One of the things I never fail to eat in Hong Kong is Roast Goose, most often at Yung Kee in Central. I recently discovered that locals preferred the goose from Yat Lok Barbecue Restaurant. I was supposed to go there during my trip to Hong Kong last year but never got around to it. This time around, I moved it to the top of my list, it help if one has a daughter who loves roasted goose and pork also.
Yat Lok looks like the typical no frills Hong Kong eatery scattered everywhere in the island food paradise. Roasted meat hanging in front, a queue forming outside since we got right smack during the lunch rush. The wait was not too long though since this place is an eat and run, no dillydallying place. If you are with a group, one of you can wait while the others can browse around the book/stationary store beside it.
The place is cramped so be sure you are prepared to share your table and hobnob with your seatmates. I estimate that they can hold less than 50 people, almost sardine style. Ambiance and comfort are your sacrifice when you eat at Yat Lok.
Irene and I loved the many drinks you can order in HK like these Iced Lemon Tea (HKD10). A simple drink using real tea with slices of lemon. You just push on the lemon slices to release the citrusy flavor, mix and enjoy.
Irene ordered a Water Spinach (Kangkong) with Fu Yu (Fermented Bean Curd Sauce). The sauce looks kinda like a Chinese cheese sauce with specks or orange. The water spinach in Hong Kong is has soft and crisp stalks and is a lighter green in color (some are even whitish). The fu yu sauce gives the green lots of umami flavor (salty with a bit of spicy and sweet). This was my first time to try this and I was hooked.
Irene and Lauren opted for the BBQ Pork and Roast Goose with Rice (HK$39). Lauren devoured her plate and was eying Irene’s plate with evil intentions. An admonition plus a promise of dessert after calmed her down. I tried the bbq pork and it was really good, although it was a bit charred.
Their signature dish is the Roast Goose Drumstick Rice Noodle (HK$62). The goose leg is so big it stick out of the bowl. The skin is a glistening temptation, though I made a mistake of not removing it from the soup thus losing some of the skin’s crispness. The thick rice noodles tasted ok but next time I’m going for the rice. The goose was just perfect, crispy skin lightly covering equally delicious meat, with a quick dip in the requisite plum sauce.
Yat Lok‘s main branch is in Tai Po, way out in the New Territories. I’m thinking the prices should be cheaper but the travel time as well as the fare would negate it all. The Central branch is so convenient, it’s actually a bit closer than Yung Kee from the nearest MTR Station.
One bite and I knew I would not go back to Yung Kee just to have roast goose. Yat Lok is also the same place Anthony Bourdain visited, although he went to Tai Po. I love the hustle and bustle of places like these in Hong Kong, you can feel the real Hong Kong.
I can safely say that Yat Lok has the best roast goose I’ve ever tasted. I’m 100% sure I’ll be back again and again.
Yat Lok Barbecue Restaurant
(nearest MTR Station is Central Exit D2)G/F 34-38 Stanley St. Central, Hong Kong Telephone No.: (852) 2524-3882
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