Updated: Sep 6
Near to KSL City Mall in Johor Bahru, located in a secluded spot along Jalan Kancil in Taman Century, a gigantic roasted duck above a row of shops draws customers to Restoran Hao Bi (好比鸭王) for its roasted delights and ducky delicacies.
Hao Bi is known for its dang gui (Angelica sinensis, 当归) herbal roasted ducks (当归药材烧鸭). There are roasted ducks in other herbal flavours too. Apart from ducks, they have roasted suckling piglet, roasted pork, barbecue pork and roasted goose (subject to availability).
I have been to Hao Bi several times before the pandemic and specially made a trip to Johor Bahru after the border reopened to taste it again. I ordered a single-pax serving of dang gui herbal roasted duck and crispy roasted pork with rice set (RM10.60), added a bowl of lotus root soup (RM7.80) and a cold water-chestnut drink (RM4).
Before the meal was served, the friendly lady boss brought a small basin of hot water over to my table and advised me to wash the eating utensils. Then the water chestnut drink was served. The cooling drink was home-brewed with its ingredients visible at the bottom of the glass. The coldness was very welcoming on a hot day.
For just RM10.60, the serving of herbal roasted duck and roasted pork was reasonably large. The duck meat was juicy, tender and had absorbed the aroma of the Angelica herb. I liked the just-right herbal taste that lingered in the mouth. A too-strong herbal presence might make the duck meat bitter.
The roasted pork was crispy and did not have the "porky" smell that had stopped me from eating fatty pork for many years. It was only in the last 4 years that I began to appreciate roasted pork again — only if I was told beforehand that there was no "porky" smell. The lotus root soup was neither too salty nor oily, a nice complement to the rice set. I finished the whole bowl.
A couple of weeks later, I was back to Hao Bi with some friends for dinner. We ordered half a herbal roasted duck (RM46) and a serving of the crispy roasted pork (RM24.80) along with fried kangkung (water spinach) and a claypot beancurd.
We did not expect half a roasted duck to have so much meat. We had our fills of the delicious and tender meats. Fortunately, the five of us were able to finish it all.
My friends were also all-praises for the crispy and not-too-fat roasted pork.
I will be back again for more roasted ducks of other flavours.
Restoran Hao Bi (好比鸭王)
4, Jalan Kancil, Taman Century, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
*Note: Restoran Hao Bi has another 4 branches in Johor.
9:30am to 8pm | Daily