Tim Ho Wan – Chatswood

During my last fleeting visit to Sydney, Mum and her friends were sweet enough take me to Tim Ho Wan in Chatswood, the first of three locations in Sydney. I had just arrived in the CBD when my Mum’s friends had just started to line up, it was an estimated 40 minutes wait but the deal breaker was that all parties must be present to be seated in the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant. Conveniently for us, the restaurant is located right near the Chatswood train station and we joined the line long enough to quickly jot a few dishes on the menu before quickly getting seated.I could start to see why the line was so long besides the fact that it is new and the buzz around the brand name, the restaurant seating area itself wasn’t that big.I should have ordered that steamed egg cake! #foodregretsThe menu is limited to 25 menu items not including drinks. You write the quantity you want next to the item and hand in the order form like you would have Din Tai Fung.Vermicelli roll with shrimp ($7.80). I grabbed the top roll and thought they had forgotten to put anything inside if it wasn’t for the sad single prawn stuck somewhere in the lower half like a small rock trapped in a sock.Vermicelli roll with sesame sauce ($5.80). The sauce was really delicious and much better than the roll with shrimp.Pork dumpling with shrimp ($7.20). Not my preferred style of dumpling but it went really well with chilli sauce.Prawn dumpling ($7.80). These were nice, they didn’t stick to the paper, the wrapper was a good thickness and the prawn filling was delicious.Pork rib with black bean sauce ($6.80). The pork pieces were very small but that didn’t stop me from eating almost the whole thing to myself.Bean curd skin roll with pork and shrimp ($6.20). One of my favourite things to eat during yum cha, this version was a little on the skinny side but the sauce was really nice.Wasabi salad prawn dumpling ($7.80). I didn’t think I would like the deep fried dumpling but the wasabi and roe was subtle and complimented the prawn filling.Rice with beef and fried egg ($8.80). I was looking forward to this, albeit it wouldn’t be my first flavour choice out of the rice toppings. I found the beef cake layer too chewy and tough while the egg was cooked in an egg ring and didn’t look too appetising.Glutinous rice in lotus leaf ($8.80 one serve). It had lots of ingredients inside and the rice was really nice.Baked bun with BBQ pork ($6.80 for three). This was the star of the evening. It wasn’t as pretty and golden brown as the ones in HK, which made me sceptical but they had a wonderful crunch on the top like a pineapple bun. The pork and bun have a perfect balance of salty and sweetness.I had dragged TimmyC to one of the Tim Ho Wan locations scattered around Hong Kong and we had had our fill for around $12 AUD, although then we were eating 4-5 meals a day so it couldn’t be too big. The Sydney store is much more pricey comparatively but roughly consistent with neighbouring yum cha places.

The yum cha here is very mediocre and I prefer to go to Fook Yuen when I’m in the area but the baked buns with BBQ pork are a signature dish for Tim Ho Wan and it is worth lining up for (maybe not 2+ hours long but 15-20 minutes) if you have a craving.

There is a way to skip the queue but you need 8+ friends to do so like NQN did.

Venue: Tim Ho Wan

Address: The District, 436 Victoria Ave Chatswood, NSW

Phone02 9898 9888

Websitehttp://www.timhowan.com/

Tim Ho Wan on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Tim Ho Wan Michelin star restaurant – HK

TimmyC and I venture on our own for the first time away from anyone that had a clue about how to navigate their way around Hong Kong, people had more important things to do like organise a wedding (I’ll get around to it one day) and for me, I had one thing that I really wanted to do- find the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world and eat there (yes people have different priorities in life, clearly).

Even though Tim Ho Wan was tucked away in the streets of Sham Shui Po, the Internet and google maps made it possible for noobs like us to (eventually) get there with not much hassle. There are several locations but I wanted to go to where it all started.

I almost walk past the front door even though I was strategically counting the street numbers anticipating the thought of delicious dim sims. It is very simple shop front- a few chairs for patient people in the queue, newspaper articles printed on the side of the window and stuck on the poorly lit door you could see the Michelin guide stickers for three years running if you squint hard enough in the dim light. I was greeted by a friendly face who pushed past the front doors to revealed a brightly lit area with the hustle and bustle of patrons and waitresses in a small dining room. TimmyC was still a few steps behind and I could hear him ask if I had gotten the right place as I drifted into the light. Oh we had gotten the right place alright. There was a mix of locals and tourists who have come to see what all the fuss was about, and I was now one of them.
20131104-223027.jpg

They have a very simple menu which makes it easier for me to choose from.

20131106-090955.jpg

Har gow steamed fresh shrimp dumplings ($25.00 HKD). One of the few dumplings that I preferred steamed, served nice and hot straight from the steamer, the prawn was pretty good but it needed some sriracha.

20131104-222806.jpg

20131104-222815.jpg

Steamed rice with chicken’s feet and spare rib ($19.00 HKD). There was not much fat on the meat, that could be seen as a good or a bad thing depending on how you like it. I really enjoyed the soy sauce they put on the top but I think Australia has better steamed rices with tastier meat.

20131104-222831.jpg

Famous pork buns – baked bun with BBQ pork ($17.00 HKD). It has the bun surface of a fresh warm and crumbly pineapple bun (there is no pineapple in a pineapple bun, I’ve always found that deceiving) encasing a warm moist filling with the sweet and salty tastes of BBQ pork. A very unique dish with a very delicate texture, you can tell by how squished it looks when I hold it in my chopsticks and without trying not to sound like an ad, I can’t believe it is baked!

20131104-222845.jpg

20131104-222855.jpg

The service was efficient, dishes arrive promptly whenever they are ready and are taken away just as quick once you’re done. We went around 4pm, so this was more of a snack rather than a meal, hence only ordering three things and no queues. I tried to order a variety of things, the famous BBQ pork buns, steamed rice which I don’t go without every time I go to yum cha and something steamed/dumpling. Overall I found it a bit overrated, I believe that there is better food in Hong Kong for just as cheap just without the prestigious rating, I would even prefer the steamed rice from the humble Marigold in Sydney, but at least now I can say I have been and it did only cost me $65.00 HKD (less than $10 AUD).

Venue- Timmy Ho Wan aka Timmy’s to locals
Address- 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po