Thursday, 14 February 2013

Evening Dim Sum Treat

Steamed vegetables with shrimp dumplings at Tim Ho Wan
My friend YTSL likes to boast how she can get a seat at the Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan practically anytime she wants as it's so close to where she lives in North Point.

I have to admit I was quite envious as I hadn't tried the dim sum there and wasn't about to line up for over an hour in the original Mongkok location.

So when she suggested that we could go tonight since it's Valentine's Day -- and who would dare take their date to such a cheap place -- that we decided to check it out.

These steamed shrimp dumplings were crunchy and meaty
And lo and behold, while it was busy, it wasn't packed and we were able to get a table as soon as we arrived.

The tables are pretty close together to cram in as many diners as possible, so it means pushing tables in and out in order to sit inside the banquette seating against the wall. Everyone's easy going about it, because that's the culture of the restaurant.

You also have to "wash" your own bowls, chopsticks and spoons in case you don't trust the dishwasher. The other day my relatives and I wondered where this tradition came from, but if anyone has an idea of the origins of having to rinse off utensils with hot water or tea, please let me know!

Non-Chinese speakers can get an English menu to tick off which items they want and there are a few interesting observations.

Chicken feet on the left and turnip cake on the right
There is no steamed char siu bun available, only baked ones, and even then they are not the brown-coloured ones, but cream-coloured; there are rice flour rolls and you can get one with a liver filling. Also steamed seasonal vegetables is basically cabbage, which keeps costs down.

We only tried a few things on the menu, but they were all pretty good.

The har gao or steamed shrimp dumplings were great -- not too big, but filled with meaty shrimp with a thin skin. The same goes for the steamed vegetable shrimp dumplings that were excellent -- also with a thin skin that was practically see though.

Chicken feet were delicious. They weren't soggy or limp, but plump and in a sauce that was hardly oily and had peanuts soaking in them.

Another winner was the pan-fried turnip cake. Some may think it had more turnip than diced Chinese sausage, but I quite liked it that way, and again not too oily, with a thin crust on top.

Steamed rice flour rolls with liver in them!
Finally the liver rice flour roll was new for me and had a different texture inside compared to the usual shrimp or char siu.

The glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf looked popular on many tables and I hear the spare ribs are also good.

And the best part of the meal? For five dishes the bill came to HK$103.

It's a cheap and cheerful place, but is it really worthy of a Michelin star?

Tim Ho Wan, the Dim Sum Specialists
Shop B, C & D, Seaview Building
G/F, 2-8 Wharf Road
North Point


  1. Hmmm... not sure about the "boasting" bit -- but it is true that I've not had to wait more than 10 minutes top to get into the North Point branch of Tim Ho Wan! Also, strictly speaking, it's only the Mongkok and Sham Shui Po branches that have Michelin stars, right? But, in any case, the food at the North Point branch (still) is pretty good -- especially at the price! :)

  2. I've been to both the IFC and North Point branches of Tim Ho Wan on a Sunday lunchtime and had to wait for over an hour at IFC but walked straight in at the North Point branch. Being British, we didn't get what all the fuss was about with the turnip cake, but the glutinous rice dumplings were huge and so yummy! And it's so cheap! We love it there :)

  3. Hi YTSL -- well you have boasted about being able to eat there practically whenever you want! Isn't that great?! In a way you are technically correct about the Michelin stars, but still same group.

    Hi littlekoo -- thanks for reading my blog. I'll have to try the glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in the lotus leaf next time! But not really interested in waiting an hour for food!