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Yung Kee / 鏞記酒家 – Famous Roast Goose in Central

l
Lau Nov 7, 2010 02:55 PM

**For full post and pics**: http://www.lauhound.com/2010/11/yung-...

Yung Kee 鏞記酒家 is a very famous restaurant in Hong Kong that is known for it’s roast goose. It’s located in Central close to Lan Kwai Fong. I believe the 8th floor is a members only area where they supposedly serve their best geese (I would love to try that one day). It’s a reasonably nice restaurant that looks like a typical upscale Chinese place. The service is quite good, very attentive.

- Thousand year old duck egg with pickled ginger (pidan): they give you these at the beginning of the meal. It is preserved duck eggs (pidan / thousand year old egg) with pickled ginger (think of the ginger you get at a sushi bar). These are amazing, the best pidan I’ve ever had. The flavors are quite complex and the egg yolks are half molten, so it’s a bit softer than most pidan. The ginger is quite sweet and cut pretty thick; it’s not amazing pickled ginger, but when paired the pidan it turns out to be an amazing combination. I really liked this dish; if you like pidan this is ridiculously good.
- Roast pork (cha siu / cha shao): this was pretty decent cha siu. Pretty good flavor, reasonably fatty (I like fatty cha siu) and it wasn’t too sweet. Although it pales in comparison to Fu Sing which has transcendent cha siu. Overall, good, but not amazing.
- Baby bok choy: very simple preparation with a little bit of garlic. Well cooked and quite good
- Roast goose: so this is what they are known for. I liked the skin a lot, it was crispy and had good flavor. They serve it with a plum sauce that compliments it pretty well. The meat is what I was a bit disappointed in, I thought it was a little overcooked, it wasn’t dry, but it was drier than it should be. Overall , I thought it was good, but it didn’t live up to the hype. I’ve had better goose.
- Jelly fish: pretty standard jelly fish served cold with sesame oil and some sesame seeds. Pretty good, not amazing though
- Eel: this was very good, it was stir fried and cooked in a semi sweet sauce. The eel was very tender and the sauce was good, not overly sweet or gloppy. I liked this quite a bit.

Pretty good meal, not as good as I was hoping for, but definitely still good. I would come back for the pidan alone, those were just amazing.

  1. k
    klyeoh Nov 7, 2010 03:35 PM

    I'd go to Yung Kee just for their "pidan" eggs & pickled ginger :-D

    Also liked their steamed beancurd topped with minced pork/shrimp, and braised fish tail/fin.

    Frankly, there are so many better restaurants in HK these days, but I still go back to Yung Kee whenever I can - most of the times for the nostalgia & memories, but usually because you know what you're going to get there.

    9 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh
      l
      Lau Nov 7, 2010 03:41 PM

      those pidan are amazing, we actually got a second order b/c it was just so good

      I liked it, i just don't think it's as good as some people have said it is. I would like to try the Yung Kee club although I don't know anyone who's a member.

      I'll probably go back at some point, so i'll try those dishes you mentioned.

      1. re: klyeoh
        Charles Yu Nov 7, 2010 07:20 PM

        One seldom mentioned specialty of Yung Kee ( since overshadowed by the goose and the thousand year eggs ) is their 'Pan fried 'cho-bak' salted fish'. HK$80? for a small piece.( a relative bargain at today's price, since my father once bought a 1 lb+ premium whole fish from a Sheung Wan store for over HK$800! ). Great with rice congee, however, their version of this salted fish was quite delicate and not overly salty which allows one to eat it stand alone like a snack! The crispy fish scale and skin is amazing!!

        1. re: Charles Yu
          TomEatsHK Nov 7, 2010 07:37 PM

          What are people's thoughts on somewhere to get a reliable roast goose which doesn't make you feel exploited. I've been to Yung Kee more than a few times now and have to say I really do not enjoy the "experience". My thoughts on my 3rd or 4th visit a while ago are here http://www.tomeatsjencooks.com/169/re...

          If I ever go again I will use a friend with a membership of the Kee club but quite frankly I'ld prefer to go somewhere more enjoyable if anyone has any strong recs?

          Thanks

          Tom

          1. re: TomEatsHK
            FourSeasons Nov 8, 2010 12:30 AM

            Try the roast goose on the 4th floor and also order the whole goose, not portion. For whatever reasons, when I order the whole goose, the quality is much better. Though you really need a big group to finish the whole goose. For alternative, try Manor.

