Event #2: Sham Tseng
June 27 2015  / 12:30pm – 5:00pm

About Sham Tseng

Sham Tseng (literally “deep well") – a small coastal community situated next to Castle Peak Road and opposites Ma Wan across the Bay, is located between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan under the management of Tsuen Wan district. It was once a fishing village without any main roads linking to it back in the 1920s. Most of the population came from the Tsing Fai Tong village. Tsing Fai Tong village was located at the Yuen Tsuen Ancient Trail. The ancient trail was a main passage connecting residents of Yuen Long to the urban area. The whole footpath journey took 6 hours and hence Tsing Fai Tong village became one popular midway stop for the passersby.

After the completion of Castle Peak Road in 1919, connection between Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and the urban area became more convenient. Villagers of Tsing Fai Tong village then gradually relocated to settle near the Castle Peak Road. At the same time, the Ruttonjee family acquired a lot of lands in the area and established Hong Kong Brewery in 1933, marking the beginning of the industrial era of Sham Tseng. With more and more industries moving in, the area had attracted a large group of working-class labours of Chiu Chow origin. They also contributed to the development of the Sham Tseng Chiu Kiu Kai Fong Yu Laan Community. The famous Sham Tseng roast-goose is also a delicacy derived from the traditional Chiu Chow marinated goose.

Hong Kong gradually became a finance-led economy in the 1990s. Most of the manufacturers began to shift their production into lower-cost China. The San Miguel Brewery, Kowloon Textile Ltd. and the former staff quarter nearly left no trace as the original site were re-developed into private housing estate. Yet the smell of roast geese is still a perfect reason for local residents and also tourist from all over the world to pay a visit to Sham Tseng.

Garden Factory

The first building you see in Sham Tseng on the way from the Tuen Mun Road is always the factory of Garden Company- a household name in the city. Founded in 1926, the company purchased a 13,000 sq. site in Sham Tseng to build the new biscuit and confectionery plant in 1962. There were modernized plants for the production of “Life Bread”, buns and sandwich breads. In the 1990s, many manufacturers began to shift their production into China, yet new machinery was installed in the completely reconstructed Garden Bakery Plant in Sham Tseng, with a total area of approximately 50,000 sq. m. Up till now, Garden Company is still producing fresh bread and biscuit for the general public every day, remains the last manufacturing plant in the district.

Yue Kee Roasted Goose Restaurant

Founded in 1958, Yue Kee is the first roast goose restaurant in Sham Tseng. It is well known for being one of the few in Hong Kong that has a licence to use charcoal ovens to roast geese. The founder, Mr. Ng is from the Chiu Chow origin. He has a deep passion for Chinese cuisine. Based on his mastery in making Chiu Chow marinated goose, Mr. Ng popularized the mouthwatering dish “Yue Kee Charcoal Roasted Goose" after ceaseless effort and experiments. Yue Kee distinctive goose has successfully attracted customers locally and overseas. There was a time when the San Miguel Brewery opened its factory for public and group visit. Visitors would usually eat at Yue Kee after their tour. That’s also one of the reasons why Yue Kee gained its fame in the city.

Sham Tseng San Village

Sham Tseng San Village (literally means Sham Tseng New Village) is a village built along the hills. Its appearance has an inseparable relationship with the industrial development of Sham Tseng. For example, the San Miguel Brewery only provided staff quarter for the single employees. Married employees would need to rent land to build home for their families. Many staff of Chiu Chow origin rented land from the indigenous of the Sham Tseng Old Village. With increasing non-indigenous population moving in to build home in Sham Tseng, the Sham Tseng San Village came into being and began to pass on the traditional culture of the Chiu Chow community.

The Heaven and Earth Parents Shed

The Heaven and Earth Parents Temple in Sham Tseng is a small Temple, but it has carried generations of good faith of the Sham Tseng people. The Heaven and Earth Parents are deities worshipped by the people of Chiu Chow origin. They are believed to be the origin of everything in the world. Chiu Chow people refers the “sky” as Heavenly Father, a reflection of the Jade Emperor in the folk religion. Meanwhile the refer the “land” as Earth Mother, as she embodies the bounty of the Earth.

Roast goose

Roast goose is a variety of siu mei (Cantonese-style roast meats). It costs much more than Char siu (barbecued pork) or Siu yuk (roasted pig), yet it is still a dish that worth expecting. Siu mei generally refers to meats roasted on spits over an open fire or a huge wood burning rotisserie oven. It is a classic Cantonese cuisine and is very popular in Hong Kong. According to a survey, on average Hong Kong people eat Cantonese-style roast meats once every four days and consume 66,000 tons of them every year. Roast goose is among the top three.

In preparing a drool-worthy roast goose, the chef would have a 3-month-old black maned goose get well- seasoned. Then run syrup that made of maltose and white vinegar evenly over the goose, which is an essential step for crispy skin. Charcoal oven at high temperature is the key- the unique aroma of tender goose and traditional method of broiling and roasting make the delicacy crispy on the outside and remains juicy inside. The tantalizing meat glistens with a crispy layer of skin atop and a thin layer of melty fat. Upon taking a bite, the oil oozes out from the fat and into the succulent meat and it was pure divine. Pair that with the homemade plum sauce, it’s a dish you cannot forget.

Restaurants famous for roast goose include Yung Kee in Central, and those in Sham Tseng, the New Territories.