Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant
It’s getting towards the end of Alaskan King Crab season and we’ve been having a hankering for more king crab. I’ve been wanting to try Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant for a while but it always seems so busy on the weekends. Even during the weekdays, whenever we drive by, it seems to have people waiting to get in.
Being the middle of the week, we decided to give it a shot and fortunately, it was pretty quiet around 6pm (although the restaurant started to fill up by 7pm).
At first, we were thinking king crab (see our previous posts on king crab this year: All Hail the King Crab and King Crab 2.0). The waiter said it was still about $18 per pound (which is still pretty reasonable) but all they had were crabs that were at least 8 lbs or more. Being just the two of us, we didn’t really think we could finish it (although we have had a 6-7 lb king crab by ourselves last year) since we wanted to have some other dishes too.
The waiter then mentioned that the Russian King Crab is smaller and is very similar to the Alaskan King Crab. That’s when we thought “Russian King Crab?” I’ve never heard of it before, but I guess it makes sense since Russia is so close to Alaska. We were all ready to try the Russian King Crab but then the waiter said it wasn’t in season until December (darn it). On the plus side, we don’t have to wait until next March for king crab. I’m going to put it on my calendar to be on the look out for Russian King Crab in December.
So, instead, we settled for a 3 pound regular crab, deep fried with spicy seasonings.
The first thing I noticed is that it was a little different than other Ju Yim crab that I’ve had before. I’m used to green jalepenos/chilies but this dish came with red hot chilies.
Also, they had a lot of small dried shrimp (bonus!). These fixin’s were really tasty (and spicy)!
One of the great things about regular crab (over king crab) is all the great “guts” under the shell. It’s probably really bad for you but how can you say no to deep fried innards?
The crab was fairly spicy so it was nice to cool down our palette with stir fried snow pea tips with garlic.
We were happy to see that they had deep fried oysters on their menu but since we were having the deep fried crab, we chose the oyster hot pot instead. I like how it had plenty of both green and regular onions. The oysters were very tasty too.
I felt like we needed some carbs so we also picked the braised vermicelli with shredded duck and veggies.
You can’t tell from the above picture, but it had plenty of duck (think it all settled to the bottom of the plate).
I’m usually not thrilled with the red bean soup that most Chinese restaurants serve (a little too “beany” for my taste) but the one that we got from Western Lake was different. It was a mix between the typical red bean soup and taro/tapioca soup. It was very yummy and not too sweet.
One of the ways to tell that a Chinese restaurant has good service is to see if they replace your dinner plates when it fills with crab shells. Here, they must have changed our plates at least 4 times. And the waiter was very helpful when we were asking about the crab.
Hope to try the Russian King Crab when the season starts!
Food: 4 / 5
Service: 4.5 / 5
4989 Victoria Drive