Walking around Hong Kong, you will most likely notice the number of stores offering a quintessential Hong Kong dish called Siu Mei (燒味), alternatively called as Siu Lap, Cantonese style roasted meat.
A bunch of LocalHood volunteers took this opportunity to not only look into what these stores have to offer, but also learn some useful phrases that can be of use in ordering Siu Mei. And of course, not forgetting the most important part of it all, trying out some of the dishes it self and recommending a few of the specialty stores.
So, for starters (pun intended 😘), the Cantonese style roasted meat are prepared and roasted in spouts over an open fire or a huge wood burning rotisserie oven. This allows the meat to retain and create a deep barbecue flavour, and the yummy sauce enhances it even more.
The storefront of a siu mei restaurant are usually lined up with a variety of roasted meat, hung up and displayed for the crowds passing-by to view by the window display. The selection of roasted meat comprises roasted BBQ pork, pork belly with crackling skin, roasted goose, roasted duck, roasted suckling pig and the is just to name a few. Usually, these type of meats are sold as a take-out and come in a box which consists of half meat, half rice and maybe some vegetable and not forgetting the ginger scallion sauce.
Behind these displays, there are a lot more work done at the back end of the store. The store generally have large oven rotisserie-like utilities for cooking the meat and most stores specialising in siu mei have their own meat preparation style and not forgetting their own way of making the sauce for the meat.
We hunted down a few stores specialising in siu mei and are famous for it around Hong Kong Island and decided to drop by one of them, which turned out to be a really an awesomely relishing experience.
Firstly, we made our way to Wan chai. Located in the bustling streets of Wan Chai is Chukfo Taipan Restaurant. Nestled right by the outdoor market street, it is quite easy to miss if you’re not a local or not know the neighbourhood well.
They offer both English and Chinese menu and a multitude of choices, but during this visit we ordered the set which comprises of two roasted meat and a bowl of rice which cost us HKD110.
We ordered the ever famous roasted BBQ pork and roasted goose and it didn’t not disappoint! The roasted BBQ pork was perfectly cooked and the flavour was deep and honey-like and the goose was really tender and juicy.
The photos above does no justice to the real dish and the best way to taste this all is to definitely drop by this particular store when you are in Wan Chai.
While most places offer the English menu, it would be helpful if you learned a few words to help your adventure on trying to hunt the siu mei that’s best for you easier.
Here are some words to get you started:
• Char siu (叉燒) - barbecued pork
• Siu ngo (燒鵝) - roasted goose
• Siu aap (燒鴨) - roasted duck
• Siu yuk (燒肉) - roasted pig, with crisp skin
• Yu chu (乳猪) - roasted suckling pig
We also found other siu mei specials stores around the Island that you may wish to try.
• Chop Chop 食神叉燒 (宏安道) in North Point
• Yung Kee Restaurant (鏞記酒家) in Central HK
• Yat Lok Restaurant (一樂燒鵝) in Central HK