We’re taking a tasty tour of Vancouver’s many brunches to create The Ultimate Vancouver Brunch Guide. This week we’re feasting on delectable dim sum at Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant.
While mimosas and Bennies may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “brunch,” there is one other morning meal that can win the weekend: Dim sum.
Although dim sum is often available at Chinese restaurants daily, there’s something extra-special about having the time (and the tummy space) to indulge in the ritual of piling your table’s lazy susan with dishes and steamer baskets showcases so many delicious “little bits of heart.”
Western Lake’s dim sum menu has about 100 dishes on it, and includes numerous seafood specialties, as well as luscious dumplings and buns. If you’re a dim sum expert, odds are you know your favourites, and odds are Western Lake does your favourites well.
Their dumplings are plump, juicy, and bigger than average here, like their steamed prawn dumplings nearly bursting with tender prawn filling, or one of their specialties, steamed prawn dumplings crowned with scallops–a feast for the eyes and the mouth.
Dim sum dishes are often steeped in tradition, like the golden fried pouches that are on the table particularly during special times like Chinese New Year, as the shape and colour of the wrappers is meant to symbolize prosperity. And who doesn’t like prosperity?
Western Lake has an array of fried dumplings, or, similarly, Deep Fried Prawn Spring Rolls that are meant to represent gold bars. Crispy, evenly fried, and filled with a generous portion of prawn, these spring rolls are perfect for dim sum-ers of any level.
Other delectable small bites include moist Steamed Beef Meatballs, tender Pan Fried Chive Dumplings, or sweet and chewy Deep Fried Yam Balls. In case you are chicken foot curious or already an enthusiast, Western Lake’s chicken feet come in a delicious sauce and are cooked to perfection.
In addition to the smaller bites, Western Lake has a number of dishes that are available during dim sum that are worth checking out, like their fried rice, or fresh pea tips sauteed in garlic sauce (to help you get some veggies in for balance).
To finish your dim sum feast on a sweet note, Western Lake offers options like Chilled Mango Pudding, wiggly jiggly Green Tea and Coconut Gelatin, along with traditional Egg Custard Tarts or Creamy Custard Buns. Of course, you’ll have to have saved room for dessert, which can be hard to do when you’re brunching on dim sum.
Although Western Lake may not have been on your radar until now, the restaurant has celebrated a decade of business in Vancouver, and they make their dim sum in-house fresh daily, under the direction of Dim Sum Chef Leon Leung. Leung belongs to the Canadian Dim Sum Chefs Association, and, with 30 years of dim sum cooking to his credit, has put together a menu of dim sum dishes that reflect traditional and western tastes, and also utilize less salt and oil in order to be on the healthier side.
You can, indeed, enjoy a dim sum feast daily at Western Lake, or you can order one of their party trays if you need some dim sum to go, but nothing beats settling in around the table with friends or family for a weekend morning dim sum brunchtime feast.
Address: 4989 Victoria Drive, Vancouver