The Place The famous 1 michelin star dim sum joint Tim Ho Wan has finally opened to Singaporeans on the 10 April to much hype. I visited the restaurant during its first weekend and have much to rant about in this post.
The queue was insane on a Saturday morning at 940am, 20 minutes before the official opening hour. It was three long rows of people waiting and my conservative estimate is at least 200 people in the queue. I totally under-estimated the hype. It was only after 3 hours when I managed to get a seat.
The restaurant is not big, about a 100 seater capacity and it is kinda a open concept dining. It is common for curious onlookers to peer into the restaurant and wonder what the whole craze is all about.
The Food The menu is more or less similar to the ones in Hong Kong except for congee, which is not served at this branch. As for the price, I noted that it is significantly more expensive than Hong Kong, averaging between $4-$5.50 per serving here.
The Shrimp Vermicelli Roll ($5.50) has a very fine texture, but I find that the portion is too small.
Siew Mai (pork dumpling) ($5) is almost a must order for dim sum and this dish is one of my favourite at Tim Ho Wan. The fresh ingredients certainly contributed to the high quality.
The Prawn Dumpling ($5.50) is equally generous with its ingredients. The skin of the dumpling is extremely thin and I especially like the freshness of the prawn.
A customised dish for the Singapore outlet is the Steamed Egg Cake ($3.80). I am not a fan of this dish as I find it quite tasteless.
The Chicken Feet ($4) seems to be another disappointment as well. The sauce is lacking and it is not as tasty as expected.
The Fried Spring Roll ($4.20) is nothing to shout about as well.
The Steamed Pork Ribs ($4.20)
Another of my favourite, the Glutinous Rice ($5) is almost perfect. The rice is not too greasy and it has the fragrance of the lotus leave as well.
The Fried Carrot Cake ($4.50) is ordinary in my opinion.
Finally this is the reason we are all queuing – the legendary BBQ Pork Buns ($4.50). The million dollar question is whether the taste is the same as the ones I had in Hong Kong.
I am slightly disappointed that it does not quite give me the same taste which I had in Hong Kong. The skin is not as crispy and it is not as aromatic as the ones in Hong Kong. That said, it is still one of the best dim sum dish I have ever had, at least this should be one of the most uniquely created dish in Singapore for now.
If you still have space for desserts, the Osmanthus Cake ($3.50) is worth trying.
Another traditional Cantonese dessert we tried is the Yam Sago ($3.50). The yam is fragrant while its texture is very silky.
Rants With so much hype over Tim Ho Wan currently, the waiting time really tests my patience but my passion for good food eventually got the better of me. That said, I do not think that the food is worth all the wait. Afterall, the restaurant will open 6 outlets in total by the end of this year, so fret not and there is really no hurry to try the pork buns right now. Quality wise, do not expect the same as Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong. I would say that the standard is at most 80% close to its Hong Kong counterpart.
Will I Return Again? It is not easy to come across affordable quality dim sum in Singapore and Tim Ho Wan is certainly above average in my opinion. I will return again, but not any time soon. It is definitely not worth 3 hours of my life.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
Tim Ho Wan Singapore
68 Orchard Road #01-29A
Tel : +65 6251 2000
Ranted by The Ranter