Where’s the goose? Fans of the Wan Chai hole-in-the-wall that people willingly line up for hours exposed to the elements in a busy Hong Kong street cannot help but wonder.
Foodee Global Concepts (the same group who have brought in Tim Ho Wan, Todd English Food Hall, FOO’D by David Oldani, among others) have decidedly left out the explanation as to why the much desired game bird is not part of the Philippine menu. We are left to assume that it has something to do with the strict restrictions of importing poultry from China, and that Eric Dee and company are still figuring out a way to get a steady supply of the migratory birds.
However, the group stands confidently behind the menu they will be offering sans goose, and we doubt the fans and the curious would mind. Come opening day on May 15, fans will surely be lined up outside the Mega Fashion Hall outlet where they can have their fill of the Michelin-starred roasts and other Cantonese delicacies.
It has been a while, for instance, since the local dining scene has seen century eggs of such high quality. The dark, mud-colored yolk is runny with a strong, almost astringent aftertaste that assures the diner that the century egg is at its prime. “I hand-carried these,” Dee shares, and his efforts are truly much appreciated.
His favorite, the spicy pickled cucumbers, are now ours, too. That biting sweet and sour with the appetizing fragrance of garlic makes it the perfect pairing with the rich meats. The delicately marinated tofu is also a lovely starter that compliments and doesn’t compete.
The roast meats, after all, are the true and only stars here. After sips of wanton soup, we are prepped for the parade of what Kam’s has to offer. The suckling pig’s blistered skin over tender and juicy meat is a worthy opener, the homemade hoisin thick, dense, but not sugary. This is not to be confused with the roast pork which is served looking like bricks with their perfectly golden, crispy skin and gradient fat over meat. Dee offers the spicy English mustard and we were already on it, appreciating the sharp spice of the mustard as a stark contrast to the richness of the pork.
In the absence of goose, the duck is their prized poultry here. Beneath that glistening skin is a layer of fat that has been cooked through, imparting that decadent umami duck lovers look for.
Starch is simple: just a choice between noodles and rice. Either scallions or shrimp roe can be sprinkled on top for added flavor.
Saved the best for the last is the charsiu pork, and with its sweet almost burnt glaze, it might as well be dessert. One can opt for the fatty version, or a leaner one. Both are flavorful and easily addicting, and favorites of Dee.
Filipinos who haven’t been to the original in Hong Kong are not deprived—there are so much available in the local Kam’s Roast one can enjoy. In fact, the Dee need not stress out about the goose, everything else is still worth lining up for.
Kam’s Roast is at 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.