Western Lake is a Chinese restaurant serving a menu of authentic Chinese cuisine with a focus on dim sum.
Wintermelon Soup, Prawns, Peking Duck. A few of the great menu items at Western Lake. We've been here on a few special occasions for dinner and while busy all the time, the food gets to you in a timely manner and the waitstaff are friendly enough. It does, however, get packed during the dinner rush, so I'd recommend making reservations and going around when they first open. Once people start piling near the door, you know they will rush you right out of there as quickly as possible. Food is quite good and decent portion sizes. And it doesn't hurt the bank.
Mrs. C and I were entertaining the clan for dim-sum, and we decided to give this place a try. Our last visit was a couple of years ago, and the place hasn't changed much. The dining area was clean and comfortable enough, but the w/c was somewhat nasty. Service was okay throughout the meal, although you need a little Cantonese to speak with some of the staff.
We had a variety of dim sum favourites and all were good, but the best things we had were the fung zhou (chicken feet) in special sauce, the giant har gow, and the deep fried peppery squid. They were outstanding. As for value, it was quite cheap, and 10 of us ate well for about 70 bucks.
I ought to come here more often.
It's hard to picture how Wong Gok used to look like at this newly reno'ed restaurant. Although the ambiance is more clean and comfortable now, I have to say that I liked it more before - even w/o the more modern look.
Dim Sum is still good, and is still at an okay value, I have to say, I guess the dim sum chefs at Wong Gok are better.
But I guess Western Lake is still one the better dimsum places in Vancouver. But take the advice from other reviewers, go early or expect the lineups.
Parking is still unpleasant.
I've come here many times since they changed from Wong Gok and the difference is mostly remarkable. Decor is refreshed, menu items are leaps and bounds better and the prices are just as good. Service continues to be their sore point although mostly typical in my experience for chinese restaurants during the dim sum hours.
It's menu list style and there's plenty to choose from. For whatever reason we invariably end up ordering many shrimp dishes, or many of their dishes substitute shrimp in them, for example the Siu Mai. Dishes are fresh and steaming hot. Very generous sizes to boot.
It's always busy during dim sum and the kitchen and bussers bog down quite a bit during those times. Unpleasant when you're waiting in the wait area and if you're starving but just enjoy the tea while you wait if you have a table already. Unlike other places, I'd say this place is worth waiting in line for, all things considered.
I remembered this place as the former Wong Gok and how terrible their dim sum was. We decided to try this new place out. We were surprise to see how bright this place had become. Nice decor. We came for dim sum and got seated right away. We were given a order sheet to order our food. I guess most of the newer restaurants are getting away from the traditional push carts. The staff was pretty helpful in assisting us with our order.
Their dim sum was pretty good. I love their sui mai! I was a bit disappointed with the size of their eggplant dish. For $3.75, it was kind of small. At Happy Valley, it was $3.85 and double the size. The highlight of our dim sum was their wolfberries in litchee gelatin. It was delicious and a nice cleansing palate. Also, it was hugh! 4 jumbo size gelatin cubes for $2.75, we only had 1 each and took the other 2 home.
Highly recommend this place for dim sum.
Food: all fairly tasty and hot...too bad the food took forever to come out. we'd get one dish, finish it...then wait 10min w/ no food for the next dish. kitchen way too short staffed or slow. they also ran out of red bean soup at the end of the night and gave us orange slices instead. meh.
Service: too slow and disorganized. took us a while to get tea. flagged ppl down to take our order, they'd start walking over then disappear. we ordered soup and the female server just dumped it on the table and left. we had to scoop it out ourself...then a male server walked by and saw us scooping our own soup and he looked confused.
Ambiance: fairly nice and clean inside for a chinese restaurant...i think it may have been renovated some time ago. busy busy busy.
Overall: the food was alright and the restaurant is pretty nice inside, but def not worth the long wait for our food. we use to walk by this restaurant all the time and see the crowds of ppl waiting outside, now we know why...cuz it takes so long to get your food! not worth the wait. other restaurants we can go to.
