FOR EVERY bite of chef Billy Cheong’s roasted goose, you’re tasting about a century’s worth of history and the labor of a day and a half.
Starting Nov. 12, Marco Polo Ortigas is offering Hong Kong-style Roast Goose at Lung Hin, brought over by chef Billy Cheong, who was awarded the Commanderie De Cordens Bleus De France by Chaines des Rotisseurs. He comes from a long line of chefs as well: the recipe for goose is his grandfather’s.
The roast goose is offered alone or as part of a set menu, with the set menu including Steamed Garoupa with Minced Garlic and Pan-Fried Crab with Pork Belly in Supreme Soy Sauce, and Braised Seafood with Peach Gel Soup. The soup served at a preview lunch on Nov. 12 was comforting and thickened with conch, resulting in a liquid that can be likened to a healing elixir. Sweep your cleanliness away, however, with the sweetish garoupa, and then the Pan-Fried Crab and Pork Belly: fat, sinful, but absolutely divine.
And as for the goose? Well, Mr. Cheong told guests at the preview lunch that it first had to be marinated for eight to 12 hours in salt, sugar, wine, and Chinese herbs. It is then dried, then steamed, then poached in flavored water, dried again, then roasted. That’s why it took a day and a half to make — some birds are prepared beforehand, but one must notify Lung Hin a few hours before ordering.
And the taste? Ah, heaven. Maintaining a crispy skin, the flavor is soaked well to the bone, and no part of the bird is untouched by flavor. It positively drips with juice, and it’s something I think of a week after eating it.
As the holidays approach, one might want to serve the goose on a special occasion, but Mr. Cheong says that the goose is traditionally served, “All the time; it’s up to you. As long as you’re happy to eat, it’s okay.” — JL Garcia