Hong Kong’s dim sum restaurant, Tim Ho Wan is hailed as the world’s cheapest Michelin Starred restaurant. At S$13 per person (especially considering the amount of food we ordered), I believe this is very much true. We chanced upon this hole in the wall when hubby came across a report on this restaurant on a food magazine. After walking for miles (because we did not quite know which MTR station to alight from), we finally arrived at the restaurant, only to realise that a huge crowd of locals had already gathered in front of the restaurant, eagerly waiting to be served brunch.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait beyond 30 minutes as smaller groups seemed to get seated first. We couldn’t quite decide what to order and so practically almost ordered one of each type of dim sum on the menu. While we were waiting for our food, we noticed that not far away in the kitchen, staff were busying preparing freshly made dim sum. That’s one of the major selling points of Tim Ho Wan. Instead of serving pre-made, frozen and reheated dim sum, this restaurant prides itself for serving freshly made dim sum.
The carrot cake was delectable. It was soft yet crisp on the outside and importantly, it was not too oily or salty. The Har Gao (prawn dumplings) were fresh and succulent. One of the best I’ve tasted. And even though I am not a fan of chicken’s feet, I’d have to agree with my hubby that they prepared this dish exceptionally well.
I’ve always been a fan of Ham Shui Kok (Fried salty pork dumpling?) but find that most are too chewy, with the glutinous flour portion sticking to one’s teeth. The ones served here were not too chewy, with a very fragrant interior. I should have ordered more! The crystal dumplings were filled with meat and chives. Though this was not one of my favourite items, my mom really did like it. The lotus leaf wrapped glutinous rice was probably one of the more disappointing items we ordered. Even though the fragrance of the lotus leaf permeated the rice very well, the filling was not quite as tasty as I had hoped it would be.
To be honest, I can’t quite recall what dish the first picture in this series represents. I vaguely remember that it contained arrowroot and perhaps some meat? The rice flour roll was of just the right consistency. It was not too soft, and retained a little bit of resistance when you bite into it. Just the way I like it. And the steamed pork ribs? One word: Yums.
The century egg porridge was nothing spectacular. It tasted rather bland. Perhaps, this is how the locals like their porridge. The siew mai was as tasty as it’s brother, the har gao. I think the freshness of the ingredients the restaurant uses goes a long way in bringing out the flavour of their dim sum. The po luo bao was very very good. When you first take a bite, you encounter the crisp and flaky exterior, which quickly gives way to the moist and delicious centre. I could probably have eaten all three of them if I wasn’t so stuffed!
And to round things off, we ordered dessert. The mango pudding definitely did not disappoint. It was rich and creamy, with a generous portion of mango pieces within. The Osmanthus flower jelly was very interesting indeed. It was mildly sweet and had the strong fragrance of the Osmanthus flower.
And to conclude this rather long, picture heavy post, I would have to say that I strongly, highly recommend this place if you decide to pay Hong Kong a visit. Having said that however, I’d have to make a disclaimer that if you are expecting innovative, fusion dim sum, you will not find it here. But if you are like me, and prefers the traditional selection of dim sum, then Tim Ho Wan is definitely the place to visit.
Tim Ho Wan
9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po