Surprisingly I wasn’t super excited to try Tim Ho Wan’s dim sum. They’ve been opened for +/- 4 months at the time this post is written. Probably, I’m highly discouraged by the queue so I’m late to join the Tim Ho Wan bandwagon. LC had a taste of Tim Ho Wan with his family and concluded that it’s not that great – there were hits and misses so I wasn’t all that tempted, so much so he actually had to drag me for a visit cause I had never suggested to go.
Click the menu to enlarge! Originating from Hong Kong, the hype for Tim Ho Wan is for it’s 1 Michelin Star for their first outlet in their country of origin. It’s also highly recommended for being the cheapest 1 Michelin Star restaurant, possibly in the world.
With their cramped, inexpensive set up, it does emit that feel of tea houses in the streets of Hong Kong.
Soy sauce, white pepper, Lea & Perrins and a chilli sauce with soy beans are the only condiments you’ll get here. None of that sweet bean sauce and thick garlicky chilli sauce that we’re so accustomed to in the Malaysian dim sum scene.
There is a promotional menu being offered, a link to a review is at the end of this post.
LC had a bowl of porridge while I ordered their Lo Mai Kai. Their Lo Mai Kai is Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf on their menu.
The scent of the giant lotus leaf (huge leaf against the small filling) is actually absorbed by the sticky, fluffy rice. There was adequate meat – a mix of pork belly and char siew – to accompany the rice and among the mess of a dish is a slice of mushroom and some liver sausage. This was quite good.
The star of the show was of course their Char Siew Pao – instead of a steamed bun, theirs are baked with a Polo bun-like crust.
This was delicious! Highly recommended for that crispy exterior and tasty fillings.
Next up was their Ma Lai Ko and Har Gao. We had to order these staples as well as the Siu Mai.
The Ma Lai Ko was fluffy and eggy. Unlike the bad ones that I’ve had, this one doesn’t stick to the roof of your mouth and try to choke you when you swallow a big chunk of it. On the contrary, it was rather moist.
The translucent Har Gao had rather thin crystal skin and lots of prawn fillings though I’m not sure what else is in there.
It looks more like mince prawn but there is still a crunchy bite to it. However, it was rather bland to me. Perhaps my tongue is more accustomed to our local dim sum. Try this for the sake of trying, I didn’t love this even though I love anything and everything with prawns.
LC ordered the Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin and was very scared to eat them because of their appearance. Even though I told him, steamed beef looks like that, he didn’t touch the rest of the plate. I had one bite and there was a hint of lemongrass and no gamey taste but I don’t like that slight slimy texture of red meat as meatballs.
The Siew Mai had thin skin as well with tight-woven filling.
There was the familiar crunchy bite in the Siew Mai but I was left searching for the pork in the tiny parcel. It’s Pork Dumplings with Shrimp, right? Again, the filling was rather bland.
LC was surprised that I had ordered dessert but the Mango Sago Pomelo dessert turned out to be one of the best items we had at Tim Ho Wan. The mango puree was thick, creamy and not watered down and though I could do with more sago pearls and pomelo sacs, it was sweet, sour and refreshing.
I’m not too impressed by Tim Ho Wan. For the price paid, some of our local dim sum could do better, it’s evident in the non-existing queue outside the restaurant now. They may now be in Malaysia but it feels like they left their star behind in Hong Kong.
Other reviews are available at isaactan.net (normal menu), isaactan.net (promotional menu), EatDrinkKL, vkeong.com, messywitchen.com. There’s tons of reviews out there so I’m just naming a handful of them.