Tim Ho Wan, Cheapest One Michelin Starred Dim Sum in Hong Kong How long would you wait for your dim sum breakfast or “yum char” in Hong Kong? Half an hour, one hour, 2 hours or more? My recent trip to Hong Kong with Rachel brought us to this famous dim sum place by the name of Tim Ho Wan. Located in Mongkok, it is just walking distance from our hotel, Stanford Hotel in Soy Street Mongkok. I went there early before 11 am to take our ticket number. Due to the overwhelming people, I was asked to come back after one and half hour later. That was before 11 am. So then after 12.30 we came back and waited for another 15 min before our turn. There, there are other customers who were asked to come back after 2 and half hours! Don’t get me wrong, the shop is very small so there are only limited tables and chairs. Thus, the waiters and manager there are very friendly. Before we went in, we can actually place our order on the order sheet.
The dim sum is cooked based on orders. They don’t serve ready-made dim sums like in most restaurants in Malaysia. Tim Ho Wan is rated One Michelin Star and it is said the cheapest in the world. Why cheapest? Most of the dim sum in Tim Ho Wan is lesser than HKD 19 (US$ 2.7, RM 8),
The “chiong fun” (vermicelli roll) caught our attention as we sat very near to the kitchen.
We started off our late breakfast with the Char Siew Chiong Fun (vermicelli roll with BBQ pork) for HKD 15 / RM 6 / US$ 2. You can tell the good is the technique by looking at the semi transparent vermicelli skin and the thickness of it. The Char Siew Chiong Fun comes with the soy sauce.
The Har Kau (Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumplings) was next. It is the most expensive item in the restaurant which is HKD 19 / RM 7.60 / US$ 2.50 per plate. The Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumplings has a very thin semi transparent layer of skin and generous amount of prawns. I was told by the waitress it is best eaten without any additional sauce.
Beancurd roll is one of my preferred dim sum. In Malaysia, beancurd roll is usually cooked and dip with sweet sauce. However, the beancurd roll there compliments with Portuguese sauce. They are selling at HKD 16 / RM 6.40 / US$ 2.2. The Portuguese sauce is very similar to light butter curry sauce. This is interesting.
The star of the day should go to their baked bun with BBQ pork (HKD 14/ RM 5.60 / US$ 1.90) or Char Siew Bao. Unlike the usual char siew bao, Tim Ho Wan’s version is baked not steamed. The crispiness on the top outer layer similar to “polo” bun and the filling is stuffed with juicy BBQ pork. This is really good and probably the best of the rest.
With complete our late breakfast with the Pan Fried Turnip Cake for HKD 10 / RM 4 / US$ 1.3. There is nothing to shout about for this. Overall, the food is the good and it lives up to their One Michelin Star reputation. The total bill came to less than HKD 200. In short, it is dirt cheap. Despite the popularity, Tim Ho Wan has more international customers than the locals. Probably the locals couldn’t stand the long waiting queue. For my opinion, go there as early as possible or take a ticket number and go to shop in Mongkok while waiting for your turn.
Tim Ho Wan Address and Contact:
Open 10am -10pm 2-8 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon Tel: 23322896