I am OFFICIALLY back in Melbourne :) It’s such a bittersweet feeling to be back ~ Its great to come home, sleep in my own bed but at the same time, I miss my family especially my sister and nephew SOOOOO MUCH! Have had such an amazing holiday!
Love you both!
I’m not really sure if I’m a tourist or a local when in HK :) Because of family, I have always gone back and forth at least once or twice a year. And back at Uni I would come back for 3 to 4 months, so that’s why it’s so easy for me to overlook the more ‘touristy’ places such as Disneyland, Ocean Park and some other HK must go restaurants.
Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan is definitely one of them :) I have heard that it is one of the cheapest restaurants in the world to have been awarded a Michelin star and I know many tourists put ‘Tim Ho Wan’ on their must-go lists. So this time round, I decided to persuade my parents and family to go try their famous dim sims ~
I have heard that waiting for a table can be a nightmare and because there only around 18 seats in the Mongkok store there is usually at least 45 minutes wait. Thank gosh I remembered Lorraine (Not Quite Nigella) mentioning in her post that you can book a VIP room and some of the other stores ~ and there is only a minimum spend of $1000HKD(approximately $125AUD), which sounds like a lot, but when some more expensive VIP only dim sims its actually quite easy to reach $1000HKD.
Thanks to Win Win we got a VIP room immediately for a table of 10 and also placed our orders for their special dim sims such as the abalone puff tarts, prawn and chicken dumplings and bird nest egg tart ~ you can’t order these dim sims unless you have a VIP table :)
We went to the Sham Shui Po store and got there at around 6:30pm
, thankfully it wasn’t very busy, Tim Ho Wan has kept the traditional HK yum cha ambience as you can see with the wooden table and chairs. Staff were the no nonsense type but were still attentive and helpful as we went with my little nephew and niece :)
Prawn and chicken dumplings $20HKD ($2.5AUD) Each
It slightly strange to have dim sims for dinner as its a very brunch and lunch type food ~ We were all pretty hungry so Dad immediately ordered the first round of dim sims. The first to appear at our table were all the special dim sims we had pre-ordered like the prawn and chicken dumplings. They were so pretty and reminded me of the Swarovski swan with the little prawn tail :P
These were quite nice with chicken meat in the bottom of the dumpling and topped with a prawn. However, I didn’t find them that different and don’t really understand why they need to be ordered in advance.
Red rice steamed prawn noodles $30HK ($3.75AUD) per plate
Dad insisted on getting these as he’s trying to lose some weight and wanted to try the steamed rice cakes made with red rice instead of white :) I really liked the pink colour but taste and flavour wise, they’re very much the same as the regular white ones ~
Abalone and chicken puff pastry tarts $40HKD ($5AUD)
I was excited about trying these abalone and chicken puff tarts, because I’ve never had abalone in the form of a tart :) *Warning* these are PIPING HOT and very crumbly, I tried to pick one up and it started to crumble and the chicken pieces were pouring out and burnt my finger ~ But gosh these were tasty!
I loved the combination of chicken and abalone and also the slightly chewy texture of the abalone :) I also want to know Tim Ho Wan’s secret for making such good puff pastry with the ability to immediately melt in my mouth.
Har Gow $23HKD ($2.8AUD) and Siu Mai $23HKD ($2.8AUD)
Once we finished our special dim sims, it was time for the more traditional dim sims such as Har Gow (Prawn dumplings) and Siu Mai (Pork and prawn dumpling). My nephew Aden is obsessed at Har Gows and can have 3 to 4 all by himself! He’s only 2 hahaha we all liked the har gows especially the thin and soft dumpling skin. I’m a Siu Mai girl and always choose them over har gows :) I liked the ones here, as they were freshly steamed but once again thought they were quite similar to the regular siu mais at our local restaurant ~
Steamed pork ribs $14HKD ($1.75AUD) and Chicken Feet with Black bean sauce $15HKD ($1.9AUD)
Another yum cha stable, steamed pork ribs Mr Bao loves these ~ these were very flavoursome with the black beans and was not at all overcooked. I don’t like it when it’s overcooked and becomes very chewy. LOL I hope I didn’t scare anyone by posting a photo of chicken feet ~ I know many of my friends are scared of them and will never even attempt putting one in their mouths, but please give it a go, you might like it! I personally love the rubbery texture of them :P Okay… I better stop there hehe
Steamed Beef Balls $14HKD ($1.75AUD) and Chiu Chow dumplings $10HKD ($1.25AUD)
When I was growing up lol I would only eat Steamed Beef Balls when we went to yum cha, but now I think I’m a bit over it :P I liked these ones though as they had soft and spongey texture and the mince beef was of a better quality than some other restaurants. Mum was a fan of these Chiu Chow dumplings which have pork mince and wood ears filling enclosed in the same dumpling skin as a Har Gow.
