Yung Kee, 鏞記 has been touted as THE place to get roast goose in Hong Kong ever since it bloomed into the successful enterprise that it is now. Upon obtaining the name and the address, I didn’t think of doing anymore “research” on the place and was a wee bit overwhelmed when I found myself in front of Yung Kee. I certainly wasn’t expecting an entire building as I was thinking more along the lines of a roasted meats shop (烧味店). Tsk Tsk. Anyway, since we were there, and I was determined to get my roast goose (燒鵝) and waxed sausages, so we headed in . Once we stepped in, we were ushered to the lift, where a lift attendant was waiting, and whisked upstairs to the 4th floor where it was rather empty and quiet as it was past 9pm. I later found out that it was a blessing in disguise as waiting time could peak at more than an hour during meal times.
We were attended to by the assistant Captain and she was very friendly and courteous. We didn’t really have a need for the menu as she immediately asked how big a portion of the roast goose we would like. Then next, was if we wanted century eggs (皮蛋) as well. Ah, such predictable tourists. Hehe. But we were left the menu anyways and it was quite interesting browsing it and taking in the number of Cantonese dishes they serve here. But most enlightening was probably the page where it listed all the awards won, including for best restaurant, best service etc. and recently, the prestigious Michelin star.
The gorgeous century egg with pickled ginger. Century eggs are basically preserved duck or chicken eggs in a clay and ash mixture for months, and not exactly a hundred years. Lol. I would say that the century eggs here are divine – with the clear translucent tea-coloured “egg white” and the creamy, grey yolk. The green of the yolk is normally due to reactions to the alkali in the lime and has a slight ammonia aroma to it but it’s akin to eating blue cheese, an acquired taste. One that I can’t get enough of. Nearly licked my chopsticks clean of the sticky yolky spots. Hehe.
And the piece de la resistance… served with plum sauce, the glistening skin tempted me as I struggled to get a worthy shot of the dish. The goose is reputed to be massaged and marinated before roasted over a charcoal fire. For those of you who have never tasted goose before, imagine a richer, slightly more gamier version of duck. I have always liked goose, esp. the braised versions made by my grand aunt when she visits from China. Anyway, I digress.
At first bite, the skin wasn’t as crispy as I hoped for, nor was the goose served as warm as I liked it to be. In fact, it was rather cold and the fats had started to take a gelatinous texture. But the flesh was tender and juicy with flavour. And the succulent meat tasted delectable with the plum sauce. And underneath the pile of meat is some fermented soybeans which are yummy to pick at.
I feel that even though the roast goose here is one of the bests I have had so far (save for it being served like a cold cuts dish), I also felt that it was a tad overpriced at HKD420/goose. But since we were only two, and didn’t even order half a bird, I reckon our portion (例牌) hovered somewhere around HKD150.
After all that indulging, we needed a vegetable dish to balance the meal out and opted for Stir-Fried Baby Bak Choi with Garlic. It was a simple dish but the baby bok choi was prepared so well that it was still crisp and light and had that delightful crunch.
Our meal came up to above HKD220 for two but I had no idea how much each dish costs as HK restaurants don’t seem to give detailed receipts much. In fact, no receipt is given until you insist on it and mostly it’s a printout of the total figure. Having tried their goose liver sausages in Elegant Inn and wanting to get some for my gramps and parents, asked the assistant Captain who attended to us if they were still available and she was so nice that she asked me what I wanted, packed it and brought it to our table! But these don’t come cheap though, at HKD198/catty (斤) or 600g. But they are so sinfully good… should know as I revisited the taste by making this.
Anyhow, overrated or not, Yung Kee still warrants a visit if it’s your first time in HK. Or if you can only head to one place in HK for roast goose.
Yung Kee Restaurant 镛记酒家 (www)
32-40 Wellington Street,
Central, Hong Kong.
Open: 11am – 11:30pm