I must say that it took me a lot of courage to make our dinner reservation at the famous Yung Kee restaurant in Hong Kong. My Cantonese had been rusty and even in Chicago's Chinatown, I would never speak Cantonese to the restaurant waitstaff, by choice, because I was never quite confident in it. But, for the love of food, I called Yung Kee before leaving Chicago and successfully sustained an entire conversation in Cantonese with the person on the phone (not without fist rehearsing how to say the date, time, and number of people in Cantonese). Sure, they could probably understand me a little in English but this time, by choice, I decided to go Cantonese all the way. The very nice lady on the phone asked for my contact number and I found myself mentally translating each number in my head from English to Cantonese before each word came out from my mouth. I asked if we could be seated upstairs and she gladly told us that she would give us a table on the 3rd floor.
We've heard and read so much about its roast goose, and Yung Kee also came highly recommended by several of our good friends. Advance reservations are recommended at Yung Kee and while there are several floors, the 4th floor (highest) is usually reserved for VIPs. I was too glad to be seated on the 3rd floor. We arrived, checked in with the hostess, who then promptly spoke softly into her mini microphone attached to her earpiece and said to the person on the other end that our party had arrived and that we were on our way upstairs. We were ushered into the in-house elevator and there was an employee whose sole duty was to sit inside the elevator at all times and operate the floor buttons for restaurant guests.
We started with the preserved century eggs with pickled ginger. These preserved eggs, also a very famous item at Yung Kee, were legendary. Unlike anything we have had before inside a preserved egg, the yolk had a highly perfect viscosity. The edges of the yolk were solid and the rest of the yolk was somewhat like liquid but still thick enough to hold together. Way to start off the night.
In came the roast goose. The goose itself was reminiscent of duck, however, the goose was definitely more solid in terms of texture. We really could not fault the roast goose.
Another winner was the roasted goose liver sausage which was equally very good. The taste was flavorful and a little intense that I found it perfect with the steamed rice we had on the side.
Yung Kee has an extensive menu that it took us awhile before we our indecisiveness came to an end. There were seven of us in our party (our family was with us) and the extensive menu was to our advantage since we would then get to order more dishes than T and I would normally be able to stomach between the two of us. The other dishes we tried were the sauteed fillet of fresh Water Goby fish, braised bean curd, pan fried chicken in lemon sauce, and sauteed vegetables.
Yung Kee prides itself on the many awards it has received over the years. Flip to the last couple pages of the menu and you will see their unending long list of awards. However, it appears that Michelin has removed a star from Yung Kee for the coming 2012 year. Nevertheless, the food is solid and authentically Cantonese.
32-40 Wellington Street
Central, Hong Kong
2011 1-Michelin Star
2010 1-Michelin Star
2009 1-Michelin Star