That visual above is exactly how I am feeling about my weight loss bet with the Teen. I don’t often concede defeat before a deadline, but with some 6-7 pounds shy of the target on March 8th, I feel like it’s the impossible dream. :) There are no credible excuses other than a lack of personal discipline, but Sister’s arrival and the subsequent ensaimada, cinnamon roll and pan de sal (still haven’t gotten this right) experiments haven’t helped. We bought 50 kilos of flour yesterday, if you can imagine! In addition, cousins from Australia joined us out of town on a two day eat fest. Then Mrs. MM and I spent a long weekend in Hong Kong on business but still managed to eat a phenomenal amount of food. So I am busted I think, and though I came close at say 183.7 pounds a couple of weeks ago, I have now gone back up to 186 and while it isn’t over until the fat blogger sings, losing 6 pounds in four days is something I would need Manny Pacquio’s trainer to achieve… So let’s talk about roasted goose instead. :)
Yung Kee Restaurant on Wellington Street in Central is a Hong Kong institution. I recall first having roasted duck or pork or goose at this restaurant many decades ago, and over the years I have eaten there dozens of times. Creatures of habit, a trip to Hong Kong is somehow incomplete with some duck rice at Yung Kee. My parents and in-laws were Yung Kee and Spring Deer devotees, along with thousands of Filipinos who visited the territory in the 60’s and 70’s. Yung Kee moved to their current premises on Wellington Street in 1964, the year I was born! Over the years, the restaurant has gone from spartan to somewhat seedy and run down to a more upscale space. But regardless of the interiors, the goose, duck and pork has always been mouthwatering. A huge display window faces the street and you can see exactly what they have in stock at that moment.
The restaurant has become rather pricey in recent years, particularly if you head to the upper floors and order from an extensive menu. I think we once ordered a steamed fish there and almost had heart failure when the bill arrived. But don’t be intimidated. There are a couple of ways to eat brilliantly at great value… First, try to stick to a crowded table on the first floor. Don’t be picky and take whatever seats they give you, even if you have to share table space with strangers. Order what the locals are ordering… simple platters of roast meats, some kailan or veggies and rice. If you sit and have a soft drink with your meal, you can probably eat very well for HK$ 80-120 per person or roughly US$10-15. Their roasted meats are delicious. There is a palpable difference between Yung Kee and large chains offering the same kind of roasted fare.
In this case, the restaurant is still family owned and operated and they haven’t opened several other branches, with the all important buck or maximum profit in mind. Great food has a great following over the decades and that’s why this place has been around for over 60 years!
But here’s a sort of insider tip from Marketman (and a local friend). Want a taste of Yung Kee but on a shoestring budget? When facing the facade of the restaurant, take notice of a recessed door to the left of the display window that is the entrance to the “take out” section. You can get a nice portion of roasted goose with rice to take away for an amazing HK$34 or roughly US$4.50!!! And the take-away menu is EXTENSIVE! Just enjoy the food in your hotel or in a nearby park bench (not so easy to find those). Not many foreigners are aware of this great option and frankly, I think it is wonderful. :)
Yung Kee Restaurant
32-40 Wellington Street
Central, Hong Kong