{hk} yat lok restaurant {一樂燒鵝}

11:19 AM sians 3 Comments

#siansEATShongkong series takes on another food bucket list in hong kong. 

on top of the ever famous hong kong dim sum and congee, roast goose was one not to be missed.

"move over and make way, yung kee!" 

yung kee restaurant is one with roast goose in hong kong -- you could call they are almost synonymous. in fact, it was one of the restaurants that garnered a star from the prestigious michelin guide. 

however, yat lok restaurant {一樂燒鵝} in central, hong kong has elevated itself from a bib gourmand restaurant to a michelin one starred in 2015. its original restaurant in tai po, which was featured in anthony bourdain's "no reservations", impressed the chef himself that he declared "that's worth flying all the way to hk for

that speaks volumes.

centrally located in central business district, we spied a long line out the door of this family-run food establishment which we somewhat expected since it was close to lunch time. we were glad that my hong kong friend {lst} happened to be hanging out with us especially since we've never had to deal with the lunch crowd. we stood at the back of the queue and prepared for a long wait.

the staff at the entrance started bellowing --

"who is a party of two?" 
"party of one?" "who is here alone?" 
"is everyone in your group here?" 

(and all of this was in cantonese as we waited in line for several minutes)
and it certainly didn't help that we were ignored when we told the staff we had a party of three. 

we almost yelped when she asked, "anyone with a party of three?" which we almost missed. and made a beeline to the front of the line and into the restaurant to share a table with another diner, who wolfed down his lunch quickly.

the restaurant knew not the concept of personal space and it was very difficult to navigate our way around. it was boisterous and packed to the brim with tourists, locals and corporate people in suits. it took on a decor that reminded me of those i've watched in hong kong tvb series - tiled floors with greased red carpet against the mirror lining top half of walls covered by their extensive menu in chinese characters. the chef was expertly butchering meat that were hanging behind the glass display just shortly prior at the front of the restaurant as you enter through the main entrance. 

service was abrupt and rude when we asked for an english menu as they handed over the menu and looked at us impatiently before zooming off to the next customer. i suppose it should be expected due to the quick turnover of diners. and after listening to a lot of the local stories. in fact, while we were having lunch, we had a turnover of two persons whom we shared a table with.

once we had decided, we flagged a staff where {lst} conveyed our orders more fluently and our plates appeared almost at the pace of fast food chains.

roast goose + bbq pork with rice (hkd 47)

it wasn't really on the menu but i wanted to try a combination of two meats -- roast goose and bbq pork, which was available on request much to my tummy's pleasure. staring at the chopsticks and spoon that i was to use for food on a plate, i thought it was a weird choice of utensils. but i was immediately distracted by the two rows of meat served atop rice, doused with a little with the soy base savory jus. i noticed it was missing greens on the plate and it would have to be an additional side order of vegetables if we craved for it (hkd 22)

starting off with a bite of the bbq pork, it was deliciously moist with a slight soy honey sweetness you'd expect from char siu. the fat to meat ratio was a little fattier than i'd like but was essential in contributing to the wonderful tenderness of the meat. 

the roast goose, on the other hand reminded me a meatier and less gamey version of a roast duck. in fact, it had a slightly chewier texture than duck. the crispy skin was a welcomed textural difference but it was a tad too fatty for my liking, where it could be favored by others. the richness of the roasted skin smacked a greasy stickiness on my lips. it was seasoned just enough but i would have definitely preferred more jus for dipping its own essence to intensify the savoriness of the game. 

in combination, i really liked the weaving of sweet notes from the bbq pork and the savory gaminess of the roast goose and also the play of different textures. a solid plate of meaty goodness but not quite amazing.

honey lemon drink (hkd 15)

with almost half a fresh lemon sliced into the warm honey beverage, it was a soothing relief for my recovering throat (had a minor sore throat from the day before). they were really not skimping with the ingredients, which thankfully resulted to strong flavors of sweet rounded honey and citrus-y tartness combination. 

and... it was delicious. i could probably do with a second cup.  

yat lok restaurant has steadily worked their way up to the michelin starred restaurant ranks to compete with its very popular counterpart, yung kee in the signature roast goose category. with a more affordable price tag that also allows immersion in the local culture of busy eating which includes the sharing of tables that are a tad too close to each other and swift, abrupt service, yat lok would be a good pick.

after all, anthony bourdain has spoken. 

yat lok restaurant | location
g/f 34-38 stanley street
central, hong kong
{opens mondays - saturdays : 7am - 7pm}
nearest mtr station:  central station, exit d2

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


Anonymous said...

food is very lousy.noodles too salty,wanton soup not much water and very oily duck. too fatty BBq pork.not worth trying .price too ex to pay for this small places.rude cashier.

Anonymous said...

Fierce and rude cashier. Food quality is way far many places in Hong kong

sians said...

I have to agree but I went in with the expectation of being treated in a rude manner. Some people prefer the fattiness of the meat because it keeps the meat tender. But it was too fatty for me too. Flavor wise is pretty nice though. Would love to have vegetable to go with it.