Hong Kong: Tim Wan Ho

On our first day in Hong Kong, we ate at the Michelin-star dumpling restaurant – 添好运 Tim Wan Ho (‘TWH’). Many of my friends had recounted how the dumplings / pork buns were the best they have ever had, which is why aside from uninhibited shopping, eating at TWH was what I looked forward to the most in Hong Kong.

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Collage of articles outside the restaurant

We were led by a HK local, to the TWH branch at the International Financial Centre (‘IFC’) . The restaurant is located at the end of a rather remote corner of the complex, in the basement level near the subway. Because we arrived at around 1pm, there was already a sizeable queue waiting outside. None of the other eateries around it boasted such an impressive patronage.

Since the wait was long and painful, the mall at IFC was a pretty good way to use up this time. But just remember to come back early, because if not everyone is present by the time your number is called, they might not let you to be seated. Alternatively, if you simply cannot wait, TWH also has a take away booth, and you can join the impatient people eating outside on the ground…

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Watching other people eat while we wait. It was very quiet inside, probably everyone is concentrating on eating after their long wait?

After over an hour of waiting, we were finally squeezed onto a table with another family of four. Because TWH had a system where you ordered before you were seated, food came expediently.

酥皮焗叉烧包 - Pork Buns
酥皮焗叉烧包 - BBQ Pork Buns
Unlike a conventional BBQ pork bun, the ‘bun’ here was crisp, chewy and buttery, and thus akin to a crust than a conventional fluffy steamed bun. It’s also possibly the most contentious dish among us – half of us love it, and the half find it a bit strange because it was sweet and savoury at the same time. Personally, I thought it was too sweet, even sweeter than the desserts we ordered.
古法糯米鸡 - chicken rice
古法糯米鸡 - Chicken and shiitaki mushrooms with glutinous rice steamed in a banana leaf.
This was one of my favourites, despite the glutinous rice being quite heavy, I kept coming back to pick on the large pieces of meat and mushrooms. The flavouring is just right and it was also not as fatty as some chicken rice dishes can be.
美味鲍汁凤爪 - Chicken Feet
美味鲍汁凤爪 - Chicken Feet
Heavier on the soy sauce and not as sweet as the chicken feet at Sydney’s yumcha. I approve. But the feet were not as fatty as I liked.
煎腊味萝卜糕 - Turnip cake
煎腊味萝卜糕 - Turnip cake
美味叉烧肠
美味叉烧肠 – BBQ Pork chang fen
韭黄鲜虾肠
韭黄鲜虾肠 – chive and prawn chang fen
鲜虾烧卖皇
鲜虾烧卖皇 – pork and prawn siumai
杞子桂花糕 - osmanthus and goji berry jelly
杞子桂花糕 – osmanthus and goji berry jelly
This was really impressive – the osmanthus imparted a delightful fragrance and the jelly was not too sweet. It was a perfect way to end a yumcha gorging session. It was a bit fibrous with the osmanthus bits, but that’s just a minor observation…
椰汁紫米露 - black rice in coconut milk
椰汁紫米露 - black rice in coconut milk

Although we all enjoyed the food at TWH, none of us thought it was so spectacular that it deserves a Michelin star. I thought the pork buns and osmanthus jelly were special, and I can tell quality ingredients were used in all dishes. But overall, the food was just on par with the many good yumcha restaurants in HK or China or the world. So why the Michelin star? Was it because we didn’t go to the original restaurant but the branch?

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