            Also in my opinion, Yung Kee is no longer just goose, though that is the reason for its legendary reputation. The smoked pork雲霧燻肉 , "Song Lam" in broth清湯牛爽腩 , salted pepper sea cucumber椒鹽海參扣 deserve huge thumbs up as well.

            1. re: FourSeasons
              Charles Yu Nov 8, 2010 05:17 AM

              You guys will not believe it?! One stand out dish that 'wowed' me was an awesome ' Yang Chow Fried Rice' of all things!!. And their 'Fung Sing Shui Gow - shrimp dumplings' was actually better than 'Mak's' down the road!!!

              1. re: Charles Yu
                k
                klyeoh Nov 8, 2010 05:44 AM

                I believe you, Charles. The last time I had dinner at Yung Kee with my old HK friends, we all liked the Yang Chow fried rice, which was absolutely fabulous. It more than made up for our disappointment with the roast goose, which was cold, hard & had chewy skin.

              2. re: FourSeasons
                l
                Lau Nov 8, 2010 06:07 AM

                ohhh i really like song lam, i wish i would've ordered that, it's hard to find in the US

                don't know if ive ever had "cho bak" salted fish, what are the characters?

                1. re: Lau
                  Charles Yu Nov 8, 2010 06:26 AM

                  Very scaley fish with lots of bones. Edible scales that gives it the main characteristic. (Most revered amongst salted fish. Almost like Jamon Iberico Belota amongst raw cured ham). Thats why most people like to pan fried rather than steam it . The end result of the former is the creation of a salty crispy outer skin layer thats soooo addictive. Some people like to sprinkle some white sugar over the skin before eating. As for the texture of the meat, its a cross between the 'hard' and the 'mushy soft'. Taste is not overly salty. Nowadays, the good ones goes for over HK$1000 a smallish fish.

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    l
                    Lau Nov 8, 2010 06:33 AM

                    sounds awesome, will have to try

        2. K K Nov 8, 2010 01:26 PM

          Yeah I too firmly believe Yung Kee saves the best goose for the VIPs and exquisite banquet dinners on the 4th+ floor, it is also very apparent from reading numerous local and visiting gourmet bloggers from abroad. It is also as a result of the high quality of the expensive banquets that this place is held in high regard (while the roast goose in general is overrated and expensive, over HK$100++ for a roast goose leg over rice for takeout)

          Very early this year my brother in law had a supreme banquet at Yung Kee, where the cost ran about US$1600 per table of 12 and required 2 to 3 days of advanced notice/reservation. The dinner actually had a specific theme, based on "Legend of the Condor Heroes" and dubbed "Banquet of the Condor Heroes" 射鵰英雄宴 Chinese novel by the legendary author Jing Yong/金庸.

          The star dish of that night was 二十四橋明月夜, and was made pretty much following one of the chapters in the story, step by step. A complete whole Chinese Jing Hua ham/leg (金華火腿) served a plate, stuffed with 24 balls made of tofu, which absorbed the flavor of the meat after hours of the steaming process. After finishing the tofu, the whole leg can be eaten, taken home and/or used for making soup.

          This blogger had a meal that wasn't quite the same, but it did include the tofu balls stuffed into ham dish

          http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/tsuisiuwa/article?mid=3878

          which dates back to 2008.

          The Condor Hero banquet appears to be new this year, not sure if it is a limited edition offering.

          And of course Cha Xiu Bao is never one to miss a gourmet meal like this, and this is his writeup

          http://chaxiubao.typepad.com/chaxiubao/2010/06/the-moon-has-lit-up-the-twentyfour-bridges-where-is-the-graceful-lady-who-played-flute.html#comments

          in addition to a dish 蟬油炆雞 served in his banquet (and I believe the one my brother in law had

          )

          http://chaxiubao.typepad.com/chaxiuba...

          It is exotic feasts and feats like these (literally, incorporating a culinary idea from a fantasy novel into reality) that elevate the name and glory of Hong Kong Cantonese high end fine dining, even though it might not be for everyone (especially the chicken prep that seems more rustic and hmmm....bizzare).

          1 Reply
          1. re: K K
            l
            Lau Nov 8, 2010 01:35 PM

            whoa that looks really really awesome

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