Vancouverites have loved Western Lake on Victoria for their epic take on dim sum for years. Known for their huge portions - and long lines - they also happen to serve up dinner, too.
This year, Western Lake was included among the honourees for the 11th annual Chinese Restaurant Awards, singled out in the Critics' Choice Signature Dish category for their Roasted Salt Free Range Chicken.
The chicken dish is a true labour of skill and craft. First, the chicken is poached in the residual heat of water that has just come off the boil. Next, the cooked chicken is plunged into ice water to lock in the meat's juiciness and tenderness. The platter arrives at the table with the pale cooked bird cut in pieces - with skin and bone - along with a condiment of minced ginger and garlic, green onion, salt, and hot oil.
"The white meat symbolizes purity, and serving the entire bird represents unity," explains a representative for Western Lake.
Diners will find this award-winning dish, available in half or full portions, on the dinner menu at Western Lake, alongside numerous others designed and executed by chef and owner Tony Mah and B.C. Chinese Chef of the Year Gold Medal winner Chef Kent Wong.
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In addition to numerous beloved staples like Lettuce Wrap, Beef with Broccoli, and Lemon Chicken are Western Lake's live seafood options, two-course Beijing duck dish, a Stuffed Whole Supreme Duck (advanced order only), beef tenderloin, hot pot, noodles and rice dishes, and more.
The restaurant offers several options for group dining, as well, and a group is, of course, the ideal way to go to a place like Western Lake, so you can sample some of as many dishes as possible - especially their award-winning Roasted Salt Free Range Chicken. The family-friendly restaurant has a lively energy, and can fill up even on a weeknight with diners enjoying their feast.
Western Lake is located at 4989 Victoria Drive in Vancouver. Dinner is served daily from 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 604-321-6862.