There is no doubt that Hong Kong serves some of the world’s finest dim sum and in a city full of top class restaurants you’re hardly short of choice. My checklist normally includes the following points: high quality food with fresh ingredients, dishes that are innovative but not veering too far from traditional, and also something that is reasonably priced so that you can order as many dishes as possible (with some to take home too).
Tim Ho wan is no secret – this is immediately evident from the large queue that gathers outside throughout the day. Although this place isn’t the most quirky or hidden, it is known to serve delicious food. Oh and did I mention that it has a Michelin star?
There are a few different locations dotted around the city but I find the Central location most convenient. Although the queue looks painfully long, it moves very quickly and you’re in and seated within 15-20 minutes.
The menu was split into different categories and the quantity can be selected next to the price. Dishes start at 16 HKD with the most expensive reaching 30HKD.
Let’s start with one of the speciality dishes of the restaurant – the baked buns with BBQ pork. These delicious versions of char siu bao were sweet and crumbly on the outside and then filled with sticky barbecue pork on the inside. The melt-in-the-mouth effect had us ordering another plate before the meal was over.
A popular dish is the pork and prawn dumpling (siu mai). Just the smell of the dumplings through the bamboo steamers got me salivating. These were well seasoned, sturdy yet delicate at the same time. Simple yet well done.
The vegetable and shrimp dumplings are a good option if you prefer something a little green. However, they weren’t anything special and lacked a certain something in comparison to the other dishes.
While spring rolls may not get everyone overly excited, these were probably some of the best that I have ever tasted. They were so crispy, tasty and moreish that I had to restrain myself for fear of filling myself up on the rolls alone.
For a little spice, these pan fried green peppers stuffed with pork and fish were scrumptious bites of heaven. The spicy green pepper accompanied by the juicy fried meat made these a real treat.
These steamed beef balls with bean curd are not what I would normally order but I wanted to try this particular style. They were very soft, moist and meaty but maybe a little too mushy for my liking.
Another dim sum favourite – steamed shrimp dumplings. I mean just how can you go wrong with these? Made up of a delicate outer layer and then filled with fragrant shrimps that have retained every ounce of flavour – a beautiful dish that never gets old.
Now for one of my childhood favourites and in my opinion no dim sum feast is complete without it. The glutinous rice steamed in a lotus leaf arrived piping hot at the table and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and unwrap the parcel layer by layer. It was like opening an extra delicious present! Inside the rice was gooey, sticky and filled with a mouth-watering assortment of chicken, pork and vegetables. Although this was shared between 2 people, it was a struggle to finish but that’s what doggy bags are for!
Some people struggle with the slippery texture of these rice rolls but I loved the comforting nature of these as I bit into what can only be described as doughy rice before giving way to seasoned, salty meat inside.
These were also a favourite of mine although upon the first bite you do wonder if you’re eating a dumpling or a deep fried doughnut? Perhaps not for the overly health conscious, these decadent deep fried pork dumplings were crispy and slightly sweet on the outside. On the inside there was a glutinous type dough before reaching the middle which was filled with shredded salty, seasoned pork. An absolute taste sensation!
And with that, the feast is over. However, this place is so reasonable that you are able to go back time and time again to try the whole menu. No doubt there are other excellent dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong but this is great for fresh, fast dim sum at a reasonable price.
Tim Ho Wan,
Hong Kong MTR Station,