Food Trip: Tim Ho Wan

Sometimes the best things come when you least expect it, and indeed my first gastronomic journey to Tim Ho Wan was anything but expected!  For the longest time I had been dreaming of trying its Michelin star dim sum, and that dream was finally realized.  This is my first Michelin star restaurant encounter!

Tim Ho Wan: Hong Kong’s Most Famous Michelin Star Dim Sum

It was one of those Fridays when I, together with some office friends, decided to have a decent lunch out.  We were originally planning for another place but somebody mentioned that Tim Ho Wan in Glorietta was already opened so we decided to give it a try (by try we mean try to get in—Tim Ho Wan’s queue had been known to be long, everywhere!). It was around 11:30AM when we lined up to queue in Tim Ho Wan.  The queue was not that long yet and it was fast moving so in about 15 minutes, a table was already available for our party.  Unfortunately, one was missing from our company so we had to wait until we were complete before we were seated.  Tim Ho Wan strictly enforces that a group must be complete before they can be seated.  This is actually pretty efficient as it ensures that empty seats are minimized.

Strictly reinforced

The menu of Tim Ho Wan is not that long, especially for a restaurant from Hong Kong, but the selection is pretty diverse, from steamed and fried dim sums to rice toppings and congee.  And the price is very, very affordable that you will never expect of a Michelin star restaurant!  Michelin stars are awarded by Michelin for excellence to a select few establishments (the story behind the guide is a pretty interesting read in itself). With ridiculously affordable prices and such high reputation, we can’t help but pick numerous items from their menu.  Picking the “Big 4 Heavenly Kings” was an obvious choice, but we also had to pick here and there.

For drinks I had this pretty good Hot barley water (₱50)
I love their chili paste!

Dining Tip: Three is definitely not a crowd in Tim Ho Wan and may in fact be the ideal group size as many items on the menu come in threes!

The dishes may come in one at a time, but it is fresh from the kitchen!  First to arrive was the heavenly pork bun which was practically steaming off the oven!  It was love at first bite!  I so love the texture and taste of the bread and the pork barbecue filling was quite good.  It was a little bit too “saucy” for some though.

Baked bun with BBQ Pork (₱145; 3 pieces per serving)

The next of the “Big 4 Heavenly Kings” to arrive was the steamed egg cake.  At first I didn’t realize it was an egg cake until I swallowed my first bite when I caught that egg flavor.  The texture was quite fluffy and it was great as it was also fresh from the oven when it arrived.

Steamed egg cake (₱85)

A few minutes later, the pan fried turnip cake arrived.  This dish reminds me of our local maja blanca in terms of looks, only not as homogenous.  It is a little bit plain in terms of flavor so it’s most likely best in between dishes with strong flavors.

Pan fried turnip cake (₱145; 3 pieces per serving)

The vermicelli roll with pig’s liver was the last of the “Big 4” to arrive.  This dish is a bit difficult to eat with a chopstick as it is quite soggy, hot, and long, but it’s pretty tasty—just make sure you get enough of the sauce with your bite.  Strangely, I didn’t taste the liver much in here.

Vermicelli roll with pig’s liver (₱150; 3 pieces per serving)

Here are the rest of our lunch:

Rice with chicken, sausage and mushroom (₱170)
Steamed spinach dumpling with shrimp (₱120; 3 pieces per serving)
One of my favorites: Prawn dumpling (₱160; 4 pieces per serving, one was eaten before the picture was taken!) which I recommend with the chili paste
Beancurd spring roll with shrimp (₱140; 6 pieces per serving)

For dessert, we picked something that seemed interesting—the tonic medlar and osmanthus cake.  The name by itself is already new to us so we didn’t know what to expect.  In actuality, it looked like some cute jelly cubes with interesting aroma.  Must try!

Tonic medlar and osmanthus cake (₱90; 3 pieces per serving)

Overall, I loved everything I tried in Tim Ho Wan!  But if I had to pick just one, the pork bun would have to be, hands down, my favorite.  I just love the texture of the bread and the pork barbecue filling is pretty tasty.  Even my mom who is notoriously difficult to please with food loved it!  It even remains good even the day after even without refrigeration but of course it is best eaten freshly served! Would I return to Tim Ho Wan?  A definite yes!  Is it worth lining up for?  Also yes!  The selection is good, the prices are ridiculously affordable, and the food is great!  If there’s anything more I’d ask it would be more branches and tables so that you can get seated quicker! 😀

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