Tim Ho Wan at Hong Kong Fortress Hill

Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong (添好運 / 添好运)- The One Michelin Star Dim Sum

English Address (Google Map): 2-8 Wharf Road, Seaview Building, North Point

Chinese Address: 北角和富道2-8號嘉洋大廈地下B,C及D鋪

Opening hours: 10am to 9.30pm

Scroll to the end for address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Firstly, i will bore you with a little bit of history of Tim Ho Wan (添好運/添好运). The main chef Mak Kwai Pui (麥桂培) of Tim Ho Wan was originally from a well established restaurant  under the Four Season group – Lung King Heen (龍景軒). He later opened Tim Ho Wan in year 2009 that offers 5 stars hotel Dim Sum at street price.

In less than a year, Tim Ho Wan was awarded one star by Michelin. By then, it already has a reputation for selling the best dim sum in Hong Kong. As we know, it had created a storm when they opened their first branch in Singapore.

I used to visit their branch situated between Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po station and that is the branch that was awarded the Michelin star. I remember it was not exactly a great experience. The place is really really cramped and the waiting time is crazy, and service is below average. My conclusion then is they are great for the Polo Char Siew Bao.

When i visited Hong Kong this time, I didn’t have the intention to visit Tim Ho Wan but i got some free time on hand and the location is rather near my hotel so i thought , “Ok I’ll give it another shot”. I visited their Fortress Hill branch for supper at around 8.45pm.

This branch is at least 4 times bigger than the one that I visited and it’s much more spacious and well decorated. It was almost full house but i still manage to get a table instantly. I only ordered a few items, and surprisingly, all of them hit the right spots.

Tim Ho Wan's Menu: Click to enlarge

Tim Ho Wan’s Menu: Click to enlarge

Char Siew Polo Bun (酥皮叉烧包)

The Polo Char Siew Bao is fluffy soft and topped with a thin layer of not-overly-sweet sugar crust. The Char Siew is covered in a warm thick and rich gravy. The bun’s crispy texture complement the Char Siew perfectly.

This is the exact item that was awarded with one Michelin Star and just one serving is always not enough. This is still the best item at Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong. However, i do hope that they can be more generous with the Char Siew fillings though. This dish cost HK$18 (S$2.90) while it cost S$5.25 in Singapore.

Beef Ball with Bean Stick (陈皮牛肉球)

This dish is pretty good as well for it’s soft steamed and well marinated minced beef. There is a well balance of fatty and lean beef in this combination and the steamy hot beef ball taste really fresh.

There are also Bean Sticks (Tau Kee) placed beneath the meat ball and they absorb the natural sweet meat sauce during the process of steaming. This meat ball is my second favourite dish of the day. This cost HK$16 (S$2.60) while it cost S$4.90 in Singapore.

Steamed Malay Sponge Cake (香滑马拉糕) 

This is one of the four heavenly kings of Tim Ho Wan and it’s well known for it’s soft fluffy texture. I had this in Singapore’s Tim Ho Wan and i actually like it, but it comes at a costly price tag of $4.45 nett.

For the same item, it only cost HK$15 (S$2.40) and therefore makes this dish much more enjoyable than having it in Singapore. The steamed cake is served piping hot and i enjoy the fluffy spongy texture with a eggy light brown sugar taste.

Beancurd Skin Roll with Meat and Prawn (美味鲜竹卷)

The ingredient of the Beancurd Skin Roll taste very fresh and flavourful and the shredded vegetable wrapped in the chewy Beancurd Skin actually enhances the overall texture.

The gravy that comes with it has just the right level of saltiness and does not overpower the main lead. It cost HK$20 (S$3.20) while it cost S$4.65 back in Singapore.

Conclusion

Actually I myself was quite surprise that the experience of visiting Tim Ho Wan’s Fortress Hill brand is vastly different from the previous visit (5 years ago) of the Sham Shui Po Branch. Comparing Hong Kong’s price to Singapore, their signature Polo Char Siew bun is mark up by a whopping 80%. I always have this philosophy that the taste of food is somehow link to the price and waiting time. For this visit, there is zero waiting time and realising Tim Ho Wan’s affordable price, everything appears to be better.

Their century egg congee is not the most flavourful. Those who enjoy something light may enjoy this porridge much.

For those who are already a fan of Tim Ho Wan, then this is a must-visit for you. And for those who think that Singapore Tim Ho Wan’s price is too exorbitant, this will be your chance to enjoy a better quality Tim Ho Wan at a much cheaper price.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

Actually Tim Ho Wan is between the Fortress Hill and North Point Station but it’s more straight forward to walk from Fortress Hill.  It’s about a 7 to 10 minutes walk.

