This was one of the controversial Michelin 1* restaurant in Shanghai. Like Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken, Madam Goose offered very simple roast goose.
Unlike Liao Fan, Madam Goose pedigree was much grander. Madam Goose is the brain child of Wow Prime 王品集团, whose Wang Steak 王品台塑牛排 made them famous throughout Taiwan. They went to Shanghai with Wang Steak and ventured into the mass market with Tasty, Sufood, etc. Then they started Madam Goose. And then they got their star.
Seriously, Madam Goose was not a hawker that had perfected his skills over 20 years. It was a bought recipe, a borrowed concept from the Hong Kong Street Cafe 茶餐厅. Somehow within a year of inception, they got their star. Immediately the critics were out on the authenticity of the Michelin Guide in Shanghai.
The cardinal rule – the best roast goose has to be Cantonese. And only in Guangzhou and Hong Kong can you find the best and authentic roast goose. So how can the holy grail of the Michelin star be given to a pretender?
Ice Chilled KaiLan – simple blanched Hong Kong Kai Lan, chilled on ice and served a wasabi soya sauce. The kai lan was crisp and sweet tasting, a great starter and a perfect salad. If you were a Michelin evaluator, you would most likely be dining along, so this salad starter would have already scored nicely.
Signature Roast Goose – the piece de resistance, the signature dish, whether or not the restaurant was what it claimed to be. I was not impressed. It was a tad too oily and the skin was not crispy when it came out. It was by far one of the best roast goose I have eaten in Shanghai, but any one of the Four Heavenly Kings of roast goose in Hong Kong would be miles ahead of this. And I can count quite few that were not similarly acclaimed to be better too.
XO Sauce Fried Rice – a simple fried rice was the most difficult to produce. It often turned out too oily, too salty, too dry, too wet, too whatever. And then you had the unfair yardstick called “your mother’s fried rice” that would always undoubtedly the best in the world. Just like Chicken Soup for the Soul. The specimen here was actually quite good. Again, if the comparison was just restricted to Shanghai, it was again above average. I may not come back for the roast goose, but I would come back for this fried rice.
Guīlínggāo, also known as Tortoise Jelly (though not technically correct) or Turtle Jelly, is a jelly-like Chinese medicine, also sold as a dessert. It was traditionally made from the powdered plastron (bottom shell) from the turtle Cuora trifasciata (commonly known as “three-lined box turtle”, or “golden coin turtle”, 金錢龜) and a variety of herbal products, in particular, China roots Smilax glabra (土伏苓, Tu fu ling). Although the golden coin turtle (Cuora trifasciata) is commercially farmed in modern China, it is extremely expensive; therefore, even when turtle-derived ingredients are used in commercially available guīlínggāo, they come from other, more commonly available, turtle species.
More often, commercially available guīlínggāo sold as a dessert does not contain turtle shell powder. They share the same herbal additives as the medicine and are similarly marketed as being good for skin complexion when ingested.
And to wash down everything, I ordered a Root bamboo cane water. It is a cooling drink that helped to balance the heaviness of the roast goose and fried rice.
Why I think it got the Micheline? It’s the service and the dining experience. I quite enjoyed dining alone here. It was not expensive, within the budget of a traveling professional. The service was attentive and quick. The food was above average. So in city where you can get rather extravagant in your dinners, Madam Goose was above the rest. But if you place Madam Goose in Hong Kong, it would not have got the star.
Date Visited : Oct 2017