One of the best things to eat when in Hong Kong is roast goose...and none better than Yat Lok.
Indeed...roast meats. Wonderfully prepared, and roasted to perfection. Nowhere in Singapore can we even begin to approach this level of finese in roasting. First, the availability of fresh ingredients like the pork and goose is impossible in Singapore, whereas abundant in Hong Kong. And the traditional recipes and knowhow, handed down generations is also well developed there.
I have eaten at Yung Kee, the famous Michelin Starred roast restaurant in Hong Kong. But since then, I think success has perhaps gone to their heads, and the standards has gone downhill since the Michelin award. Today it is mostly a tourist location, and indeed has a great ambience for visitors and for taking out clients.
In contrast, Yat Lok is a typicaly Hong Kong restaurant, with the roasts hanging in the window, the cook preparing the dishes visible from the street. Inside, it is cramped, not particularly clean and frequently one is expected to share tables. Lingering over a meal is certainly not encouraged. Service is swift, but not particularly polite, and the waiters expect you to know what you want, and are not in a mood to explain what each dish is about.
Having said that, I let the cat out of the bag by saying this is the best roast goose restaurant I have ever eaten. Bar none.
We started with a platter of roast pork and char siew.
Meats in Hong Kong are usually rather fat...but fat equals flavour, so I guess taste is of utmost importance. Indeed, the flavour is very good. The roast pork is full flavoured, the rind crispy. The char siew very tender and very flavourful too. But this is not what Yat Lok is famous for. The level it is achieved, though very good, is not the best one can find in Hong Kong.
But the roast goose is another story,
My lunch mate had the roast goose leg in noodle soup. It looked marvellous, but I had tried this once before, and though very nice, the soup softens the crisp skin of the goose, and for me, it kind of loses its main attraction.
For me the right way to serve roast goose is with rice
The skin is superbly crisp, under that a very thin layer of super flavourful fat, and under that the tender, delicious meat. The roast goes superbly, no its heavenly, with the lightly soy sauced rice. Marvellous. Out of this world. Definitely the best roast goose I have ever eaten.
Very highly recommended, and a must eat every time in Hong Kong.
Yat Lok Restaurant
G/F, 34-38 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
Phone:+852 2524 3882