Food: Nothing spectacularly good. Everything we ordered was very average - the house fried noodle was plain, honey garlic spareribs I've had better elsewhere, deep-fried quail was greasy as usual - all in all, average Chinese fare that could be found cheaper and/or better at other restaurants.
Service: ATROCIOUS! We couldn't get anyone to take our orders, get tea, get water, get napkins or anything! Service was non-existent! We even had to serve our own soup! Our meal was stretched out to almost 3 hours since the food came out so slow! Everyone at our table became either really irritated or tired. At the end of our meal, we only got orange slices since they ran out of red bean. Terrible, absolutely terrible. The only reason there are line-ups and looks busy is because they have you wait 30 between each dish.
Ambiance: Like any other chinese restaurant except super cramped. Did not feel comfortable at all dining in this restaurant.
Will definitely not return and recommend others to go elsewhere.
Was just here for dim sum with my cousin, being a sunday like most dim sum places it was pretty packed, waited for close to an hour. We ordered the har gow, sticky rice, shrimp and chive dumplings, beef balls and some shrimp rice noodles. Everything was pretty good, service was okay considerating how busy it was and the room looked alright. (fairly clean) I'll be back for sure but probably not on a sunday.
Let me state that this review is for dinner only as I have not yet been in for dimsum***
The food is good here, not outstanding, but worth a 3.5. We like their whole wintermelon soup, seafood in taro nest, sweet & sour pork chops and peking duck. Dishes are average in size. We've heard their dimsum is good but because there's always a LONG wait, we always go elsewhere.
Service is decent, but could use some improvement. Waitstaff tend to ignore you and when you do finally get their attention, your request is fulfilled with reluctance. And they DO rush you here, so if there's a long line of people at the door, don't expect to be able sit back and chat with your dinner companions.
The place looks so much better than it did prior to the renovations and name change, but it's still your typical Chinese joint. Never used the washrooms, but the rest seems pretty clean. The tables are crammed fairly close together, almost sardine-like. Quite noisy too.
I've been to this restaurant on a number of occasions for family dinners (all with reservations). And despite having made reservations each and every time..we're always forced to wait (the longest wait being an hour and fifteen minutes!!!). The food is good. The decor is nice. But they completely jam pack the restaurant with so many tables that there's basically no walking room (unless you consider having to bash into chairs and other people while walking 5 feet). And because of the excess number of tables...you can't go through 5 minutes of your meal without someone bumping into your chair.
I don't recommend this restaurant to people..in general..just don't go. Go to Golden Swan up the street...it's just as nice on the inside..similar priced food...but a LOT more spacious!
Came in at 7pm.
Dining room was packed.
Our table was ready and the waiters brought the complimentary tea quick.
We had out of town guests, so we need a quick dinner, as they were leaving the next day.
Ordered the set dinner for 6 - all seafood items.
Food came out hot and quick. Food was tasty, but portions were a bit small. Also came with the complimentary red bean dessert.
W/C was cleaner than most Chinese restaurants ... a positive here.
Will come back and try the a la cart menu next time, heard that the portions are larger.
I've been here a number of times, I live around the block and have tried all the chinese restaurants in the area, as well as the big ones in the city like Sun Sui Wah.
This place is good, yes it's a bit crowded, but the food is excellent, and I find it less greasy than most cantonese joints. It's a good place for large groups.
The dim sum is above average, it's a better place to bring a large group for dinner.
It was a family outing today and we decided on giving this restaurant a try. To my surprise it was so much better than I expected. They've certainly improved upon its predecessor in all aspects. The food was outstanding. Their special order of chicken called Western Lake Chicken..or something was very tasty. Just imagine eating smoked salmon, but in this case a smoked chicken. Not sure how they prepared it, but all I can say is that I highly recommend it. Service was also really good because they were friendly and attentive. A very pleasant meal!
Was really pleased with the freshness of the food and the portion sizes. Pork Sui Mai with more prawns than pork, needed to be cut four times to be eaten, for $4! Everything was piping hot. Loved their "sticky rice" without the rice wrapper, really light and fluffy and favourful. Service is typical chinese - reservations aren't necessary when you'll get your table, but you do get preferential seating. Serves are semi-attentive, but don't hound and do, obviously, ignore you. They're busy and knowing that, I'm okay with not getting instaneous service.