1. Come out from Exit B of Fortress Hill Station

2. Walk straight and turn left at a junction to Power Street

3. Continue walking straight until a T Junction and turn right on City Garden Road

4. Continue walking straight. City Garden Hotel will be on your left.

5. After passing City Garden Hotel, walk a little bit more and Tim Ho Wan will be on your right.

Scroll to bottom to see address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan branches

Other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Olympian City Branch

Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui [大角咀海庭道18號奧海城二期G樓72號舖]

Opening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

Sham Shui Po Branch

11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po [深水埗福榮街9-11號地下]

Opening hour: 8am to 9.30pm

Central Branch

Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall) , Central [中環香港站12A鋪(IFC地庫一層]

Opening hour: 9am to 9pm

Tseung Kwan O Branch

Shop 49, G/F., POPCORN 2, 9 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O [將軍澳唐俊街9樓POPCORN 2期地下49號] O

pening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

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The Best Roast Goose in Hong Kong – Yung Kee Restaurant

The Best Roast Goose in Hong Kong – Yung Kee Restaurant

English Address: 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 中環威靈頓街32-40號

Opening Hours: 11.00am to 11.30pm (Daily)

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Yung Kee (鏞記酒家) is a multi-award winning restaurant that specializes in roast goose. Together with Yue Kee Roast Goose (裕記大飯店), Yung Kee has a reputation of selling the best Roast Goose in Hong Kong. Although Yung Kee also has a reputation of selling over-priced dishes, it actually started from a humble background.

It started off as a road-side stall (dai pai dong) in the 1930s selling roast meat. After some success, they moved to a shop in the 1942 and finally settle in the current location in the Year 1964. They built up their business steadily and it’s currently owned by Yung Kee Holdings Ltd, a company with more than HK$100 millions in asset. Yung Kee also received one Michelin star in the Year 2009, 2010 and 2011 in the Hong Kong and Macau edition.

The posh ambience of Yung Kee. The service was great as well.

Although i already know of the exorbitant price of Yung Kee, i am just too curious on how does this infamous roast goose taste. The general advise that i heard is “Just order the goose and century egg and forget the rest”.

Therefore, i decided to do the touristy thing to visit Yung Kee to try out this one of the top twenty restaurants in Asia. I have to emphasis that i visited Yung Kee in Year 2012. I didn’t have a blog then so i am only writing it now.

Price of their Goose (2012). Click to enlarge.

Quarter Roast Goose (HK$150)

Unlike other roast meat joints that sell individual plate of Roast Goose rice, Yung Kee offers minimally a quarter of goose (lower quarter without drumstick) that cost HK$150+. There are options of half goose at HK$240+ and whole goose for HK$480+.

The small problem with ordering a quarter goose is Yung Kee only gives you the top quarter that is mostly breast meat. That’s not much of a problem for me as i’m a breast lover.

Yung Kee goose is much more meatier and more succulent than a roast duck. The highlight of the whole dish is the goose skin. It is really crispy, almost crackling and the thin layer of oil and fat that comes along with it. It’s oily, but not greasy for my stomach.

As it’s the breast (top) quarter, it is slightly drier and this problem can be solved by dipping their meat into the braised sauce that comes along with it. I thoroughly enjoyed the rich and savory flavours of the sauce, as well as the braised peanut that comes with it.

Four of us shared this dish and we can’t get enough of it. Each piece of meat was snapped up swiftly and all of us agreed that it’s not as bad as what we read online.

Yung Kee also sells Roasted “Jet” Goose where they vacuum pack their roast goose for you to “da bao” back to your country. Each goose costs HK$500.

Preserved Century Egg

I am not exactly a fan of Century Egg actually but my friend told me she had the best century egg of her life in Yung Kee so i decided to see what’s the deal.

Yung Kee’s century egg is really really soft and smooth and it’s almost like biting through tofu. The egg yolk’s texture is like an Onsen Egg – soft, creamy and very flavourful. I am going to say it – best century egg ever. It’s not difficult to understand why there a demand for them to sell their century egg in gift boxes to be brought back. Six century eggs with ginger cost HK$78

Conclusion

In April 2014, my same friend visited Yung Kee with his family and said that the roast goose standard had dropped and they switch the braised peanut to some beans for their Roast Goose that don’t taste as good and the roasted goose skin don’t taste as crispy. Price wise, it’s still as expensive. He tried the Char Siew and some other dishes and thought it’s still a good idea to just order their Roast Goose.

For me, i think there is a need to at least try the famous Yung Kee roast goose once regardless of the online bashing and i am glad that my visit in 2012 was a good experience.

Although it was a little “paisay” (embarrassing) to only order a quarter roast goose and HALF a century egg with four people, at least we saved our pockets from burning a hole. Probably i will try to visit again in my next trip to Hong Kong to see if the food standard really “deteriorated” as per what some people had said.

