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


Tim Ho Wan on Urbanspoon


Yum cha at Ginseng

I blame all my friends who have been talking about yum cha of late and giving me dim sum cravings. Ever since Noble Palace closed their doors, I’ve been wanting another south side option to open up (when driving all the way to Dickson would seem like I may as well drive to Sydney). Everyone had been heading to Ginseng inside the Hellenic club and I was hoping to give it a go myself. Now I didn’t technically make it inside, but I definitely ate there.

A huge demand at Ginseng allowed them to expand by putting tables outside the opening door frame-work. This was where we were seated after arriving later in the lunch time rush and without a booking. I felt that we were more neglected than the people who were physically inside the restaurant and hearing my neighbouring table’s frustrations, I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Well I guess I should arrive earlier or book next time.

So close yet so far away.IMG_4814.JPGWe had to ask several times for chilli sauce and tea, which is usually the first thing that a server should bring to you as your sit down. Asking for things and requesting food items in the hectic environment were often ignored or forgotten. Trolleys eventually wheeled past, but I was after specific items which left me waiting as they were replenishing their stocks after a busy lunch period.

The lobster dumplings and the chicken wings must have been fresh because they were crazy hot! The dumplings and yum cha dishes were made pretty well for Canberra standards and I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the texture of their egg tarts, it would have been perfect if they were fresh out of oven or even slightly warm.IMG_4855.JPGAfter a huge manhunt which saw every waiter and waitress that walked past look for my steamed pork rib, I finally succeeded! I was so excited I forgot to take a photo. It was steamed well arriving very hot, but they forgot to put it with chilli and black bean so it lacked some flavour, luckily I had also requested chilli sauce and chilli in soy sauce.

TimmyC ordered a mango pudding early, but I wanted mine towards the end when I had eaten everything else. I personally prefer it with evaporated milk, it makes it so much better *licks lips*.

TimmyC’s mango pudding.IMG_4819.JPGvs. my mango pudding,IMG_4822.JPGAfter several puddings, jellies, steamed dumplings etc (I didn’t take a photo of everything), our bill came to $70ish dollars for two and a bit people (my friends were barely nibbling because they had already eaten). I think the trick is to arrive early, get a seat inside the restaurant and be persistent with your requests.


Venue: Ginseng

Address: Upstairs inside the Hellenic club in Woden

Phone: (02) 6282 9866

Yum cha: I don’t know when it starts but it finishes at 3pm on Sundays