimes, they give very generous portions and the presentation looks nice. And sometimes, it looks messed up; the proportions of eggplant and prawn paste are on the skimpy side. Oh, there is also a glaze-y sauce that goes on top. This also varies; sometimes it has a good consistency with the right amount of toppings and other times, it’s runny and on the plainer side.

The hot pot kitchen specialty that we ordered is awesome! I love this dish and would order it everytime. The pot is just for show, meaning the rolls weren’t actually cooked in it, but all that matters is that it tastes good. I like how the rice rolls are pan fried in a soya-y sauce. The spareribs are good too, juicy and tender, and they don’t have much bones either, which I like. I definitely recommend this dish to try!

Up next are the “steamed chicken claws with special sauce“, “steamed duck webs with taro in oyster sauce“, and “steamed prawn dumplings“!

Both the chicken claws and duck webs were much too salty. They probably would be nice with some plain rice or congee, but they’re two items I never order. If I had to choose, chicken claws are better, but  I also like that duck webs have taro with it, albeit they were tiny morsels. Here’s one way to tell if it’s a good dim sum restaurant: Western Lake actually uses taro! Unlike another dim sum restaurant I went to, which used potatoes!! Potatoes! They weren’t even sweet potatoes. Or yams. Outrageous.

Lol! Anywaysss, they’re okay dishes. Try to choose one or the other if it’s a small party. The salty-ness can be overwhelming.

As for the prawn dumplings… prawn dumplings are prawn dumplings! But once you’ve seen the size of the ones at Western Lake, others seem incomparable. They taste good too! The skin is moist, soft, and with just the slightest bouncy-ness, and the prawn filling has visible, generous pieces of prawn.

Oh! You can smother the prawn dumplings in some of that chicken duck feet sauce if you like. That makes the prawn dumplings taste even better.

Next in line, the “steamed rice flour rolls with prawns and chives“. This is a good dish. I really like how smooth and slippery the rice flour rolls are! And there are whole pieces of prawn too. (I don’t remember seeing any chives.) It’s drizzled with a sweet soy sauce too. Yum~ I prefer this over the beef and parsley one; it will disappoint you.

OH yes! We also had “steamed shiu-mai dumplings”. You can’t not order this if you ordered the shrimp dumplings! “Hah gaow” and “siuw mai” always go hand in hand~ This is a dish that impresses. Western Lake has the best shiu mai dumplings. They are big, juicy, and just delicious. THIS is better than the prawn dumplings. It’s not just pork, but pork, prawn, mushrooms, bamboo, and pieces of it wrapped in a wonton thing, topped with tobiko. YUMMM~

Here’s a flash-ed picture that makes it sort of clear-ish. Had to use a cell cam.

Yep! And that wraps up this post about Western Lake. This will probably be the only review where I write so extensively. I’ll make sure of it!

Western Lake dim sum: 4/5 berries to food + 2/5 berries for service.

<3 Nana-chan

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “Review: Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant

  1. still waiting for stepho’s hehe

    Like

    Posted by sutoriai | November 12, 2011, 11:29 pm

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  1. Pingback: Review: Mui Garden « CANDY BERRY - October 5, 2012

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