For friends who like to try a less expensive roast goose that is more welcomed by their locals, you may want to check out another of my post on Yat Lok Roast Goose.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

Direction to Yung Kee is very straight forward

1. Come out from Central Exit G

2. Walk against the traffic until you reach Queen’s Road Central

3. Cross the road and walk along the traffic until you see d’Aguilar Street

4. Turn left into d’Aguilar Street, walk straight until you see Wellington Street on the right 5

5. Turn right into Wellington Street and you should see Yung Kee on your right

Click to enlarge

 

Yat Lok Roast Goose Vs Yung Kee, Michelin Starred VS Star-ed

Yat Lok Vs Yung Kee, Michelin Starred VS Michelin Star-ed

English Address (Google Map): G/F, 28 Stanley Street, Central Hong Kong

Chinese Address: 中環士丹利街28號地下

Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 7.00am to 7.00pm Sun and PH 9.00pm to 3.30pm

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

I had roast goose twice in Hong Kong. Once was bad, second time was good. The second time was at the famous Yung Kee (鏞記) back in Year 2012. However, Yung Kee seems to have reputation of “for tourist” and “overpriced”. Therefore this time, I want to compare Yung Kee to a non-restaurant that serves good Roast Goose and see what is the actual difference.

Click here to see my post on Yung Kee Restaurant

Although it was said that Yue Kee Roast Goose Restaurant (裕記大飯店) has the best roast goose in Hong Kong but it is quite inaccessible for this trip. For those who are interested, here is their address at Sham Tseng: Sham Hong Road, 9, Sham Tseng, Hong Kong (深井深康路9號).

Yat Lok (一樂食館), featured in the Hong Kong Michelin Guide 2011, was given the Bibs Gourmands rating for it’s quality cooking and good value. I need to emphasis that it was Michelin “starred”, as some misunderstood it as Michelin “star”.

It was said to be well-received by their locals over Yung Kee and the price is much cheaper too. Coincidentally, Yat Lok is only a couple of minutes walk away from Yung Kee.

Menu 1: Click to enlarge

Menu 2: Click to enlarge

Menu 3: Click to enlarge

Signature Roast Goose

I initially wanted to order their drum stick noodle but it was “sold out” so i ordered a quarter (bottom) of a goose and it comes with a whole drumstick at HK$140. Note that just the drumstick alone cost HK$97. The top quarter is cheaper and cost HK$110. The outlook of the goose is definitely enticing and looks really delectable.

The price of the quarter goose is shown on their wall menu

The best part of the roast goose? Obviously it’s the skin. The skin is thin and moderately crispy and it’s cushioned by a layer of super melty fat. Have it together with the meat and upon taking a bite, the oil oozes out from the fat and into the succulent meat and it was pure divine.

Quarter Goose (with drumstick) at HK$140. Not as cheap as expected.

I have to emphasis that i am actually not a big fan of oily roast duck back in Singapore. Most of the time, there is a ducky smell that accompanies the fatty portion of the roast duck. However there is no such smell from Yat Lok Roast Goose and i can only taste the fragrance of the fats. Most importantly, it’s oily but not greasy.

Can you see the oil on the Goose? Enjoyed every drop of it.

When you order a quarter goose, it also comes with their braised sauce. This mega rich sauce is rather salty but it goes perfectly with the roast goose to boost it’s flavour.

Noodle (濑粉) in Soup

I thought the noodle don’t really taste good. It’s rather Al Dante and it didn’t really absorb the soup much. The soup is only nice when the goose braised sauce is added into it. Else, there’s nothing special about the noodle. Probably I will order their rice in future.

Conclusion

So how does Yat Lok fare against the Year 2012 Yung Kee (cus i heard Yung Kee’s food had deteriorated). Yung Kee’s goose skin is crispier and the braised sauce has more dimensions in taste. On the other hand, i thought Yat Lok’s goose meat is slightly more succulent and fragrance of the goose fat is just lovely. In my opinion, Yung Kee and Yat Lok is comparable in taste, which i think it’s already an accomplishment for Yat Lok.

Just basing on the price of the quarter goose alone and comparing apple to apple, Yung Kee cost HK$165 (HK$150 + 10%) while Yat Lok cost HK$110 for the top quarter which is 2/3 of the price. On top of that, for those who wish to enjoy a plate of roast goose rice, it is also available at Yat Lok at HK$49, which Yung Kee only offers the minimum of a quarter goose. Therefore it’s more economical to eat at Yat Lok while it’s more comfortable to dine in a grand and posh restaurant environment with a more complete service in Yung Kee.

You may want to just visit both places since it’s in the same vicinity. Just order a quarter goose from Yung Kee and foot the bill. That will save your pocket from burning a hole. There is no need to be embarrassed. Then, pop by Yat Lok and do an instant comparison and let me know your comment K? I wish to hear for you.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

The small cosy restaurant. It was not that crowded when i visited so my dining experience is quite ok.

Map and directions

Direction to Yat Lok is very straight forward

1. Come out from Central Exit G

2. Walk against the traffic until you reach Queen’s Road Central

3. Cross the road and walk along the traffic until you see d’Aguilar Street

4. Turn in, walk straight until you see Stanley Street on the right

5. Turn right into Stanley Steet and walk straight to reach Yat Lok

Click to enlarge