My boyfriend, Jeff isn’t a big fan of BBQ pork buns, but he swears by the ones from Tim Ho Wan, a one Michelin star dim sum restaurant chain with locations in Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Australia . He practically hinted that I am not to come home unless I eat it (or FedEx him a few).
Tim Ho Wan may be the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant you will ever eat at. However, it is not really fancy by any means.
We went to their Sham Shui Po location in Kowloon. Something to keep in mind about Tim Ho Wan– they do not take reservations and it is highly recommended to have your entire party with you before you put your name on the waitlist (we waited for about 45 minutes). I would also recommend to have an even number of people in your group if you do not want to share your table with other patrons. Since we were a group of three, a lone patron eventually sat in front of me. We were used to it the whole “communal” thing by then, but I didn’t like sharing my teapot with a stranger.
As well, there was a couple that came in and they sat them at an adjoining table with another couple. The guy saw a free table with two lone seats and demanded they be seated at that table. The staff refused.
I apologize that I did not document the price per dish, but they range between $10 HK to $20 HKD.
Vermicelli roll with beef
When we asked what the vegetable would be, we were told it would be water spinach. Clearly, this is not water spinach but boiled lettuce. WTF. I would have said something if this happened at home, but my Cantonese is not quite equipped for an argument.
Steamed shrimp dumplings (har gow)
Steamed chicken feet in black bean sauce
Pan-fried turnip cake
Steamed bean curd skin roll with vegetable and meat.
Steamed pork dumplings with shrimp (siu mai). We actually got an extra order of this mistakenly given to us. I contemplated saying something out of principle, but decided against it after being given boiled lettuce.
Vermicelli roll with pig’s liver. This is quite interesting and different from any other dim sum rice roll I have ever had. If you don’t like the taste of liver, don’t get this.
Tim Ho Wan’s famed baked bun with BBQ pork. If you had to order one thing from THW, this is it. Crispy exterior, but soft upon biting into it with a gooey sauce and BBQ pork interior. Order second. Third. More. I am still dreaming about these since returning home.
Contrary to most Michelin-starrred restaurants, where you may expect everything to be great, the star that THW earned is simply based on the food and that’s it. Service is no-nonsense. The fact that we were given boiled lettuce; something so darn cheap and what my late-grandmother would do because she (and I’m sure like many traditional Asians) did not believe in eating anything raw, at a Michelin-starred restaurant is laughable.
The BBQ pork buns alone is worth the hype, but that’s it.
Tim Ho Wan
G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street
Sham Shui Po, Kowloon