Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Twinkle Twinkle One Michelin Star - Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum Shop (添好運點心專門店) is "the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in the world", said Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret.

Clockwise from top L-R-C: Ham Sui Gok (咸水角), Water Chestnut Sweep Soup (馬蹄露), Shu Mai (燒賣), Steamed Rice Noodle Roll with BBQ Pork (叉燒腸粉), Radish Cake (蘿蔔糕), Beef Ball (陳皮牛肉球), Prawn Dumpling (蝦餃), Chicken Feet (鳳爪) and Crispy Pork Bun (酥皮焗叉燒包) which cost us less than AUD20 in total.

(Beep Beep Beeeeep Beep Beep) This is the latest housekeeping announcement: foodwink, the milady behind this blog went somewhere far far away from Australia. Yay! That means, I, the Engineer (aka Mr foodwink when she blogs on an odd day) get full control of this blog, temporarily.

Back to dim sum. Tim Ho Wan is a small dim sum shop (utmost 20 seats) located at Mongkok district of Hong Kong. It is headed by Mak Pui Gor, who previously worked in Michelin three-starred chinese restaurant Lung King Heen @ Four Seasons Hotel.

We heard so many reviews about Tim Ho Wan, albeit praises on food quality and low price tag, one common negative feedback from patrons is the extremely long queue. After spending a few minutes on my laptop plotting curves and solving long equations, my pareto-optimal solution indicated that if we arrive by 9:30am on a Friday morning, we are within a 95% confidence interval of joining other 18 patrons as the "first 20".

Voila! We were No.17 and No.18. At 10am sharp, we shuffled into the shop. We quickly passed the order form to the lady boss. This is essential as all dim sum are made to order. Camera's ready.

The prawn dumplings are amazingly good. That translucent dumpling skin is thin, elastic and not-chewy at all. It keeps the juicy prawn filling well in shape when hold up with chopstick.

Given the chef's technique in making perfect prawn dumpling skin, we are not surprised that the silken soft rice noodle roll with bbq pork is as good as you can get.

Chicken feet is one of my favourite dim sum of all time. A good chicken feet needs to have two essential elements: puffy skin that can easily fall off the bone and balance in flavour. This one from Tim Ho Wan exceeds the benchmark of any chicken feet that we've tried thus far.

Beef balls rarely made to our favourite dim sum list. But we ordered one because we read many good reviews about it. The meat was succulent, juicy and tender. The few drops of the chef's special soy sauce with a hint of worcestershire sauce complement the meat impeccably well.

Crispy pork bun is their signature dish. There is a policy that each table cannot have more than four serves of crispy pork bun including takeaways. This policy ensures adequate supply for other patrons.

So what is a crispy pork bun? It is an excellent crossover of bbq pork bun and pineapple bun (菠蘿包). The verdict? Speechless. Too good to be described in words.

After such a wonderful breakfast, may we present the Bill and Queue.

Tim Ho Wan (添好運點心專門店)
Shop 8, Taui Yuen Mansion Phase 2
2-20 Kwong Wa Street
Mong Kok
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-10pm

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17 comment(s):

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial June 1, 2010 at 5:04 AM  

Aarrgh, Mr Foodwink, you've made me starving, and it's only 5am! :)

That chee cheong fan looks amazing, as do all the others actually. Not a thing there I wouldn't eat right this minute!

If you could turn your "figuring out the exact time to turn up at a restaurant" calcs into an iPod app, you could probably make a fortune.. :)

Sydney Shop Girl June 1, 2010 at 8:32 AM  

Great post, Mr foodwink.

I want those pork buns!

SSG xxx

OohLookBel June 1, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

Glad your statistical computations resulted in lucky number 18 in the queue. And I'm not sure of the exchange rate, but that sure does seem cheap for Michelin-starred food!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 1, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

Mouhtwatering photos Mr Foodwink. Did you enjoy blogging? Say hello to Ms Foodwink for us! ;D

Elisa June 2, 2010 at 11:55 PM  

Great pics!!!
I went there with hubby Feb this year, we waited almost 3 hours for a table, it gave us a chance to walk around Mongkok... and OMG it was worth the wait!! Our fave was BBQ pork bun.
I am craving for one now..

Anh June 3, 2010 at 10:54 AM  

!!! OMG! These look sooo good.

joey@FoodiePop June 3, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

Fab review! I love your mathematical analysis of the most suitable time to avoid excessive queuing; I'll keep it in mind! LOL. Despite the rave reviews over the BBQ pork buns I'm still not sold having the pineapple crust on top is a good idea; seems to be too sweet to me ....

Mr Foodwink June 3, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

Hi Celia - that chee cheong fan is very thin and silky ... unlike most chee cheong fan in Sydney which are thick and doughy!

Hi SSG - Thanks for your compliment. I will grab my opportunity to blog often if I'm allowed!

Hi Belle - At that time the exchange rate was AUD1:HKD6.8, so the meal cost merely AUD17!!!

Hi Lorrain - Thanks for dropping by. I'm usually a hand-model for this blog. It's good fun to occasionally write a post but I doubt my dedication to write daily post like yours.

Hi Elisa - wow .. you waited 3 hours? hmmm but that was definitely worth it since the bbq pork bun was to die for!

Hi Anh - Give it a try if you travel to HK ..

Hi Joey - A bit of statistics do help after reading so many reviews and their waiting/queueing time. BTW pineapple bun (aka polo bun) does not have pineapple. And the crust on top of this bbq pork bun was crispy but not as sweet as those typical polo bun.

Forager June 3, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

I've seen this on foodie travel shows. Definitely on the to eat at list next time I'm in HK

Anonymous June 4, 2010 at 3:52 PM  

Heard so much about this place. Must check it out during my next trip to hong kong.

shaz June 8, 2010 at 11:37 PM  

Nice to meet you Mr. Foodwink, very impressed by your queue analysis! Can you do one for Mamak? ;P

Great review, yummy photos.

nomnomnibblies June 9, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

haha love the curve plotting and stuff! I'm going to hk in about a week's time.. must try!!!!!!

Xiao Yen Recipes June 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM  

All of them are dishes I normally order for my dim sum too. I'd love to try Hong Kong dim sum one day. I heard it is so much better than the best restaurant in San Francisco.

retrodaze June 18, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

Omg I wanted to go here when I was in HK last year but the line was too long....sigh!

Next time, I'm going there early!

The food looks delicious

Obesebaby August 3, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

aarh HK food..missing my home town now..

Cathy x. November 9, 2010 at 12:45 AM  

those baked pork buns.. so salty and sweet and ohhhhhhhh so much deliciousness packed into such a simple thing.. :P** i was so excited by the food that i forgot to take any photos until halfway through demolishing our meal :\

je santos September 13, 2012 at 8:26 PM  

do you have a picture of the menu slip, so we can see the boxes that you ticked for the order :) ? how did you guys order? do they have an english menu? or someone helped you order? need help will be going there this october and we wanna order the same things that you guys did :) thank you so much!!

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