Hong Kong’s legendary delicacy “flying roast goose” could soon be allowed to parachute into Singapore as a symbol of “a close bond” between the two cities after a senior Singaporean minister promised to put existing restrictions on meat imports to the Lion City under review.
Senior minister of state for trade and industry Chee Hong Tat, who is on a four-day visit to Hong Kong since December 2, vowed on social media on Monday to break down barriers to importing “flying roast goose”.
The two cities, which are subject to constant comparison – from economic success to quality of life – have one common language: gastronomy.
“Singapore and Hong Kong also share a close bond through something that is close to everyone’s heart – food!” Chee wrote on his Facebook page. “We each have our own respective delicacies and Singaporeans would be very familiar with those from Hong Kong. One example is their roasted meat products, including the famous ‘flying roast goose’.”
He said the Pro Enterprise Panel, an advisory body which promotes a business-friendly environment in Singapore, and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, the city’s agricultural watchdog, are reviewing existing import restrictions on cooked meat products. Such products from Hong Kong are banned from entering Singapore.
Yung Kee, a restaurant famous for selling roast goose in Central for 76 years, has welcomed the news.
The restaurant’s general manager Calvin Tong Sing-wing said “flying roast goose” has long been hugely popular with visitors to the city, many of whom take it back home with them.
“Tourists have been calling it this for decades,” he said. “It’s a favourite of tourists from Thailand, the Philippines, and Singaporeans too, even though Singapore restricts it.”
On average, the restaurant sells about 20 flying roast geese a day, with each costing HK$750 (US$96), he added.
A roast goose normally sits and cools for 15 minutes after coming out of the oven. Then it is wrapped in butter paper and sealed in a plastic bag, before being tucked into a paper pack to be carried on-board.
A source familiar with Chee’s tour in Hong Kong said he spent half a day in Central on Monday, visiting the renovated heritage site Tai Kwun, tasting herbal tea and sugar cane drinks in old-fashioned stores and walking through the older parts of the neighbourhood.
During his trip, Chee met government and business leaders, and Singaporeans studying and working in Hong Kong. He also met members of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, one of the city’s biggest business chambers.
He is due to fly back to Singapore on Wednesday.