Considered to be one of the quieter malls along Orchard Road, Pacific Plaza is now glittering with stars. Michelin stars.
Counting Tsuta, the world's only Michelin-starred ramen eatery (recently opened on 6th November 2016) as its neighbour, renowned Kam's Roast Goose from Hong Kong will officially begin its operations in Singapore on 19th November 2016. It was awarded Michelin stars for three consecutive years (2015, 2016 & 2017)!
But as AVA's strict regulations prohibits the import of live goose and frozen ones just doesn't cut it, the local store will serve duck instead, and be simply called Kam's Roast.
No goose, duck also can? Haha why not?
Though Kam's Roast Goose was only set up in 2014, its background goes quite a way back, and is rather drama like any dramatic Hong Kong drama series.
Most of us would be familiar with Yung Kee in Hong Kong. Founded by Mr Kam Shui Fai in 1942, the highly successful establishment is most famous for its roast goose. Imprints are seen not just at its premises at Wellington Street, but also onboard Cathay Pacific's first and business class flights, as well as through boxes of vacuum-packed goodies which tourists bring back home to share.
Because of a long-running unresolved family dispute over operations control of the restaurant after Mr Kam passed on in 2004, the courts eventually ruled in favor for liquidation of the business in 2015.
As the third generation, Mr Hardy Kam set up Kam's Roast Goose to commemorate his late grandfather and father (Mr Kinsen Kam who was once Yung Kee's second-generation owner), and carry on the Kam's family legacy. Within 6 months of opening, the restaurant earned its first Michelin star.
Kam's Roast in Singapore aims to achieve the same quality and standards expected of the dishes with careful supervision from the original roster of Hong Kong chefs.
Menu offerings include the signature Roast Meats, as well as Soya and Steamed Chicken, Marinated Dishes (marinated duck wings, marinated tofu), Side Dishes (century egg, honey-glazed soya beans), Cured Meats (cured goose liver sausages, cured lean pork sausages), Rice and Noodle Combos.
The Marinated Cucumber with Vinegar & Garlic ($6.80) and Marinated Black Fungus with Vinegar ($6.80) proved to be delightful starters with their invigorating crunchiness.
Is duck as good as goose? Well, apparently after rounds of blind testings, most diners can't tell the difference and verdict it to be just as good.
That sealed the deal for ducks to be served at Kam's Roast, until AVA lifts the ban on live goose (I hope) or a suitable chilled source can be found.
The Roast Duck ($16.80/$19.80/$29.80/$55) was most memorable for its exceptionally smooth and tender texture, bathed in that pool of savory gravy which went amazingly well with a bowl of simple Steam White Rice ($2).
We thought the meat's flavor was delicate compared to the more robust renditions we've tried elsewhere. Though it got increasingly greasy at some point, it was still delicious in a fatty way.
Talking about fats, the fatty 'Toro' Char Siu ($22.80) is one impressive fat to go for.
Using premium pork belly, the slab of meat is seasoned with a secret marinate recipe handed down by Hardy Kam's father, before being barbecued to an ideal bite. Each flavorsome piece intertwined with lean meat and luscious fat yielded much succulent happiness in the mouth.
The BBQ Pork Char Siu ($14.80) is the typical leaner cut which felt less guilty.
Both versions are enjoyable and have their supporters.
The Crispy Roast Pork ($14.80) is well-executed with a top layer of crisp biscuit-like skin. I don't mind more slices of those Roast Suckling Pig ($34.80 portion / $148 half / $248 whole) too.
Notable mention goes to the accompanying dips that are made in-house which elevated the meats to another dimension.
One at my table was raving about the Hoisin (for roast suckling pig) which hints of sweet fruitiness, while another love the Mustard (for crispy roast pork) which I find to be pleasant and not too intrusively sharp. Plum Sauce (for roasted duck) was just about right with a good balance of sweet and sour.
Personal favorite is the highly fragrant Ginger Scallion dip which paired so flawlessly with the silky, moist Soya Chicken ($19.80/$34.80).
Poor chicken. Does it feel stressed? For those who have tried 1-Michelin Star Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken, a comparison is almost inevitable. I would say the version here is also very tasty, especially with the additional boost from the dip.
I'm not a big fan of Hong Kong-style noodles as an unpleasant alkaline taste is usually present in most, but Kam Roast's Braised Noodle with Ginger Scallion ($6.80) totally cast away any apprehension. The thin noodles are flown in from Hong Kong daily (wow!!!) and each strand was evenly cooked to an flawless springy, al dente bite.
Must come back soon to have more of this noodles again, and perhaps try the soup Wanton Noodles ($8.80) as well.
There is only one item for dessert which is the warm Red Bean Soup ($5.80), so it's a case of take it or leave it. My advice is to take it!
Though I wished for higher more beans to soup ratio, the bowl was nevertheless pleasing and nutritious specially with the addition of aged tangerine peels which provided a distinct citrusy aroma and dose of vitamin C.
With that, our meal at Kam's Roast was concluded. There were slight disappointments all around that we are not able to enjoy the roast goose that Kam's Roast is acclaimed for, but the roast duck, toro char siu and excellent noodles made up for it to a certain extent.
I say..... No goose, duck also good!
Kam's Roast Singapore
Address: 9 Scotts Road, Pacific Plaza #01-04/05/06/06, Singapore 228210
Contact: +65 6836 7788
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm / Sat, Sun & Public Holiday 10am-10pm
Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Inclusive of 7% GST, no service charge (3) Correct at point of published date.