Kam's Roast Goose to open in Pacific Plaza in October

Mr Robert Chua, who is opening Kam's Roast Goose in Singapore in October, may serve roast duck instead if he cannot find a reliable goose supplier

Singapore-born, Hong Kong- based television producer Robert Chua at Kam's Roast Goose.
Singapore-born, Hong Kong- based television producer Robert Chua at Kam's Roast Goose.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROBERT CHUA

Popular Hong Kong restaurant Kam's Roast Goose will be opening its first overseas outlet in October at Pacific Plaza in Scotts Road.

The restaurant, located at street level, will seat 60 to 80 people.

While some details have been firmed up, the name of the Singapore restaurant is less certain.

The man bringing Kam's Roast Goose here, Singapore-born television producer Robert Chua, 70, says he is still trying to nail down a reliable goose supplier. If he cannot find one in time for the restaurant's opening, it will serve roast duck instead.

"If we don't have goose, we won't call ourselves Kam's Roast Goose because that will be a misrepresentation. Our restaurant's name will reflect what we sell," Mr Chua says.

The Straits Times reported that the restaurant would open by the end of last year, but the opening was postponed because it has been challenging to find good quality goose.

Speaking to The Straits Times over the telephone from Hong Kong, where he is based, Mr Chua says he has been "working very hard" to resolve the issue.

A farm in China supplies the birds to Kam's Roast Goose, but they cannot be imported into Singapore.

Only those from the United States and Hungary are allowed here, but Mr Chua says they are not up to standard. He is in the process of trying out birds from a different farm in Hungary.

Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, he says he also has a team of chefs who have been working for the past year or so to produce roast duck that tastes "almost like roast goose".

The trials have been a success, he says. In recent blind taste tests that he has been conducting with Hong Kongers as well as Singaporeans and Malaysians living in Hong Kong, many cannot tell the difference between duck and goose, he says.

"The roast duck we have been able to produce is very nice and I'm confident diners here will like it," says Mr Chua, who brought Hong Kong's Tim Ho Wan chain here in 2013.

He says he is adamant about bringing Kam's Roast Goose to Singapore.

Diners here can expect other menu highlights such as the popular suckling pig, char siew, soya sauce chicken and century egg. Prices have not been set yet.

Kam's Roast Goose opened in 2014 and earned its first Michelin star within four months of opening in Hong Kong's Wan Chai district.

It was started by Mr Hardy Kam, a grandson of the late Mr Kam Shui Fai, who founded the Hong Kong roast goose institution, Yung Kee Restaurant.

However, a lengthy legal spat between Mr Kam's father Kinsen Kam and uncle Ronald Kam ended with his uncle gaining control of Yung Kee.

Last December, the chopper finally fell on the iconic roast goose restaurant when a winding-up order for Yung Kee came into effect.

Before that happened, Hardy branched out to open Kam's Roast Goose.

Mr Chua is a family friend of Hardy, who gave him the green light to open a Singapore outlet after hearing about the success of Tim Ho Wan here.

Mr Chua says Hardy is keenly involved in the opening preparations and that both of them will settle for nothing less than the best.

"We want perfection. That's why we didn't open earlier. We want to get the right goose. Or duck, depending on how things go," he says.

Financial consultant Howard Lim, 42, who tried Kam's Roast Goose last year while on holiday in Hong Kong, says he is looking forward to the restaurant opening here.

"It would be great if they can serve roast goose. I remember it to be delicious. If not, I'll still give their duck a shot," he says.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2016, with the headline 'Duck instead of goose at Kam's?'. Subscribe