We just got back from a wonderful dim sum at Western Lake. It was the first time we had been back since March 8 just days before the world closed down. They have made a lot of changes to meet covid-19 standards.
First, there are far fewer tables, and I didn’t see any parties larger than four persons. Formerly, no matter the day or the hour, the place was jam-packed and you were always rubbing shoulders with people at the next table, making new friends. It gave the restaurant a particular noisy vibrancy that I loved. Now, there is a lot of space and the feeling is very different — not bad, just different.
There also used to be crowds of people waiting in the vestibule, spilling out onto Victoria. No more.
In the scores of times that we have been there over the years not once have I ever seen an empty table, until today when there were a few. However, I doubt they have lost much business. They had a double-length table set aside for Skip, Uber, and online order pickups where dozens and dozens of bags filled with food went on and off that table in the time we were there.
Finally, all the staff wore gloves and masks, which I guess is standard now. More interestingly, I noticed that about 90% of the Chinese customers arrived at the place wearing masks, while only about 25% of the westerners did.
The food was as always hot, fresh, and absolutely delicious. I miss the almost frenzied atmosphere of the past, but it won’t keep us away.