Baked Pineapple BBQ Pork Bun $16HKD ($2AUD)
These baked pineapple BBQ pork buns are probably Tim Ho Wan’s most famous and popular dim sim dish ~ If you are familiar with Hong Kong snack food you would have had the pineapple (polo bao) bun before. These are like the pineapple bun but with BBQ pork (char siu) filling :) Definitely something different from the traditional BBQ pork buns, we quite liked it. I particularly liked the sweetness from both the bun and the filling ~
Radish cake luo bak go $12HKD ($1.25AUD)
Another favourite of mine is radish cake, luo bak go no matter if it steamed or pan fried, while this one had good flavours, I think it lacked some radish pieces and was quite soft in texture.
Luo Mai Ji Steamed Glutinous Rice $24HKD ($3AUD)
I can easily fill myself up with dim sims, but I find most men I know can’t :P They still need something more carb-loaded hehe That’s why we ordered the steamed glutinous rice parcel, it was quite big with chicken, pork mince and dried shrimp as the filling.
Pork Bone and Bean Congee $18HKD ($2AUD)
We also got the Pork Bone and Bean congee, I don’t usually see many restaurants serving this congee, very tasty and filling with the beans :)
Steamed beef rice with egg $18HKD ($2.25AUD)
Not sure how my brother in law was able to eat one of these steamed rice by himself ~ Definitely value for money though as they were only $18HKD less than $3 AUD! The topping was pretty much the same as the dim sims we’ve had before, but the rice came with a sweet soy sauce which made plain rice so much more exciting.
Ma Lai Go (Steamed Cake) $14HKD($1.75AUD)
There were a few sweet dessert options on the menu, starting with the Ma Lai Go which is a steamed cake made from brown sugar and lard. It’s quite hard to find good Ma Lai Go even in HK, they’re either too wet or too dry some are too sweet and some aren’t. I know Tim Ho Wan are not known for their ma la gao, however, I was quite impressed with both flavour and texture :D *WIN*
Osmanthus jelly $10HKD($1.25AUD)
We also ordered the osanthemis jelly, Win WIn is usually a fan of this jelly but found it to be too sweet, and after trying it, I must agree with her, that they could have probably used a little bit less sugar especially for people in HK ~
The last special dim sim we ordered was the Birds Nest egg tart, bird nest is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine so it’s quite precious to find them in street foods such as egg tarts. Once again there were fresh out of the oven and this time Dad burned his tongue when he put one in his mouth :P They had a firmer biscuit base than the abalone tarts ~ it had a very eggy filling which was nice, but don’t think it was sweet enough. I think I still prefer the egg tarts from Tai Cheong more hehe ~
I think that’s all the dim sims we tried at Tim Ho Wan ;) I hope I haven’t missed any because there was so much food, my parents kept ordering multiples too! I also had to fight to take a photo of the food before they hacked into it ~ Overall, I think I was underwhelmed by the food here at Tim Ho Wan, there were some show stoppers such as the abalone puff, pineapple BBQ bun and also the ma lai go. However, the other dim sims were comparable to other local yum cha restaurants. I don’t think I would wait 45 minutes or longer for a table, but would recommend a VIP room if you have more than 6 people as it’s quite affordable and you also get to try the special dim sims! We were all full and had some left overs and it worked out to be around $135HK ($16.9AUD) per person :)
Tim Ho Wan
G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street,
Sham Shui Po