It's packed, but it's an excellent place to have dim sum. They are relatively inexpensive but still have food at great quality. The only problems with Western Lake is, without a reservation, you'll be waiting a minimum of an hour. Even with a reservation, you'll probably have to wait for 30 minutes or so. The waiters are very busy and often, you can't find them. It's very loud, so I wouldn't recommend it for a romantic lunch or something.
But basically, great food, poor service.
I agree with other posters that it is very cramped in the restaurant and luckily, they do take out orders. You call in your order and pick up in about 15 mins. This review does not apply to dinner service, only Dim sum.
"You get what you pay for" applies to Western Lake. They are not "everything $2" so you don't get Ha Gaus (shrimp dumplings) in a form of over steamed paste. You get actual shrimps!
The portions are generous and it is not overly greasy (there will be some grease) and I have no complaints so far about the way they packed my food.
If you dine there and ask for hot sauce, they will ask you if you want XO sauce (hot sauce with dried scallops and shrimps). XO sauce cost about $2 for a dish but they give so much that it's worth it and it's pretty good, not the cheap 90% oil XO fake sauce. Mustard and chili oil are free of charge.
Other recommendations are spare ribs, sticky rice, scallop dumplings, siu mai (pork dumplings).
I went here recently after hearing lots of good things from my cousins. This place is tiny, busy... but the people I met had already had a table when I arrived.
Food was awesome, and very plentiful.
The siu mais were massive! Prices were super cheap too.
Went to Dai Tung recently and it was pretty disappointing, I think I will be focusing my dim sum efforts at Western Lake for a while now.
Went here for dim Sum with Mrs. Dragon last Saturday. Arrived around 1:2pm and waited for about 5 minutes for a table. Ordered from a list which i like because the food is made fresh and served hot to your table. We ordered supreme shrimp dumpling in soup, prawn sui mai, pan fried chive dumpling, steamed fish maw w/shrimp, eggplant and sticky rice. Everything tasted very good. Shrimp dumplings had nice big chunks of shrimp in it and dishes were of large size. The sticky rice was exceptionally good. Mrs. Dragon enjoyed it immensely which is saying alot because she is a very picky eater. Service was very good as the waiter we had was friendly and anticipated our need for take out containers based on the number of items we ordered. Overall, I would recommend this place and will definitely be returning again.
We were at Western Lake for dinner last weekend and the restaurant was busy as usual. Since we made reservations, we were greeted and seated in a minute. We ordered the set meal for 4 and while waiting we enjoyed our conversation over Pu Erh tea. As a starter, we shared a roasted squab which was split into 4 pieces. The skin was crispy, while the meat was tender so it's as good as it gets. Soon after, the waiter served the enoki/fish/crab meat soup. It was served hot in a claypot and it was delicious. Moments later, the crab with salty egg yolk was served. The size of the crab was decent and although I was a bit skeptical about the flavour at first, it actually tasted quite good, and went well with the rest of the dishes. The seafood with vegetable dish was fresh and the portion was pretty big. The veggies and shrimp/scallop/squid was not overcooked either. Last but not least, our order of fried rice with egg white was a great finish to our meal. It wasn't too salty, but still flavourful and enough to satisfy your hunger. As our set meal includes dessert, we got the usual red bean soup. I was impressed how quickly our food arrived, and also how attentive and courteous the staff were. I'd definitely return to try their dim sum one day.
Heard abot the wait times at this restaurant so we went to early in the morning at around 9:30am and got a seat righ away. The Dim Sum is excellent, no filler items. Generous size har gow you can actually pick up with your chopsticks - not that over steamed fake shrimp mush other places serve. They also have alot of unique deserts that other dim sum places don't have - like the pan fried sweet sticky rice cake with chestnut filling. Everything came at the same time, no slow drickle of food. It really felt like a dim sum feast with all the dishes on the table at the same time.