Tim Ho Wan is awesome
This morning at breakfast, I was eating some coco puffs with soy milk. Wifey asked me what kind of soy milk it was, and I said it was on sale. She looked at the packaging, which had some panda on it or some shit, and looked at the ingredients list. She said the number one ingredient was water. That was interesting cuz coco puffs don’t taste like cocoa either, they taste like corn balls. That brings me to dim sum in Hong Kong because the thing is that dim sum in Hong Kong taste like something. Sometimes the dim sum in NYC is just passable. Sure, you could head up to RedFarm to get some $18 dollar shumai, but I mean, I ain’t no baller. That might work once a year, but not weekly. Dim sum is so affordable in Hong Kong you can eat it weekly. At Tim Ho Wan, the dim sum is damn good.
The thing about Tim Ho Wan was that it’s been touted as the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world. I think they can do that because there’s probably much competition in Hong Kong to be affordable dim sum, and now they are widely known to be awesome, they can rest on the high volume restaurant model. To satisfy the demand though, they’ve gone and opened more locations and we went to the one in the basement of the IFC mall.
So there was a line before the place opened and we were one of the fortunate ones to get in with the first seating. We waited like five minutes so it wasn’t bad at all. While you wait, they hand out the menu for you to mark off what you want to eat, and that way it speeds up the service. We ended up at a shared table and the older couple next to us told us not to miss the baked pork buns (which were listed under the deep fried section for some reason). We ticked off six things on the menu and it came up to be less than $15 USD. Crazy yo… just nuts.
So these pork buns are not reminiscent of other pork buns you might see in most places. I suppose there are others copying but they’re not like some French bakery in Soho or some Asian restaurant in the East Village that likes to trademark names of food. Most baked pork buns look like this. But at Tim Ho Wan, theirs has a crispy top hat like a bolo bao. And they manage to get the bottom really crispy too
The inside of the pork buns were good too. Gooey BBQ sauce with tiny chunks of roast pork. Not too fatty either, which was a plus. Really, these things could be considered the perfect food.
We got an order of the turnip/daikon cake or in Mandarin, luobo gao. I’ve seen other places in the US get it more crispy on the outside, but these just tasted better. Many times this dish tastes like nothing in the US, just like gooey thingy for sweet soy sauce. At Tim Ho Wan, you could taste the daikons. Damn. I loved that shit.
Harping on a recurring theme… the shumai was the bomb. Basically everything at Tim Ho Wan was good. The shumai was just like the ideal version of the dish – fresh and delicious.
We got an order of beef balls. Again, better than anything here in the states. It’s a good bet for proteins when eating dim sum, provided you don’t want to deal with things like bones.
Aaaaand the shrimp dumplings. I’m assuming shrimp used for har gao are all farm raised but somehow the ones in Hong Kong just have more flavor and taste better.
We also got some steamed cake for dessert and by that point we were super stuffed. We saw a couple actually get orders of the pork buns as a to-go order. Some people really love that stuff.
Tim Ho Wan really proves that when there’s enough competition and demand, it’s possible to have super affordable and delicious dim sum. They also really put an end to the question of what’s better, push carts of dim sum or ordering a la carte. It’s like a machine at Tim Ho Wan. There were lots of people waiting when we finished and one night we went for dinner and there were lots of people waiting too. The wait is not too bad now that there are multiple locations. Tim Ho Wan is awesome and if you’re ever in Hong Kong, you need to go.
Posted by Danny on July 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm
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