This was our second attempt to eat at Tim Ho Wan’s main branch in Sham Shui Po, and this time, we finally succeeded!
TIM HO WAN
The first time, we arrived at 9:15pm and Tim Ho Wan was already closing! I am so used to restaurants in Manila still being open until 11pm or later, that I did not even think that Tim Ho Wan would close so early. They close at 9:30pm or earlier if they don’t have many customers. I was just surprised because this is Hong Kong, the city that never sleeps! What the H?
Nobody knows about Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong?!
Tim Ho Wan’s Sham Shui Po branch is located between the Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po MTR stations. There’s just no getting around having to walk several blocks. During our first attempt to go to Tim Ho Wan last year, we took the MTR and got off at Prince Edward. Since I didn’t have mobile internet then, we relied on a paper map and asked people for directions. Weird thing was, none of the locals we asked had ever heard of Tim Ho Wan. Even our HK local relative has not heard of it. She only found out what it was when she called her foodie friend to ask about Tim Ho Wan.
Anyway, we promptly got lost because nobody knew where it was. People were also packing up and closing shop by 9pm! Sham Shui Po is such a sleepy place. We finally asked an old garbage collector guy and he pointed us in the right direction. By the time we got to Tim Ho Wan, it was already closing.
While Tim Ho Wan has several branches, I picked the Sham Shui Po branch because it seemed like the most accessible to us by public transport. This branch also has a Michelin-star. The other branches with a Michelin-star are the North Point and Tai Kok Tsui (Olympian City) branches.
This year, we took a taxi to Tim Ho Wan, and guess what? The taxi driver has also never heard of Tim Ho Wan. Is Tim Ho Wan really not a thing in Hong Kong? After showing him my Google Maps location of Tim Ho Wan, he finally got us there, and we finally got to eat at the apparently NOT famous Tim Ho Wan.
So, what’s all the fuss about Tim Ho Wan then?
Tim Ho Wan is the world’s least expensive Michelin-starred restaurant, and it is known for their very good dimsum. It was opened by Mak Kwai-pui, formerly a chef of three-Michelin-starred restaurant Lung King Heen.
Anthony Bourdain has praised Tim Ho Wan for their dimsum. And now, so shall I.
Tim Ho Wan is a bustling, little dimsum restaurant. It is crowded, noisy and sort of cramped. Service is typical Chinese, seemingly rude but not really meaning to be. Seating is communal – meaning, you share tables if you there aren’t enough in your group to fill up the table. People usually keep to themselves even if you’re seated at the same table, though.
Ordering is through this slip of paper:
Don’t worry, they have an English version! You can ask for the English order slip.
- Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumplings, HK$27
- Glutinous Rice Dumpling, HK$27
- Steamed Dumplings in Chiu Chow Style, HK$13
- Steamed Sparerib with Black Bean Sauce, HK$17
- Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, HK$20
- Curry Beef Baked Bun, HK$20
- Pan-Fried Turnip Cake, HK$15
- Green Onion Oil Pancakes, HK$17
Shrimp Dumplings (Hakaw) – you cannot miss this! This is the reason most people visit Tim Ho Wan! Fresh & springy shrimp, with an equally springy, translucent wrapping. *drools*
Chiu Chow Dumplings – also good.
Curry Beef Baked Buns – I liked these.
Fried Turnip Cake – this was soft and smooth and light. I love turnip cake and Tim Ho Wan makes a good version, except I wanted a bit more sausage bits.
Here’s a quick clip of our meal that I just took from my social media to show you the other dishes. It was a bit cramped, the tables were small, so I didn’t really have a good opportunity to take lots of pics:
At these prices, please don’t expect these dishes to compare against the super-expensive dimsums. However, they are still pretty good and well worth the effort to visit. Considering the affordable prices, these dimsums are downright amazing. They are also generous with the filling and I didn’t feel short-changed. I recommend the Shrimp Dumplings, the Baked BBQ Bun, the Curry Beef Bun, and the Glutinous Rice. It’s WORTH THE HYPE! The Philippines Tim Ho Wans just can’t compare.
Here’s our final tally. They charged us HK$2 each for tea. Our bill was HK$160, which is about P1,000 pesos. Pretty good price for a Michelin-star meal!
Here’s a map to Tim Ho Wan from the Prince Edward MTR Station (Exit E):
Tim Ho Wan Sham Shui Po Branch
G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing St, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
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