Is there a dish or an ingredient that you have an unhealthy obsession with? For me that obsession is cyclic, but for dad it’s very consistent and the dish in question is Roast Goose. We were in Guangzhou altogether for 4 days and during that period we had roast goose twice. Still, at the end of our trip my dad woefully complained that out of all his trips to Guangzhou this is the time that he’s had roast goose the least number of times. So crazy is the obsession that he insisted on ordering it at the food court in Hong Kong airport on our way back to the northern parts of China.
Xinfa is famous for their roast goose and even more famous for their crispy skinned suckling pig. Some goose for dad and some crispy skinned pork for me, now that is a win-win situation.
Hong Kong Xinfa BBQ Cantonese Teahouse
7 Shucheng Rd, Shenzhen,
Being situated in the southern parts of the country, Shenzhen doesn’t get extremely cold in winter. However, it still can get a bit chilly at night, so some hot soups were ordered to start our meal.
These soups boasted a range of therapeutic properties like enhancing immunity, liver function, kidney function etc. Whether you care about those properties or not, you can still appreciate the soups themselves. Both soups were clean and clear, serving to not only warm us up, but also warming our taste buds up for the more protein heavy dishes to come.
I thought about asking dad to only order a standard plate of goose instead of half a bird, but I thought better and let the man have what he had been waiting for all this time. For anyone who is unfamiliar with goose, it is actually a roast item that can be quite commonly found in BBQ houses in Guangdong Province. Some people will tell you that it tastes like duck, well I can see that the texture of goose meat is quite similar to duck, however for me goose has a very distinctive flavour, so try it for yourself next time when you get the chance. The sweetness and tartness of plum sauce compliments the flavour and fattiness of goose best. Xinfa wasn’t stingy with the sauce either, presenting us with 3 small dishes of plum sauce.
Unfortunately for dad, this roast goose had all the promising features of being amazing, however it let him down on taste. The things we liked were the beautiful glossy, crispy skin, basted to absolute perfection and the succulent goose meat underneath. But we think perhaps the goose should have been left to marinate a little bit longer, since the marinade tasted a little faint for our palates. We would gladly give it another go next time we come to Shenzhen though.
He wasn’t sad for too long though, because this suckling pig more than made up for the little disappointment. It was amazing. Within my first bite I was already so content. The skin shattered in my mouth with the slightest bit of pressure and the richness of the suckling pig sent waves of pleasure through my body. Dipping the crispy skin into some sweet hoisin sauce made the pork even sweeter, paired with some of the succulent meat underneath I was sent straight into a food coma, subconsciously reaching for more with my chopsticks way past the point of being full. This was the best suckling pig I’ve ever had the pleasure to taste.
My dad ordered this as more of a survey. He has only ever had wok tossed beef rice noodles, which is dry, so he just wanted to try the wet version. I’m normally impartial to a plate of wok tossed noodles, but I ended up taking great affinity to the wet version. Once again, I marveled at the difference fresh rice noodles made – slippery, springy and chewy. I really wish that there will be a place in Melbourne one day who will make rice noodles as good as these. Taste wise it was appropriately salty, soupy and very comforting. I can tell you, I’d have no problems slurping up a plate of these on a chilly winter night.
With this meal ends our adventures in Guangdong Province. Thank you Shenzhen for giving me the joy of sampling the best yum cha and the best suckling pig. For those two reasons alone, I can’t wait to go back again soon in the near future. Next stop, I will take you up north with me to my hometown – Tianjin.