Yung Kee – succulent goose & perfect fried rice
My next yummilicious stop at Central on Hong Kong Island …
Yung Kee (鏞記酒家)
32/40 Wellington Street
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
At the heart of Wellington street you find this ostentatious three storey restaurant with an unmistakable golden shimmer. Quick statistic : on average Yung Kee sells around 300 of their roast goose each day – 300 goose seriously! Lucky these are domestic, otherwise goose = extinct. This place is world renowned for its Roast Goose, but less well known is being an equally impressive history book that embraces many traditional Cantonese dishes that have long been forgotten or left behind by other eateries because of their disproportionate difficulty of execution. I won’t go into that in much more detail, as these are neither readily available to public and no doubt they charge a hefty premium – sorry to leave the carrot dangling. Though I did not have the pleasure of going through culinary history ($$$), I settled down with their renowned goose … not that I’m complaining, and you’ll see why.
*Apologies, there’s a few pieces already missing in the photo – dug in too eagerly*
Before it arrives I am already sniffing and savouring the wafts of roasted spices drifting across from other tables. Coupled with my anticipation this sure made me VERY hungry. The glimmering red skin was so crisp and light. Biting deeper you get arrive at an indulgent layer of juicy goose fat sandwiched above the succulent meat. Though your mouth is somewhat lubricated, the subtle spice aromas and intense umami is such a guilty pleasure. It’s a step up (though not a big step, regardless still a step up) from the experience that is achieved with a perfectly roasted duck that has an exact balance between meat and fat, crispy skin and juicy flesh, and just the right amount of seasoning and spice. Though there have been mixed reviews in regards to its title as “best roast goose”, though no expert myself I certainly couldn’t fault it.
Cantonese style fried rice (揚州炒飯). A dish of fried rice – though so commonly served at cafes – is notoriously difficult to perfect. From the quality of a restaurant’s fried rice, one can usually derive the skill and maturity of the chef behind the scene. The rice is moist and ‘Q’ but hardly adheres to each other, each grain has a subtle golden shimmer but does not taste greasy on the palate, subtle savoury aromas are derived from the accompanying elements of meat and herbs but do not overpower the rice itself. At the end, the inside of the bowl should have next to no grease left behind, and probably no scraps left either as a testament to its brilliance =). TICK, TICK, TICK – rustic perfection! I was in fried rice heaven…
Rating: Yummy +2 – Though the roast goose was so deliciously succulent, I’d have to say I was unexpectedly impressed at how the fried rice was so perfectly executed with such simple elements – this certainly swayed me over to award it a yummy +2.
Qu: Have you tried the Roast Goose at Yung Kee – what did you think? Where can you get the best roast goose?
[Photos courtesy of Mr CK]