After exhaustive research on the Hong Kong roast goose scene, I have come up with a list of four top roast goose eateries to try. Yat Lok Roast Goose makes it into the top four with a large local and international following. The others are Joy Hing, Kam’s Roast Goose and Yung Kee.
Goose versus duck – I love roast duck. I have tasted the original Four Seasons roast duck at Bayswater, London, and since then I have been on an endless quest to find the same standard of duck in Asia. Roast goose on the other hand, is a new creature to me. So how did Yat Lok’s roast goose stack up to the famous roast duck?
Yat Lok Roast Goose
As with most Hong Kong eateries you may have to find yourself sharing the table with strangers. The city is just packed like sardine cans. The service was very good by Hong Kong standards, the lady server was friendly and helpful with our orders. This was very refreshing compared to our horrendous experience earlier in the day. I guess you must have a certain minimum service level to get awarded a Michelin star.
Looking through the menu our eyes popped out. The pricing was indeed exorbitant compared to the eatery’s ambience and the fact that we had to share a table with strangers. After taking a cursory glance to see what the other locals were ordering and talking to the friendly lady server, we decided to order one plate of roast goose rice and one plate of char siew rice (叉燒饭 chā shāo fàn or barbequed pork rice). Unfortunately they were out of their more popular goose leg. This still set us back a whopping HK$100 for both items. The price is double or triple what we would have paid back in Singapore for something similar. I guess having a Michelin star does give some perks.
As I sank my teeth into into the roast goose, I immediately noticed that it had a flatter taste than the roast duck I was used to. There was also a bit more of a savoury dimension with the roast goose compared to roast duck. This may be due to a difference in the preparation and seasoning for the goose as compared to the roast duck that I am used to. The skin had some crispiness and the goose meat was tender. The sauce that was drizzled over the rice nicely complemented the taste of the roast goose. We would give the roast goose here a solid 4/5.
I would still choose Four Season’s roast duck over Yat Lok’s roast goose in a second, and even the roast duck from Orchard Hotel Singapore’s Hua Ting Cantonese Restaurant has a much better taste. In many ways my palate with respect to roast duck has been spoilt by these ridiculous high standards that I have experienced, so Yat Lok’s roast goose is an unfortunate victim. However their char siew did indeed save the day for me.
Char Siew Rice (叉燒饭 chā shāo fàn)
Now their char siew was brilliant. It gave a superb taste and the aromatic char siew flavour was overflowing with each bite. The texture and toughness was perfect as well. I may not be so mad over char siew as I am over roast duck, but I have sampled the famous fatty char siew from Kuala Lumpur’s Overseas Chinese Restaurant and from Char Restaurant along Guillemard Road in Singapore. Yat Lok’s char siew is of a different style, it does not have the same thick fattiness or black sauce coating as the former two restaurants, but it was, I dare say, more delicious.
The style is reminiscent of the usual char siew that you would find in hawker centres and food courts in Singapore, but it has by far a superior taste. If some of the Singaporean hawkers could make their char siew to this standard, me thinks that nobody would be so hard up to find the thick fatty black sauce char siew. We give the char siew a cool 4.5/5.
Come to Yat Lok to try their roast goose, but don’t forget their char siew. It will be one memorable experience.