32-40 Wellington St, Central
Visited 30th September
Yung Kee Restaurant is a Hong Kong institution, famous for its roast goose. We had two lots of friends visiting and figured that it was perfect for their first meal in Hong Kong; the totally unrelated fact that Lang Kwai Fong is just around the corner meant that it was also convenient for a couple of beers afterwards and even a few pre-dinner cocktails. Yung Kee is a three story monstrosity that has been around since 1942 and is in many ways a typical Chinese restaurant; busy, loud and big, with roast meats hanging in the window.
All meals at Yum Kee start with a serve of preserved eggs and pickled ginger, something that was great to watch our visitors tackle. We of course ordered half a roast goose and accompanied it with serves of braised calamari, water spinach, sweet and sour pork, beef and black bean and a roast pigeon. The food was generally excellent; the calamari was fresh and lightly cooked, while the beef was excellent; tender and well flavoured. Both roast dishes were lovely, especially the goose that was perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, while the huge serve of tasty water-spinach was simply flavoured with garlic. The only let down was the pork that was tough and cold when it arrived at the table. To drink we shared a couple of bottles of wine: the house white, an Alsace Gewurztraminer and a bottle of Bourgogne Cuvee Latour, both were good but not cheap and the red was especially pushing it at $440. Another disappointment was having to pay for water; not being able to get a glass of tap-water in Hong Kong restaurants disgusts me.
Even though I'd made a booking we had to still wait for a table, apart from this the service was pretty good and definitely a notch up from your average Chinese restaurant. Many of my colleges remark that at Yung Kee is too expensive, but for the quality I actually think it's good value as our food bill came to just over $100 a head. The wine is expensive though and not being able to get tap water makes me angry. For its location Yung Kee is a winner; tasty, good quality food in Central. Our guests enjoyed their meal and night out in Lang Kwai Fong, though one struggled to make Yum Cha the next morning and the food wasn't to blame!
Visit restaurant website.