Tim Ho Wan | Hong Kong’s Michelin Star Dim Sum Restaurant Opens First International Outlet in Singapore
Dubbed as possibly the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world, Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong has earned a reputation for serving up quality dim sum that are made-to-order with an extremely affordable price tag, but not without first braving the long queues that start even before the restaurant itself opens.
Serving up to 2 000 baskets of dim sum everyday in each of its four outlets back in Hong Kong, Tim Ho Wan is set to bring the dim sum frenzy to Singapore when it opens its first international branch today, 10th April 2013 at the Atrium of Plaza Singapura. Chef Mak Kwai Pui, the heavyweight behind the Tim Ho Wan brand says that he hopes to introduce authentic Hong Kong-style dim sum to Singaporeans through this new venture.
The 100-seater eatery space at Plaza Singapura is modest and seems hardly able to accommodate the large crowds of Tim Ho Wan’s fans it is estimated to attract with its opening. To cope with the high volume demand, this Singapore branch, much like its predecessors, will also not take reservations but cater seats via a first-come first-serve basis. But fret not, a SMS queue system has been implemented so you need not physically stand in line and wait for your turn.
Alternatively, the takeaway counter will hopefully take some of the heat off with its express service for customers who would rather avoid the queue and bring home their dim sum to enjoy.
Introducing the ‘Big 4 Heavenly Kings‘ which first put the flagship store in Hong Kong on the map- the Steamed Egg Cake, Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver, Baked Bun with BBQ Pork and Pan-Fried Carrot Cake, are MUST ORDERS here as well.
Delicate, moist and soft, this Steamed Egg Cake $3.80 was easily one of my favourites. Though it could probably be taken as a dessert as well, with its subtle sweet notes and spongy texture, the simplicity and lightness of this traditional dim sum delight was what won me over.
The Pan-Fried Carrot Cake (3 pcs) $4.50 could not have fared better. Sizeable chunks of sweet juicy radish pan fried with a thin crunchy outer layer and a contrasting comforting softness inside, this was delectable and good to eat on its own, without any additional condiments on the side necessary.
For the slightly more adventurous, the Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver $5.50 is certainly worth a try. Everyone at the table could not stop raving about the extremely tender nature of the liver and how it lent a flavourful touch to those silken smooth vermicelli rolls. I do have to admit though, I did not try this one because I usually steer clear of animal organs.
So I settled quite happily for the Vermicelli Roll with BBQ pork $5.50 instead and did not regret it one bit.
The starlet of the day had to be the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (3 pcs) $4.50. Take my word for it and order at least three servings of this. It will not break your wallet but it will satisfy you very much.
Sweet, juicy and succulent marinated BBQ char siu filling encased in a crumbly golden brown crust that is baked to perfection. This was undoubtedly one of the best I have ever tried and I am not even a fan of BBQ pork buns! A definite must order here at Tim Ho Wan.
I have to however, disclaim that I have yet to try the original one in Hong Kong so I’m not sure how it matches up!
Another noteworthy delight was the Pork Dumpling with Shrimp (4 pcs) $5. While it may be a quintessential dim sum order for many, I personally do not usually order it. Tim Ho Wan’s rendition however, won me over. Easily devoured in a single mouthful, the key here is to savour and enjoy every bite of that bouncy siew mai which is packed tightly with only the freshest prawns and pork.
Everyone could not get enough of the Prawn Dumpling (4pcs) $5.50 and the kitchen regretfully informed us that they had ran out of it before we could even order our fourth serving, testament to how good these dumplings were!
These Spring Rolls with Egg White (3 pcs) $4.20 were quite different from the usual ones filled with a mix of shredded vegetables. The creamy egg white filling was a lovely surprise from the contrasting deep fried crisp shell which gave a nice crunch.
Desserts on the menu include the Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake (3 pcs) $3.50 and Yam Puree with Sago $3.50 to end the meal on a sweet note.
Tim Ho Wan in Singapore has surprisingly kept to its penchant of affordable pricing, with items ranging from $3.80 to $6.00. With such high standards set by its predecessors, it will come as no surprise if crowds will be flocking to Plaza Singapura after its opening today.
But hold your horses, because this renowned dim sum brand is set to open five more outlets in Singapore in the very near future. Residents of Toa Payoh, get excited because the next one will be right at your doorstep.
The Atrium @Orchard
#01-29A, Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6383 2828
Monday to Sunday: 10am to 10pm