Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Week in Hong Kong: Roast Goose @ Yat Lok (一樂食館)

(See closest Auckland equivalents)

High on our list of things to eat in Hong Kong was roast goose, or siu ngoh (燒鵝), since you can't get this in New Zealand (as far as we know... not too sure why, since there are goose eggs for sale in Chinese supermarkets). We were taken to Sham Tseng (深井) last year, where apparently the best roast goose in Hong Kong can be found at Yue Kee Roast Goose Restaurant (裕記大飯店). It was good, but we actually preferred the goose at a place we found ourselves using the 2011 Michelin Guide, a tiny eatery on a narrow road in Central called Yat Lok (一樂食館).

Given a Bib Gourmand rating for good value, a dish of Roast Duck on Rice at Yat Lok was only about 30 HKD (~5 NZD) a year ago. They obviously focussed their attention on their roast meats though, as the rice was dry and the vegetables we ordered were old and tough, simply boiled in water, optionally served with oyster sauce.

Roast Duck on Rice

This year, we noticed they didn't get a mention in the 2012 Michelin Guide, but we went back for our dose of goose anyway.  The prices have gone up, which probably explains why they missed out on the Bib this year.  Their signature dish of Roast Goose Leg on Noodle Soup rose from 39 HKD to 47 HKD, if memory serves correctly, which still good value from our point of view.

This eatery seems to be a branch of the Yat Lok BBQ Restaurant in the New Territories, over which Anthony Bourdain gushed, as shown on a TV screen inside.  Some claim the Central venue is actually better, but in any case it is easier to get to.  Just make sure you turn up at the right time, as we tried to have breakfast there and were told the goose wouldn't be available till after 11am.

It's simple food in a simple setting, where the owners have tried to perfect one thing, and attained brilliance.

Closest Auckland Equivalents

We don't know of any place in Auckland that sells roast goose, but there are plenty of BBQ places where you can obtain roast duck, such as ...

* Love A Duck
547-549 Balmoral Road, Balmoral
(09) 623 0632

Original store has been around for decades, since 1991. Also has branches in Mount Eden, Auckland CBD and Northcote. [Added 20 May 2013: This Balmoral restaurant is now closed, with a sign outside saying "Business for Sale". Here is a really interesting read about how the restaurant started though.]

* BBQ King (得記)
187-189 Queen Street, Auckland Central
(09) 368 5218

Tucked into the little alleyway of Durham Street West, this basic eatery offers good value for money, with large portions and usually a complimentary soup when you sit down.

Restaurant Details

28 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong (香港中環士丹利街28號地下)
+852 2524 3882

Opening hours:
Mondays to Saturdays 7am - 7pm
Sundays 9am - 4pm


  1. I missed out on trying roast goose last time I was in Hong Kong. My mum described it to me as like duck, but better. What did you think?

  2. Haha, yep, that sounds about right.


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