Popular Hong Kong restaurant Kam’s Roast Goose will open a 100-seat restaurant in Singapore by the end of this year. It is the latest Hong Kong import, and comes after the opening of Hong Kong wonton mee chain, Mak’s Noodle in The Centrepoint last month, and the expansion of dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan here.
The man bringing Kam’s Roast Goose here is Singapore-born television producer, Robert Chua, 69, who also brought the Tim Ho Wan chain here in 2013. Kam’s Singapore outpost will be a joint venture between him and a food and beverage company, which he declines to name.
Kam’s Roast Goose, which is about a year old, was started by Hardy Kam, a grandson of the late Kam Shui Fai, who founded the Hong Kong roast goose institution, Yung Kee Restaurant.
However, a lengthy legal spat between Kam’s father, Kinsen Kam, and uncle Ronald Kam ended with Ronald gaining control of Yung Kee.
Kinsen’s son, Hardy, branched out to open Kam’s Roast Goose.
Chua tells over the telephone from Hong Kong, where he is based, that he is confident that Kam’s Roast Goose will be welcomed in Singapore.
“Singaporeans love their food, and they know about the popularity of Yung Kee,” he says.
“However, since its chef, who specialises in roasting goose, left to join Kam’s, standards have dropped. These days, mostly tourists visit Yung Kee and the Hong Kongers visit Kam’s.”
He adds that Kam’s, which received a Michelin star within four months of its opening, attracts hour-long queues during lunchtime at its Wanchai shop daily.
Hardy Kam, who is a family friend of Chua’s, gave the green light to open a Singapore outlet, having heard about the success of Tim Ho Wan in the city state.
To cater to the local palate, Kam’s Roast Goose will be adding roast duck to the menu here.
It is not part of the Hong Kong menu. Other dishes for the Singapore restaurant include roast goose, suckling pig, soya sauce chicken, char siew, soup and appetisers such as jellyfish seasoned with sesame oil.
A whole goose is priced at about HK$480 (RM262) in Hong Kong, and will cost slightly more than S$100 (RM302) in Siangpore, due to the cost of importing the birds.
The biggest challenge Chua faces is sourcing good quality geese. He is unable to import frozen geese from China, as they are banned by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in Singapore.
He and his chefs have tried American birds, but they were not up to standard.
They are considering using geese imported from Hungary or breeding them in poultry farms in Thailand or Malaysia.
He adds that they are sourcing ducks in Malaysia and is open to using ducks from Ireland, which are becoming popular here.
Hong Kong chefs will head the kitchen here, and local staff will attend training stints in the Hong Kong restaurant.
Chua, who hopes to expand Kam’s Roast Goose into a chain here, says: “There are not many quality Chinese-style roast restaurants in Singapore, and their meats are on the sweet side. I hope to bring something different into the market here.” – Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network