Every trip to Hong Kong or Macau requires a roast goose experience and it’s easy to find one for every budget. One of my favorite eats in Hong Kong, in fact, is the reasonably priced Yat Lol in Central, which I still find better than more expensive ones in the city. A quick Internet search led me to Chan Kong Kei in Macau, located along Rue do Dr. Pedro Jose Lobo, a stone’s throw away from the popular Senado Square. Reviews promised a simple shop with a ton of options, a storefront full of hanging meats, and a mostly local crowd.
Everything was as advertised but I have to warn you, if you’re a queasy diner, be warned that there’s a chance that your seatmates might be spitting duck bones onto your table. If you can get past that, then their offerings are actually unique and worth a visit. Chan Kong Kei’s specialty is a black pepper roasted goose, which has such a special, memorable flavor, and unlike anything I’ve had previously. It was deep and smoky, peppery and sweet, and the flavor ran from the meat until the bone. The skin wasn’t crispy, but the taste made up for its lack of crunch. The fat was silky but rendered properly, and the meat overflowed with juice so even the breast was tender.
What’s also unique about Chan Kong Kei are their other offerings. Other places have things like goose web and sausages, but the other menu items at this restaurant include things like chicken feet noodles and pig stomach. I had the spiced goose liver, which seemed to be cured. It tasted like Chinese spices and peppers, and had the texture of densely-packed charcuterie. It was even delicious over rice. Steamed yellow chicken was also a formidable treat, using plump fowl from the mainland. The sauce with it was excellent, salty and pungent, with a strong ginger flavor.
With fare at such a decent price, there’s no wonder why Chan Kong Kei has become highly recommended among both locals and tourists. It’s got little charm and the cleanliness might be questionable, but the duck is seriously unlike anything else.