Yung Kee is a restaurant in Hong Kong island famous for its roasted goose. The resource person for the training-seminar I attended, who was an American married to a Hong Kong local and has lived in the area for fourteen years, declared the best roasted goose was in Kowloon, but that Yung Kee’s was just as good.
The night I went there I was told that the waiting time for a table was about an hour. Since my only free time to explore Hong Kong was in the evenings, an hour was a precious long time to wait to eat. I decided to check out the other recommended eating places on my list, but not to waste the effort going to Yung Kee, which involved an uphill hike, I went to the take-out counter. Since the minimum order is half a whole roasted goose, I thought it best to take it home to share.
The line at the take-out counter, which could be accessed from the road via a side door to the leftmost of the restaurant, was very short, and it took me about five minutes total of waiting time. The five minutes was well spent ogling the various kinds of cured meats on display by a wall, and the going to and fro of cooks and waiters in the ground floor dining area.
When my number was called I tried to explain that I wanted to take my goose back to the Philippines, and the elderly lady wrapping my purchase replied, ah yes, overseas! I’ll wrap it special for you!, proceeding to double wrap the fowl, putting it in a box along with the condiments, and putting extra elastic bands around it. I didn’t know then that I became one of the many who made Yung Kee’s the flying roast goose, because people from all over the world take it home.
I went out happy, and with renewed vigor for another eating adventure. But after going up and down the expat den that was Wellington Street two times carrying along my roasted goose, I couldn’t locate that braised beef noodle shop on my list. I was on the verge of opening the box when I chanced upon a Chinese guy lounging at the entrance to another restaurant, and I asked if he could identify the Chinese signboards of the shops nearby. He said no, as he was from China. I was flummoxed by his remark, so I asked if that made a difference. He laughed and said yes, a lot.
So I left and splurged US$300 on books instead, in a bookshop manned by Filipinas. When my physical hunger couldn’t be assuaged by soul food anymore, I hunted down Lin Heung Kui, which, I was surprised to find out, was just two blocks away from my hotel. But that is for tomorrow.
32-40 Wellington Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tim Ho Wan