Yat Lok

Yat Lok is one of those truly local, hole-in-the-wall establishments that a certain breed of foodie loves to fetishize. You know the type – extremely cheap, cramped seating, sometimes questionable cleanliness, wildly popular with locals and spoken of with a certain hauteur, as if the more hygienic and well-designed establishments were "for the tourists". I have never fetishized local popularity or, necessarily, affordability; I am far more interested in whether the cuisine (or atmosphere or service) is actually good or not. Yat Lok specializes in roast goose, and so the germane question in my mind is whether or not it is comparable in quality to that served at places like Tin Lung Heen, Man Wah, Tim's Kitchen or Hoi King Heen.

The answer is an unambiguous no: neither the meat quality, nor the execution, and certainly not the ambience, comfort level or service, is remotely in the same league. And yet you can find hysterical account after account by bloggers apotheosizing the succulent goose. This is simply a case of believing something to be great because you have been told over and over that it is great, and of delight in the price point. Don't misunderstand: roast goose tastes very good even suboptimally prepared, and if you don't have a lot of experience eating it at many of Hong Kong's greatest Cantonese restaurants, you're likely to love it at Yat Lok. And the price makes it a great place to go if you aren't willing to spend more for the real thing. As with many restaurants in Hong Kong, your experience will be governed in large part by your expectations.


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G/F, 34-38 Stanley Street
+852 2524-3882