Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tim Ho Wan, Mongkok, Hong Kong

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some weeks back, during M's visit, we made our way to the unbelievably popular Tim Ho Wan - the world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. It took us some time to find this legacy of sorts, and when we finally spotted it, it was because the crowd gathered in front of the restaurant was unmistakable. The long wait you've heard about is true. We took our tickets, and stood by the side, just like everybody else, as I tried to peek inconspicuously at neighbouring ticket numbers.

Glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf

The wait was sheer torture. We waited for what seemed like forever (perhaps 1-2 hours) before our number was finally called. Finally! The glutinous rice was the first dish served to us, and it was really good. The meat was well marinated in a sauce that went perfectly with the glutinous rice, and before we could even work halfway through this, more dishes arrived.

Char siew bo lo bao

These were great! As the name suggests, it's char siew in a fantastic sweet and savoury sauce hidden within a bo lo bao (bun with crispy sweet topping). It was a wonderful delight, especially piping hot.

Char siew cheong fun

And this was the moment where everything kinda went downhill. Not that anything was bad, it was just something along the lines of torturous waiting time and heightened Michelin expectations that made any hint of mediocrity stick out like a sore thumb.

Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce

I secretly love this underrated dim sum dish, and it's pretty decent here.

Siew mai

Yup, we ordered a lot. I figured it would be better to order everything we would love to try, than to queue up all over again another day. The dishes kinda came too quickly though, which was a real pity, because some of the dishes were cold by the time we tried it.

Steamed beef balls

These were quite good, if you like beef balls to start with. It is one of those dishes I've never come across before coming to Hong Kong. The minced beef is steamed with preserved orange peel, which gives it a sort of tangy and salty flavour that is rather acquired.

Har gow

My favourite dim sum dish! It's decent here, but not something that would elicit a wow.

Pan-fried turnip cake

These were pretty good. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There was a slightly charred taste that sort of took away from the flavour of the dish, but it wasn't too significant. And there you have it! My One Michelin Star dim sum meal. And for approximately HK$80 per pax, or even lesser, I can't be sure.  Still, it's not the cheapest place for dim sum, and really not the best, so I doubt I'm making a trip back anytime soon.

Tim Ho Wan
Shop 8, Taui Yuen Mansion Phase 2
2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2332 2896

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Leave a comment (2)

  1. nice article. I ate at Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong too! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to eat at a Michelin-star restaurant. Cheap prices, but wow, I don't think I've ever waited 2 hours to eat lunch. I was so tired and hungry by the time I got seated. I wonder how such a tiny restaurant, with an equally small menu got discovered as Michelin worthy.

    Tasty dim sum. Glad I had the experience.



  2. Hey Kelly!

    It's funny how similar our experiences were! The tiny restaurant got famous because the chef, Pui Gor, was formerly from Lung King Heen (Four Seasons). They've opened two more branches recently though. I guess the waiting time wouldn't be so bad if we ever go back(:



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