Hong Kong Day 4: One star, Two star

It’s a gray and rainy morning in HK. At 5 am, we are awakened by an alarm that sounds a lot like an old school bell; someone has apparently tried (and failed dramatically) to make toast in their hotel room down the hall. With smoke hazing the entire hallway, but no apparent danger, everyone heads back in for the rest of the morning.

About mid morning, we head out optimistically to HK island in search of more deliciousness. Though we’ve been told that the city will be packed on a weekend, we hope the rain keeps some people indoors.

The Wan Chai star ferry brings us to the Convention Center, where we follow a series of clever raised and covered platforms to cross the city streets. Our goal is Kam’s Roast Goose, a rising Michelin-starred eatery that earned their first star in 2016, after being mentioned on the Bib Gourmand list in 2015.

Despite all our excitement over Michelin stars in HK, it bears noting that these are really the first Michelin starred restaurants that Hans and I have ever eaten in. Hong Kong has an astonishing number of Michelin starred restaurants, and an even more extensive list of Bib Gourmand selections. It’s hard to walk down an alley and not stumble across one here – as demonstrated by our discovery today that the Kau Kee beef brisket noodle shop from HK Day 2 is actually another Bib Gourmand mention.

Walking down Hennessy Street in a now moderate rainstorm, we immediately identify our target by the line outside – if there’s a line outside in the rain without an awning, it must be good! We grab a ticket number – 630 – and wait for 30 minutes, while posing for photos with the restaurant sign. It smells amazing…

…and, it tastes even better! Having studied the menu out in the rain, we order immediately – a half-dish of their famous roast goose and a half-dish of the BBQ pork belly (char sui style) (left – duck on top of pork), a side of Chinese broccoli, the Prince noodles (skinny noodles cooked with roast goose drippings – YUM) (in the background of left), and rice. O. M. G. Yes, you should eat here too! I love the roast goose; Hans prefers the pork. Both are winners, and everything, including the noodles and veges, is delicious and perfectly executed.

Full and happy (again), we wander the Wan Chai area on foot. There are some really cute shops and delicious smelling eateries all over the place. We stumble upon Lee Tung Street with its multitude of red lanterns (left), and watch the last part of the Scotland vs Samoa rugby semifinals on a giant TV on the street with a crowd of tourists – all in the rain. We also find more examples of amazing bamboo scaffolding (right two)

On our way back to the ferry, we walk through Wan Chai Park. On our tour, we had learned that the government mandates one day off per week for the domestic workers in HK, many of whom are from the Phillipines and Indonesia. They gather in the parks and public spaces around Wan Chai on Sunday to visit with their friends. We see many groups of women socializing, eating together, and some were performing on musical instruments or singing with other women. There is also a group of women attending an outdoor lecture on economics.

After a short break, we head out for a late dinner at the Ye Shanghai restaurant on the 6th floor of the Marco Polo Hotel in Kowloon. There are no obvious signs advertising this restaurant and finding its front door is surprisingly difficult – our first attempt was via a hidden elevator alcove in the middle of a makeup sales area in a department store.

You probably guessed that this is our second Michelin star for the day, and it met all our expectations. The dining room was dark panelled wood and very understated, and reservations were certainly required as the restaurant was packed on our arrival (with a reservation). The food was really good, and the service was remarkable – the staff here were very attentive and yet also discreet. We splurged and ordered (left to right, middle to lower) an appetizer of tea smoked eggs (really tasty with the addition of the house XO sauce), two soups – corn and crab soup and bamboo and bean curd soup, fried fish with vinegar and sugar, string beans with bamboo and black bean sauce, and beef with chili. Dessert was an eight treasure consome, with a brown sugar and ginger base. Everything tasted carefully prepared and exceptionally executed, and this was particularly striking as the dishes were really elevated versions of traditional dishes. Two thumbs up, and a nice finale to our 72 hour, 5 meal, 3 Michelin star, 2 Bib Gourmand sprint. All for about $250 USD total over these 5 meals.

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