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Buzz And Bites: World Famous Kam’s Roast From Hong Kong Opens May 15 In Manila

Soon we will no longer need to fly to Hong Kong to get our HK roast meat fix as Kam’s Roast, one of the best HK roast restaurants in Hong Kong is finally opening its first branch in Manila on May 15, thanks to FOODEE Global Concepts.

 

 

This first franchise branch of the Michelin-starred Hong Kong-style roast eatery is opening its doors at the 3rd level of SM Megamall’s Mega Fashion Hall, occupying a much bigger and better appointed space than its HK and Singapore counterparts. The restaurant fits at least 78 people in a long rectangular space, which includes a small private dining room at the end.

 

BBQ pork or char siu

 

Kam’s Roast was established by third-generation restaurateur Hardy Kam to honor the culinary legacy of his family, beginning with his late grandfather Mr. Kam Shui Fai, and continued by his father, Mr. Kam Kinsen Kwan Sing. This tradition started when his grandfather founded the world-famous Yung Kee Restaurant in 1942 on Wellington Street in Hong Kong, which eventually became a much sought after dining destination well known among local foodies for its roasted goose. Then in 2014, the younger Kam opened Kam’s Roast Goose amidst a much-publicized family feud that almost shut down the operations of the pioneering Yung Kee. But since then, Kam’s Roast Goose has never looked back as this first restaurant endeavor gained a Michelin star within months of its opening, a star that the restaurant has managed to keep for four consecutive years already.

The restaurant’s early success can be attributed to Chef Wong Kwan Sang, a four-decade veteran of the Yung Kee kitchen before he left it to head the Kam’s Roast kitchen. Chef Wong, who now spearheads Kam’s Roast in Singapore, is currently in Manila to oversee the kitchen during its opening phase.

 

Kam’s roast duck

 

Unfortunately, for my fellow roast goose lovers, the Manila branch (just like Kam’s Singapore branch) will not be able to serve goose until they can find a good local source. This is due to restrictions set by our government prohibiting the importation of live poultry from Kam’s preferred geese supplier in China.

But don’t let Kam’s no-goose state stop you from checking out this new HK gem. Its other roast meat dishes definitely hit the spot and are mostly much better versions of similar dishes found in other local Cantonese joints. Prices are most likely going to be lower, too, with rice topping bowls expected to sell around P200 to P400 each.

 

What to order

At the top of my must-eat-again list after one visit are Kam’s char siu or barbecued pork options, starting with its Toro char siu. It’s a much fattier version of the ubiquitous Cantonese barbecued pork made from premium pork belly, seasoned with Kam’s secret marinade, and finished with a nice char too. The regular char siu is also good and is perfect for those who are looking for a leaner, meatier, and less fatty bite.

 

Toro char siu

 

If you like pork as much as me, you will also enjoy Kam’s perfectly roasted Suckling Pig and its (a tad too) thickly-sliced Roast Pork Belly best eaten with a little mustard.

 

Suckling pig

 

Non-pork lovers can try Kam’s Roast Duck which is known more for its tender meat and more flavorful au jus, rather than its (not so) crispy skin, that is a perfect match with the house-made plum sauce that it is served with. There’s Soy Chicken that comes with a to-die-for ginger sauce for those looking for a less oily or less rich poultry option.

 

Soy chicken

 

The roasted meats are best eaten either with a cup of plain white rice or thin and springy noodles, topped with either shrimp roe or scallions and served with a cup of broth. Or you can go carb-free with either the marinated cucumber with vinegar and garlic or a plate of poached seasonal vegetables. But whatever option you end up choosing, do not forget to order a serving of the Century Egg nicely paired with perfectly pickled ginger.

 

Marinated cucumbers, century egg, and pickled ginger

 

The verdict

Kam’s Roast is definitely poised to be my new go-to place for Hong Kong roast, assuming taste standards are maintained, especially for the char siu. In my honest opinion, it’s currently the best version in town.

 

 

Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa

Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa