Friday, 7 June 2013

Food & Dining: Joy Hing Roasted Meat

Can it live up to its fame?
Image from Locky's English Playground
A friend of mine came to Hong Kong to visit me, specifically mentioned that he would be in Wan Chai and he wanted to try Siu Mei. So naturally, there is only one choice -- Joy Hing Roasted Meat.

It was not exactly a long walk from the Wan Chai MTR station, but it was also not a short one in a hot stuffy summer day either. A portable air-conditioner will be a nice idea walking along Hennessy Road, but I'm waiting for a day when only electric cars rule the road.

Seated immediately
Image from Locky's English Playground
Once I learnt from a food review that as long as you don't speak the same the same dialect as all Hongkongers do, the staff will offer you a completely different menu with much much higher prices. My friend and I were like two lambs walking into a slaughter house asking for a meal, not knowing who the real victim is.
Chinese menus on the wall
Image from Locky's English Playground
With the menu up on the wall and staff who speak a little English, what can go wrong? Well, the thing is, my friend wanted to try out some goose, and what's the point of visiting a new restaurant if you are not going to try out their best food? So, I asked for a goose leg, the waitress said it would cost HK$80, and suggested a quarter of a goose for us instead at $100 while ordering a trio-meat set from the menu. Since it sounds like a reasonable choice, we took up the offer.

Roasted goose!!!!
Image from Locky's English Playground
All the orders basically came pretty much at the same time, but honestly speaking, none of the food came at a reasonably hot temperature. The roasted goose quarter tasted amazing despite the temperature!!! It was tender, juicy, your know, the usual good words for meat, but it is among the best goose legs I have ever tried! Premium price for the (1/4) premium bird ?

With that said, let's not forget the word "among" in my line "among the best", so I must compare this with that from Tai Hing, the once-Locky's canteen before they up the price by 30%.

Still, if you want a full goose leg set with rice, vegetables and soup / drink,  it will cost you around HK$80, not the cheapest of course, but cheaPER when compared to Joy Hing, let alone the food being definitely hotter. I'm gonna give the roasted goose quarter an individual score. The look is fantastic and the meat is nicely chopped. The taste was rich and goosey (hold on, was that really goose or duck? I'm starting to think that I have been cheated). Not much of a smell because it wasn't hot enough to present its aroma, meat was exactly the way you would expect from a good bird -- crispy skin, juicy fat then tender meat. Here's the overall score.


Look:            ★★★★★ 5/5
Taste:            ★★★★★ 5/5
Smell:            ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Textures:       ★★★★★ 5/5
Temperature: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
Overall:         ★★★★☆ 20/25

Image from Locky's English Playground
What is really unusual is the quality of this meaty plate, with roasted pork, soy sauce chicken wing and cha siu. Unusual in what way? Unusually poor! The cha siu was inedibly tough even for someone with perfectly healthy teeth, the chicken wings were skinny, bony, and stingy in amount. The roasted pork was already the best, but it came nothing close to those from Wah Fung at all! For HK$40, maybe this is what you'll get, so here's my scores for this:


Look:            ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Taste:            ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Smell:            ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Textures:       ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Temperature: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
Overall:         ★★★☆☆ 14/25

My advice is, if you are looking for a good place for siu mei, you don't need Joy Hing, try the other two I have recommended before, links are in the Resources below.

Food and Restaurant: Tai Hing @ Locky's English Playground

Food & Dining: Wah Fung Since 1941 @ Locky's English Playground