Having a cup of hot tea and digging into caned baskets for the steamy pork bun, chicken feet, or flour roll etc. is probably the most favourite food culture in Hong Kong. It is called “dim sum” (hearty snacks) or “Yum cha” (drink tea) in the local slang and most restaurants in the bustling city is never tired of offering that throughout any hour of the day. But if you are searching through the internet looking for a budgeted and popular place to have dim sum in Hong Kong, Tim Ho Wan would usually appeared on top of the list.
It has been touted by many food critics that the Master Chef of Tim Ho Wan, fondly known as “Pui Gor” was previously working in the three Michelin Stars restaurant, Lung King Heen (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts). The culinary experiences gained was carried to Tim Ho Wan and it had since grown from an unassuming eatery in Mongkok, then a second branch in Sham Shui Po to the current 4 outlets. The expansion plan may have taken a toll on the consistency of the food because there are many negative reviews on the outlets. To verify the claims, we have decided to check out their Sham Shui Po outlet.
You could get to Tim Ho Wan’s Sham Shui Po outlet by taking the exit B2 at the Sham Shui Po MTR and walk down the lengthy stretch of Fuk Wing Street. You would not miss the huge green signboard as you arrive at the crossroad of Wong Chuk Street and Fuk Wing Street. According to the internet, you would expect a long queue outside all the outlets at the meal hours. Fortunately for us, we have reached at about 10:30am and there are still a few seats left in the sardine-packed Sham Shui Po outlet.
In case you are unaware, the first thing the Hong Kong people would do when seated in such neighbourhood dim sum outlet is to wash the cutlery and cups using the hot tea provided. The tea is free flow so you could be generous with the washing. It may be peculiar to some that the same pot of tea is also for drinking so make sure you do not mix up with the portion that you have used for the washing.
There are over 30 items to choose from on the order chit and the price range is from S$1.50 to S$3.50 (depending on the prevailing exchange rate). When placing your order, it would be better to order around 3 baskets at a time because dim sum is at best when they are piping hot.
Contrary to many nitpickers, we find the Dim Sum served here good enough to par with many of our (Singapore) fine restaurants. Besides the fresh ingredient, it is a feast to the eyes the culinary skills used on the making of the dishes. We are amazed by the glassy dumpling skin and sheet-thin flour roll. We recommended that you go for the items, which were marked with a star on the order chit. Of course, you should not missed the flour roll too.
The service here seem unconcerned, probably due to the overwhelming number of patrons everyday. The staff here could never spend time explaining the menu with you. Guess they do not have to judging from the long queue outside the outlet, ready to storm in at the sight of a precious empty seat.
NAME: Tian Ho Wan (Sham Shui Po outlet)
LOCATION: 9-11 Fuk Wing St Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
Operation hours: Daily from 08:00am to 09:30pm